Dr. Michael Cusimano, is the recipient of the 2013 Dr. Tom Pashby Sports Safety Award presented to a Canadian who has contributed significantly to the prevention of catastrophic injuries in sport and recreation.
A graduate of the University of Toronto School of Medicine, Dr. Cusimano entered the Neurosurgery Training Program at the University of Toronto in 1985. He became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 1990, and in this same year received his Masters Degree in Health Professions Education from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He obtained his PhD from the University of Toronto in 1996.
As a neurosurgeon, Dr. Cusimano is often called upon to treat those who have suffered brain and spinal cord injuries; however, his passion is to prevent such injuries in sports and recreational activities. The Fund is inspired by Dr. Cusimano’s significant advocacy for the prevention of catastrophic injuries.
Dr. Cusimano’s nomination documents describe a strong social consciousness focused on research, education, and the execution of effective strategies to reduce, if not eliminate, catastrophic injuries. He strives to ensure a continued dialogue exists to inspire students, colleagues, and society at large.
Dr. Cusimano’s has contributed significantly to the body of knowledge through notable publications such as: the role of youth body-checking in brain injuries; effectiveness of educational injury prevention programs in hockey and alpine sports; a framework for spinal cord prevention strategies in diving; common misconceptions involving concussions in ice hockey; protective value of helmets in skiing and snowboarding; to name but just a few.
In addition, Dr. Cusimano founded, and is currently the director of the Injury Prevention Research Office (IPRO) at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. Through his leadership the IPRO continues to shed light on many important concepts regarding brain and spinal cord injury prevention in sports and recreation.