Game Plan Series

Welcome to the Game Plan Initiative. The Game Plan Initiative is a monthly meeting series hosted by Game Plan director, Reginald Miller, DVM and a former athlete (collegiate or professional) now in the field of medicine as a guest speaker. The goal is to connect current student-athletes in junior high, high school, and college with former collegiate and professional athletes who've transitioned into careers in healthcare, science, and the medical fields.

The discussion will help Game Plan members understand how to manage their studies and sports and excel in both.  The Game Plan concept derives from the need for a game plan to win in sports, and the same applies to success in life. Our initiative will allow you to hear the game plans from those who have completed the journey and develop your own game plan. If you have any questions and want to join our meetings and listserv, please feel free to contact us at GamePlan@mssm.edu.

We look forward to seeing you at our next meeting!

Click here to RSVP for our next event.

Dear Game Plan Participants,

We want to invite you to participate in our next "Game Plan" series meeting on Tuesday, November 1, 2022, from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm (virtual format: ZOOM). As we previously mentioned, the idea is that you must have a “game plan” to win in sports, and the same applies to success in academics. Our series will allow you to hear the game plans from former (collegiate and professional) athletes to aid you in your preparation. Our guest speaker is Isaiah Swann.

image of Isaiah Swann biosketch

Isaiah Swann is a second-year medical student in the University of Virginia Medical-Scientist Training Program (MSTP).  Before joining the UVA MD-PhD program, he attended The University of Texas at Dallas, where he studied neuroscience and played baseball for the Comets.  Currently, he serves as one of three graduated student-athletes on the NCAA Board of Governors and works as an executive board member of his school’s Medical Society of Virginia chapter.  He founded a joint initiative between the UVa School of Medicine and UVa Athletics, and is deeply involved in mentorship.  While passionate about research and medicine, he believes it’s important to lead a fulfilled life outside of work; Swann enjoys spending his free time sampling local restaurants with friends, working out, making music, and binging TV shows.

November 2022 - Isaiah Swann | Biosketch

Dear Game Plan Participants,

We want to invite you to participate in our next "Game Plan" series meeting on Tuesday, September 6, 2022, from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm (virtual format: ZOOM). As we previously mentioned, the idea is that you must have a “game plan” to win in sports, and the same applies to success in academics. Our series will allow you to hear the game plans from former (collegiate and professional) athletes to aid you in your preparation. Our guest speaker is Dr. Galen Duncan, PhD, LMSW.

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Dr. Galen Duncan, PhD, LMSW, is the first-ever Senior Associate Director of Athletics over Health and Wellness with the University of Illinois Chicago. Before joining UIC, he worked with the Sacramento Kings as the VP of Kings Academy and Professional Development. He spent ten years as Senior Director of Player Development with the Detroit Lions. He also worked as a treating clinician for the NFL’s Program for Substance Abuse, providing one-on-one and group therapy for players. Dr. Duncan’s expertise includes character evaluation for draft-eligible players, rookie transition to professional leagues, and helping players experiencing grief/loss, performance anxiety, and personal relationship issues.

Dr. Duncan graduated from Lake Superior State University, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Human Services in 1994. He would earn a Master of Social Work with a concentration in Mental Health and a graduate certificate in Alcohol and Drug Abuse studies from Wayne State in 1997. In 2006, he gained a PhD in Health Psychology from Walden University in Minneapolis, Minn. He returned to Walden as its commencement speaker in 2019.

At UIC, Dr. Duncan provides leadership for all aspects of student-athlete wellness and performance, including athletic training, athletic medicine, mental health, nutrition, and data analytics, and works with HR Tactics on matters related to player health and development in the NFL and NBA.

Dr. Duncan arrived in Chicago after four years as Vice President of Kings Academy and Professional Development for the NBA’s Sacramento Kings. He was directly responsible for implementing a player-centric curriculum that aligned organizational philosophies and ideals to help athletes mature into well-rounded professionals. During his time in Sacramento, he created an organization-wide mental health awareness and treatment program.

