AAOS presented its 2022 Humanitarian Award to Keith S. Feder, MD, FAAOS, of Manhattan Beach, Calif.
The Humanitarian Award honors AAOS members who have distinguished themselves through outstanding musculoskeletal-related humanitarian activities in the United States or abroad. Dr. Feder was recognized for more than 25 years of humanitarian efforts, serving economically challenged student- athletes and bringing healthcare access to underserved communities.
“It is an honor to be recognized by AAOS as a humanitarian,” said Dr. Feder. “My sincere hope is that this award will increase awareness of the young, underserved student-athletes in the United States who do not receive the high-quality orthopaedic sports medicine care and core services that they need and deserve.”
Dr. Feder is known for founding the West Coast Sports Medicine Foundation, a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to providing economically deprived high school students with an opportunity to participate in interscholastic sports, promoting fitness, and expanding access to high-quality sports medicine care and services designed to improve health and ensure safety.
“Through the West Coast Sports Medicine Foundation—Team to Win program, Dr. Feder has strived to build a community of moral decency,” said Alexander I. Glogau, MD, FAAOS, from OrthoTexas Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. “By providing free medical care, diagnostic testing, surgeries, and college scholarships to youth student-athletes in Los Angeles, Dr. Feder understands the importance of justice and has made it his personal mission and responsibility to fight to eliminate health disparities that affect our low‐income, at‐risk, inner- city high school student-athletes.”
Founded in 1994, the West Coast Sports Medicine Foundation was established after Dr. Feder witnessed how student-athletes in Los Angeles County slipped through the cracks of the healthcare system because of a lack of health insurance and access to medical care.
Through the foundation, Dr. Feder’s outreach provides free sports medicine care to about 13,000 high school student athletes and provides up to nine college scholarships each year.
“Many of our student-athletes from the West Coast Sports Medicine Foundation—Team to Win program can continue their sports careers at the collegiate level and beyond because of the medical care they received,” said Dr. Glogau.
From an internship program that provides firsthand experience to students and student-athletes interested in pursuing a career in sports medicine to a free mentoring program that hosts more than 400 students every summer, Dr. Feder’s commitment to student-athletes extends beyond sports medicine care to community education and support.
“The mentorship program covers anatomy, physiology, injury recognition, evaluation, treatment, rehabilitation, and prevention,” said William M. Hohl, MD, from the West Coast Center for Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine. “These students become on-campus assistants to the certified athletic trainers at their high schools.” Since its creation, more than 3,000 students have completed the mentorship program. The high school graduation rate among attendees is 100 percent, with the vast majority going on to graduate college.
Providing these services has required a tireless fundraising effort. Since 1994, Dr. Feder has raised more than $20 million in support of the underserved student-athlete population of Los Angeles. In the four years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the foundation provided more than $3.6 million of free medical care.
“Dr. Feder truly leads by example,” added Dr. Glogau. “He was the first to make a personal donation and the first to volunteer his time.”
In 2001, Dr. Feder assisted in the authorship of California State Assembly Bill 760, which established the Pupil Athletic Access and Safety Program to provide monetary support for certified athletic trainers onsite at all California high schools.
“Dr. Feder has a lifelong philosophy as to the benefits of participation in school-based sports,” said Carol Frey, MD, FAAOS, from the Harbor– University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) West Coast Sports Medicine Fellowship Program.
“He knows from his own experience on the field, during training, and in his practice that sports participation encourages cooperation and understanding, helps foster and build relationships, enhances equal opportunity, and imparts valuable lessons and skills needed in life to thrive,” she added.
Dr. Feder is a founding member of the California State Interscholastic Federation Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, has served on the National Federation of High School Sports Medicine Committee, and is a recipient of the State Award for Outstanding
Dr. Feder is a Board-certified orthopaedic surgeon trained in arthroscopic surgery and sports medicine. Since 1992, he has served as clinical assistant professor at UCLA School of Medicine. He is past chief of sports medicine at the UCLA–Harbor Orthopaedic Residency Program and is currently director of the Cartilage Restoration Center.