Keri Denay, M.D., FACSM
Clinical Assistant Professor | University of Michigan
Sports Medicine Fellowship Program Director | University of Michigan
Medical Director | Briarwood Family and Sports Medicine Clinic
Team Physician | U.S. Figure Skating and Eastern Michigan University
This month, we introduce you to an ACSM Fellow who is passionately committed to providing comprehensive patient and athlete care, to educating the next generation of clinicians and to promoting the benefits of physical activity for overall well-being and health. Her passion is obvious in the work she does. Keri Denay, M.D., FACSM, serves as a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She practices both family and sports medicine and teaches medical students, residents and fellows in her practice. Dr. Denay is also the director of the sports medicine fellowship program and the medical director at Briarwood Family and Sports Medicine Clinic. Additionally, she serves as a team physician with U.S. Figure Skating and Eastern Michigan University. These roles combine her interests in clinical work, education, administration and leadership. The combination also allows Dr. Denay to apply her passions in a multitude of ways that truly make a true difference in the lives of patients and athletes.
Passion also led to Dr. Denay's recent work on ACSM's first call to action statement. Dr. Denay led a group of ACSM experts as they developed the statement, which addresses COVID-19 and the safe return to sports and physical activity. The statement highlights the current science around COVID-19 and provides 12 action steps to consider. “COVID-19: Considerations for Sports and Physical Activity” was published in the August 2020 issue of ACSM’s Current Sports Medicine Reports.
Dr. Denay joined ACSM 10 years ago. This includes membership in the Midwest Chapter. She regularly attends the ACSM Annual Meeting and currently serves as co-chair of the Exercise is Medicine® Clinical Practice Committee, which seeks to identify strategies and resources to integrate physical activity assessment and promotion in health care settings.
ACSM staff recently asked Dr. Denay a series of questions to learn more about her work, advice for students and the key takeaways for ACSM’s Call to Action Statement on COVID-19.
- Why did you choose your clinical area?
I have a passion for comprehensive patient/athlete care that focuses on prevention, promotion of a healthy, active lifestyle, and that encourages overall wellness that allows the athlete/patient to achieve his/her peak performance and personal goals.
- What has been the most fulfilling aspect of your work?
Educating others and motivating them to adopt a healthy, active lifestyle. Seeing people become more active and reap the health and quality of life rewards that come with that is richly fulfilling.
- What advice do you have for students or professionals entering the field?
I advise those early in their careers to network with others as much as possible, seek out a great mentor and advocate to help shape your career to develop one’s true passions.
- How has ACSM membership helped you?
My involvement with ACSM has allowed me to grow personally and professionally. The organization fosters networking, and I have met MANY amazing sports medicine colleagues involved in areas of clinical or research work I would otherwise not have met. ACSM has enabled me to join forces with like-minded individuals across the country and world. We have been to learn from each other’s work and optimize the impact on our communities, both small and large. I will be forever grateful for the mentorship ACSM has given me.
- What's one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I am a former collegiate figure skater.
- What should members know about ACSM's new call to action statement?
Our COVID-19 Call to Action Statement: Considerations for Sports and Physical Activity emphasizes the need to maintain physical activity and connection with others in ways that are safe to do so. The benefits of physical activity to our overall well-being and health are important now more than ever, and we need to focus our efforts on how to get those are not moving active and those that are active to remain moving despite these challenging times that require the utmost safety precautions to keep ourselves and those around us safe.
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