He continues to be integrally involved in the NBA Rookie Transition Program. This immersive experience is on-the-job training with industry professionals to help the league’s newcomers learn to navigate the areas of newfound wealth and the professional standards required to be successful in the NBA. Not only are the rookies provided resources and mentored by current and former NBA players, but also by mental health professionals on how to help them be the best they can be.

Dr. Duncan served as the Senior Director of Player Development for the NFL’s Detroit Lions for over a decade. He helped NFL players with financial education, internships, professional development opportunities, and mental health counseling. He oversaw an intensive rookie transition program, which included education on financial literacy, business etiquette, social media branding, and more. He served as a liaison between the NFL’s league office and the NFL Players’ Association and as a Player Development Steering Committee member.

Dr. Duncan has also worked as a consulting therapist and counselor for Wayne State and Detroit Mercy college athletics departments. For 12 years, from 2001-13, he was a Captain with the United States Army Reserves Neuropsychology Team in Southfield, Michigan. He provided stress and anxiety training.

September 2022 – Dr. Galen Duncan | Biosketch

Dear Game Plan Participants,

We want to invite you to participate in our next "Game Plan" series meeting on Tuesday, April 12, 2022, from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm (virtual format: ZOOM). As we previously mentioned, the idea is that you must have a “game plan” to win in sports, and the same applies to success in academics. Our series will allow you to hear the game plans from former (collegiate and professional) athletes to aid you in your preparation. Our guest speaker is Dr. Robert W. Turner II, PhD.

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Anthony Blevins, PhD
Biosketch

Anthony Blevins is in his fourth season with the Giants and first as the assistant linebackers coach/special teams assistant. He spent the 2020 season as the assistant defensive backs coach and the previous two years as the Giants' assistant special teams coach.

Last season, Blevins helped develop a pass defense that jumped from 28th in the league in 2019 to a tie for 16th. The Giants allowed 237.9 yards per game through the air, a 26.2-yard improvement over their 2019 average and the team's lowest figure since 2013 when they gave up 223.3 yards a game through the air and were 10th in the league. Cornerback James Bradberry was selected to his first Pro Bowl after leading the team with three interceptions and tying for second in the NFL with 18 passes defensed. Another newcomer, Logan Ryan, moved from cornerback to safety and finished second on the Giants with 92 tackles (67 solo). Ryan teamed with Jabrill Peppers to give the Giants a strong last line of defense. Blevins helped develop Xavier McKinney and Darnay Holmes, who made significant contributions as rookies.

Blevins assisted special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey in 2019 when the Giants finished seventh in Rick Gosselin's special teams' rankings. The team's kickoff coverage team led the league and finished in the top two for the second straight season by allowing an average return of just 18.1 yards. The punt coverage team was tied for fifth as opponents averaged only 5.7 yards a return. Conversely, the Giants were fourth and 10th, respectively, in the NFL in punt (9.8 yards) and kickoff (23.5 yards) return average. Punter Riley Dixon was ninth in the league with a 42.3-yard net average, a franchise record since the statistic was first kept in 1976. He set the previous mark of 41.8 yards in 2018.

The previous year, kicker Aldrick Rosas was selected to the Pro Bowl and was named second-team All-Pro after making 32 of 33 field-goal attempts and 31 of 32 extra-point tries. The 32 field goals were the fifth-highest total in Giants history.

Rosas' .970 field goal percentage was a Giants record and was just 1/100th of a percentage point behind NFL leader Robbie Gould, a former Giant. Rosas' 127 points tied Ali Haji-Sheikh (1983) for the fifth-highest total in Giants history. He hit his final 19 field goal attempts, then the second-longest streak in Giants history.

Before joining the Giants, Blevins spent five years as a coaching assistant/special teams with the Arizona Cardinals.

During his time with the Cardinals, Blevins helped special teamer Justin Bethel get selected to three consecutive Pro Bowls (2013-15) after leading the team in special teams tackles each season. In 2013 and 2015, Bethel was named first-team All-NFL by the Pro Football Writers Association.

David Johnson was fifth in the NFL with a 27.2-yard kickoff return average and set a franchise record with a 108-yard touchdown in 2015.

All-Pro Kicker Chandler Catanzaro tied the NFL record for the most consecutive field goals to begin a career (17) and established a franchise rookie record with 114 points in 2014. The following season, Catanzaro finished third in the NFL with 137 points, which was also the second-highest single-season total in franchise history.

Dave Zastudil's 45.7-yard punting average in 2013 was the third-highest in franchise history. A year later, Drew Butler tied for the NFL lead with 34 punts inside the 20.

In 2017, Blevins coached rookie Budda Baker, selected as the NFC special teams representative in the Pro Bowl. Baker led the Cardinals with 16 special teams tackles and was selected All-Pro by the AP and the Pro Football Writers Association.

Blevins spent the 2012 season as the cornerbacks' coach at his alma mater, the University of Alabama-Birmingham, following three seasons at Tennessee State (2009-11), coaching special teams and cornerbacks. He also worked at the University of Tennessee-Martin in 2008, coaching cornerbacks while serving as recruiting coordinator.

Blevins was a part of the NFL's Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship Program with the Indianapolis Colts in 2011, the Cardinals in 2010, and the Chicago Bears in 2008.

A three-year letter winner, Blevins played cornerback at UAB from 1995-98.

Blevins began his coaching career as the secondary coach and team community liaison at Meadowcreek High School in Gwinnett, Ga., in 2003-04. From 2005-07, he served as a graduate assistant at Mississippi State, helping coach wide receivers and defensive backs for the Bulldogs while assisting special teams.

A native of Birmingham, Blevins graduated from UAB in 1998 with a bachelor's degree in sociology and earned a master's in instructional technology in 2006 from Mississippi State. In 2015, he earned a PhD in Instructional

April 2022 – Dr. Anthony Blevins | Biosketch

Dear Game Plan Participants,

We want to invite you to participate in our next "Game Plan" series meeting on Wednesday, March 9, 2021, from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm (virtual format: ZOOM). As we previously mentioned, the idea is that you must have a “game plan” to win in sports, and the same applies to success in academics. Our series will allow you to hear the game plans from former (collegiate and professional) athletes to aid you in your preparation. Our guest speaker is Dr. Robert W. Turner II, PhD.

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Dr. Robert W. Turner II, PhD

Biosketch

Robert W. Turner II, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Clinical Research and Leadership, with a secondary appointment in the Department of Neurology, at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. He is a biobehavioral health disparities researcher with ethnographic and mixed methods training.

Dr. Turner is the Principal Investigator (PI) for a National Institute on Aging (NIA) Health Disparities award which conducts multi-method research to assess caregiver burden. The research explores whether the stress of being the primary caregiver of a person with dementia (PWD) produces cognitive dysfunction in adult and older adult Black American men. His NIA funded K01 award examines the interrelationship between multiple measures of psychosocial and neurocognitive risk and protective factors associated with accelerated cognitive aging & mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), and Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (AD/ADRD) among former collegiate and professional football players.

This line of research encompasses understanding how traumatic injury, as an occupational hazard, hinders daily living and career planning over the life course. These are many of the same concerns faced by military personnel returning from war. He is also the author of “Not For Long: The Life and Career of the NFL Athlete” (Oxford Press) and a contributor on the LeBron James HBO documentary “Student-Athlete.” His experience as a former professional NFL player (San Franchise 49ers) and a researcher provides an insightful perspective on the various factors contributing to Black male health disparities.

His book manuscript, Not For Long: The life and career of the NFL athlete (Oxford University Press, August 2018), is an ethnographic project that offers a descriptive analysis of the social world of NFL athletes based on the author’s personal experience as a former professional football player, interviews with current and former players, archived resources that discuss the socialization of young athletes, the relationship between the NFL and the NFL Players Association, and how athletes transition to life after football.

March 2022 – Dr. Robert W. Turner II | Biosketch

Dear Game Plan Participants,

We want to invite you to participate in our next "Game Plan" series meeting on Thursday, January 20, 2022, from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm (virtual format: ZOOM). As we previously mentioned, the idea is that you must have a “game plan” to win in sports, and the same applies to success in academics. Our series will allow you to hear the game plans from former (collegiate and professional) athletes to aid you in your preparation.

Our guest speaker is Babapelumi “Baba” Adejuyigbe, Medical Student & Former Cornell University Linebacker.

Adejuyigbe

Baba Adejuyigbe was born in Prince George's County (PG County) in Maryland. Baba’s family is originally from Nigeria, but he grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa. He attended Crawford Preparatory School in Sandton and Hilton College in Pietermaritzburg for High-School. At Crawford and Hilton, he excelled on the field and in the classroom. He was a junior national swimmer and waterpolo player, and a soccer and a rugby (at the state levels). He moved to the United States in 2014 for college and graduated from Cornell University in 2018.

During his time in Ithaca, he played varsity football and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Human Biology, Health, and Society, with minors in Business and Inequality Studies. After graduating, he spent two years at Cornell working as a Public Health Fellow at the Skorton Center for Health Initiatives, then as a Co-Curricular Program Assistant for the Intergroup Dialogue Project.

In 2020, he swapped the east coast for the west coast and moved to Los Angeles to begin medical school at The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He hopes to pursue a career in surgery while also leveraging technological and social innovation to address issues in healthcare that relate to access, equity, quality, and cost, specifically between The West and Africa.

January 2022 – Babapelumi “Baba” Adejuyigbe | Biosketch

Dear Game Plan Participants,

We want to invite you to participate in our next "Game Plan" series meeting on Wednesday, December 7, 2021, from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm (virtual format: ZOOM). As we previously mentioned, the idea is that you must have a “game plan” to win in sports, and the same applies to success in academics. Our series will allow you to hear the game plans from former (collegiate and professional) athletes to aid you in your preparation.

Our guest speaker is Dr. James M. Cherry, Associate Director/ Chief of Research Technologies at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.

image of Dr. James M. Cherry

James Cherry, MD, received his doctorate in Biology with a concentration in Biomedical Science from The Catholic University of America in 2008 and his Masters of Science in Biotechnology from The Johns Hopkins University in 2000.  In his dissertation research, Dr. Cherry studied molecular changes in ovarian tumor progression and identified several biomarkers that could prove useful in the early diagnosis of this disease that often eludes detection until it has reached a very advanced stage.  He joined QIAGEN Inc. in 2008 as a research fellow in their Gene Expression Laboratory, where he studied the role of miRNAs in various disease states and identified novel miRNA targets in phosphodiesters.  

Following his fellowship, he was promoted to a research scientist in QIAGEN’s research and development laboratory.  He proceeded to work on QIAGEN’s SYBR-Green chemistry platform, miScript, for miRNA detection, low and high-throughput miRNA molecular profiling platform. In addition, he developed automated applications for Q-PCR gene expression miRNA/mRNA molecular profiling kit and marketed it to the biomedical research community. This new product generated $5.8 million net sales in year one for QIAGEN Inc. in 2010.

Dr. Cherry was then recruited back to the NIH/NCI in 2010 to become a Scientific Program Director/ Assistant Project Officer of the Advanced Technology Program (ATP), and the Contracting Officer’s Representative, COR III, for the Operational Technical Support Contract for the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Division of Intramural Research.

The ATP (now CRTP) is currently a $17 million program that provides state-of-the-art technologies to the NCI’s principal investigators, postdoctoral and clinical fellows at NIH/NCI, and other federally funded research institutes.  In 2011, Dr. Cherry co-developed a $4 million technology development arm for the ATP/CRTP.  This program was established to promote a collaborative environment with the NCI intramural community to develop innovative technologies in all areas of biomedical research, including genetics and genomics, protein expression, proteomics, imaging (subcellular, cellular, and whole-animal), nanotechnology, genetically-engineered animals, veterinary histology/pathology and bioinformatics.

In 2013, his responsibilities pivoted from the ATP/CRTP to the Laboratory of Animal Science Program (LASP). During his government oversight of the LASP, he has successfully implemented the NCI’s Gnotobiotic operations, Genomic Modification Core, and the HIV reservoir laboratory and continued the development of the LASP technology development effort. Dr. Cherry also serves as the scientific advisor for all high school, undergraduate, graduate, and capstone students at the NCI at Frederick campus/FNLCR. In recognition of the outstanding work of Dr. Cherry and others at NCI, Frederick County Public Schools named NCI as the 2017 Maryland State Department of Education Outstanding Business Partner Award in recognition of the NCI Werner H. Kirsten student intern program for high school students. Dr. Cherry has been appointed to several scientific advisory boards representing the NCI for various universities in Maryland and currently serves on the Shepherd University Board of Governors. Dr. Cherry is an assistant professor at Hood College and an adjunct professor at Mount St. Mary’s University and The National Institute Health FAES program, where he teaches Biomedical Ethics, Introduction to Cancer Biology, Cell Biology, Protein Biochemistry, and Advanced Technologies Genomics and Proteomics applications.

December 2021 – Dr. James Cherry, MD | Biosketch

Dear Game Plan Participants,

We want to invite you to participate in our next "Game Plan" series meeting on Wednesday, November 10, 2021, from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm (virtual format: ZOOM). As we previously mentioned, the idea is that you must have a “game plan” to win in sports, and the same applies to success in academics. Our series will allow you to hear the game plans from former (collegiate and professional) athletes to aid you in your preparation. Our guest speaker is former NFL Defensive Tackle, Dr. Jeremy Towns, Emergency Medicine Resident at UAB.

SWAP Game plan flyer

Jeremy Towns, MD

Biosketch

Dr. Jeremy Towns, MD, is a former National Football League (NFL) Defensive Tackle with stints with the Washington Football Team (formerly the Washington Redskins), Philadelphia Eagles, and Buffalo Bills.  Dr. Towns’ hometown is the city of Dolomite in Alabama, where he grew up with his three brothers (one of them is his twin) and attended Wenonah High School in Birmingham, Alabama.  Dr. Towns once dressed up as a doctor for Halloween as a kid. He wore scrubs, a stethoscope, and a hospital badge that read “Emergency Medicine.”  His costume foreshadowed his future in the medical field.

After high school, he was recruited by Samford University head coach (and former Heisman Trophy-winning Auburn University quarterback) Pat Sullivan.  Dr. Towns became an athletic star at Samford University for their college football team, played on the defensive line from 2008-2012, and graduated magna cum laude with a degree in sports medicine in 2013.  Dr. Towns got accepted to USA’s medical program the day before Pro Day with NFL scouts.  After going undrafted in the NFL draft, he decided to fulfill his childhood dream of becoming a doctor and attend a weeklong mission trip to Dominica (an island country of the Lesser Antilles in the eastern Caribbean Sea) with Samford University’s athletic director.  Ironically, the Washington Redskins tried to contact him the day after he left.  After his stint in the NFL, he graduated from the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and is currently a medical resident working in emergency medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Dr. Towns is a mentor to students (both young and old) through a faith-based organization called Radical Athlete And Student Oasis Ministry (RANSOM) and other sports camps like Next Level Sports Camps for children in Birmingham.

Article: To Boost Black Men in Medicine, Advocates Turn to Sports

November 2021 – Jeremy Towns, MD | Biosketch

 

Dear Game Plan Participants,

We want to invite you to participate in our next "Game Plan" series meeting on Tuesday, September 21, 2021, from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm (virtual format: ZOOM). As we previously mentioned, the idea is that you must have a “game plan” to win in sports, and the same applies to success in academics. Our series will allow you to hear the game plans from former (collegiate and professional) athletes to aid you in your preparation. Our guest speaker is Dr. Brian Hainline, MD, Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

Brian Hainline, MD
Senior Vice President; Chief Medical Officer

Biosketch

Brian Hainline, MD, is Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Dr. Hainline oversees the NCAA Sport Science Institute, a national center of excellence whose mission is to promote and develop safety, excellence, and wellness in college student-athletes and foster lifelong physical and mental development. The NCAA Sport Science Institute works collaboratively with member schools and centers of excellence across the United States. It collaborates with the Department of Defense (DoD) for the NCAA-DoD Grand Alliance (the largest and most comprehensive concussion study in history).

For over 30 years, Dr. Hainline has been actively involved in sports medicine, including serving as Chief Medical Officer of the US Open Tennis Championships and the United States Tennis Association. Dr. Hainline has co-authored “Drugs and the Athlete” and played a pivotal role in the rollout of drug testing and education worldwide. Dr. Hainline has co-edited the recently published medical book Sports Neurology, which provides an in-depth, academic overview of concussion and repetitive head impact exposure and the nervous system and sport interplay.

Dr. Hainline serves as co-chair of two International Olympic Committee consensus meetings: 1) pain management in elite athletes and 2) mental health in elite athletes, leading to consensus and sub-specialty publications. Dr. Hainline is a Clinical Professor of Neurology at New York University School of Medicine and Indiana University School of Medicine.

Article: Do Athletes Make Good Doctors?
Article: To Boost Black Men in Medicine, Advocates Turn to Sports
September 2021 – Brian Hainline, MD | Biosketch

Dear Game Plan Participants,

We want to invite you to participate in our next Game Plan session on Wednesday, March 3, 2021, from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm (virtual format: Zoom).  As we previously mentioned, the idea is that you must have a “game plan” to win in sports, and the same applies to success in academics.  Our series allows you to hear the game plans from former (collegiate and professional) athletes to aid you in your preparation.  Our next guest speaker is Angela Mercurio.

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Angela Mercurio

Biosketch

Angela Mercurio graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2019 with degrees in Biochemistry and Women’s and Gender Studies. She was a triple jumper on the track and field team and a 3-Time All-American, 2019 Big Ten Champion, and 2-Time Canadian National Team Member. Her athletic, academic, leadership, and community service accolades culminated in her winning the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year award. After graduating, she spent some time working at the Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC with the Women’s Sports Medicine Center. She is currently a first-year medical student at Harvard Medical School and is interested in sports medicine orthopedic surgery, mentorship, and authentic diversity and inclusion.

March 2021 – Angela Mercurio | Biosketch

Dear Game Plan Participants,

We want to invite you to participate in our next Game Plan session on Wednesday, February 3, 2021, from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm (virtual format: Zoom).  As we previously mentioned, the idea is that you must have a “game plan” to win in sports, and the same applies to success in academics.  Our series allows you to hear the game plans from former (collegiate and professional) athletes to aid you in your preparation.  Our next guest speaker is medical student Femi Oyewole.

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Femi Oyewole

Biosketch

Femi Oyewole went to the University of Massachusetts Amherst for undergrad where he majored in Biochemistry & Mathematics.  He played football for the university and during his time received both the Dean's list award and the Scholar Athlete award.  He took two years off after college to move to San Diego where he worked for TriLink Biotechnologies, a lab that makes custom oligonucleotides (basically DNA sequences).  Since arriving in medical school, he has been heavily involved in TA & tutoring positions, taught the MCAT summer course, worked in our student-run clinic EHHOP, and been involved in two publications.

February 2021 – Femi Oyewole | Biosketch

Dear Game Plan Participants,

We want to invite you to participate in our next "Game Plan" series meeting on Wednesday, December 2, 2020, from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm (virtual format: ZOOM). As we previously mentioned, the idea is that you must have a “game plan” to win in sports, and the same applies to success in academics. Our series will allow you to hear the game plans from former (collegiate and professional) athletes to aid you in your preparation. Our guest speaker is Dr. Aaron Bolds, MD, MBA, a resident at Mount Sinai Health System.

Dr. Aaron Bolds, MD event image

Dr. Aaron Bolds, MD

Biosketch

Dr. Aaron Bolds is an alumnus of Bowie State University, where he completed Biochemistry undergraduate studies in 2012.  Dr. Bolds then earned an MD, MBA dual degree from Howard University in 2018 and is currently completing a PM&R residency (Class of 2022 - PGY3) at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC. 

Dr. Bolds was an All-state high school basketball player in North Carolina and was blessed to receive a full athletic scholarship to Lenoir-Rhyne University and won a conference championship freshmen year before transferring to Bowie State University.  Due to injuries, personal and family reasons, Dr. Bolds decided to focus on medical school during his junior year.  Still, it was the love of basketball that sparked his interest in sports medicine and led him on a journey to becoming a physician for professional and elite athletes.

Dr. Bolds plans to pursue an Interventional Spine and Sports Medicine fellowship.  His passion is centered around mentoring and helping young students matriculate into undergraduate and professional programs.  Mentoring aligns with his mission to help bridge healthcare inequality gaps and increase the number of minority healthcare professionals.  Dr. Bolds plans to open a pain and sports medicine practice and emphasize overall health, fitness, and preventative medicine.

December 2020 – Aaron Bolds, MD

Dear Game Plan Participants,

We would like to invite you to participate in a new series called "Game Plan." Our first meeting has been finalized for Tuesday, November 17, 2020, from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm (virtual format: ZOOM). As we previously mentioned, the idea is that you must have a “game plan” to win in sports, and the same applies to success in academics. Our series will allow you to hear the game plans from former (collegiate and professional) athletes to aid you in your preparation. Our guest speaker is Dr. Joseph Herrera, DO, Chair, Department of Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, Mount Sinai Health System.

Dr. Herrara meeting graphic

Dr. Joseph Herrera, DO

Biosketch

Dr. Joseph E. Herrera was appointed the Lucy G. Moses Professor and Systems Chair for the Department of Rehabilitation and Human Performance for the Mount Sinai Health System. He joined Mount Sinai following the completion of an Interventional Spine and Sports Medicine Fellowship at Beth Israel Medical Center, New York.  He completed his residency and served as Chief Resident in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation through the combined program of Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and Weill Cornell Medical Center. Dr. Herrera is fellowship-trained in fluoroscopic guided and ultrasound-guided procedures for painful spine and joint conditions. The American Pain Society named him an American Pain Scholar. He has also received various awards for his clinical work, such as Castle Connolly’s Top Doctors, New York Times Super Doctors, and Best Doctors in America.

Dr. Herrera currently serves as an Official Medical Provider for Red Bull North America. He evaluates, treats, and maximizes the performance of Red Bull sponsored athletes. He served on the New York State Athletic Commission.  He was appointed Chief Team Physician for USA Boxing Metro, affording him the opportunity to treat and evaluate amateur and professional athletes.  He was awarded the Rocky Marciano Physician of the Year Award for Excellence in Sports Medicine.  He has authored and edited the textbooks “Manual to Musculoskeletal Medicine” and “Essential Sports Medicine.” He is the Chief Editor of the medical journal “Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine.” He also has publications in various textbooks and journals.

Dr. Herrera’s research and clinical interests include human performance, disruptive technologies, concussion, sports-related injuries, electrodiagnostic studies, and fluoroscopic guided spine and joint intervention.  His interventional procedures include but are not limited to interlaminar and transforaminal epidural injections, discography, and radiofrequency neurotomy.

November 2020 – Joseph Herrera, DO

Dear Game Plan Participants,

We want to invite you to participate in a new series called “Game Plan.” Our second meeting has been finalized for Wednesday, October 7th, 2020, at 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm (virtual format: ZOOM). As we previously mentioned, the idea is that you must have a “game plan” to win in sports, and the same applies to success in academics. Our series will allow you to hear the game plans from former (collegiate and professional) athletes to aid you in your preparation. Our guest speaker is Dr. Marshall Leonard (Emergency Medicine).

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Marshall Leonard, MD

Biosketch

Dr. Marshall Leonard was born in El Paso, Texas, and is currently a Physician of Emergency Medicine at Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, in Suffolk County, Long Island.  He grew up in the state of Georgia and attended Shaw high school.  He graduated and enrolled at the University of Virginia, where he played collegiate soccer, D1 NCAA Program.

In the 2002 MLS SuperDraft, he signed with the New England Revolution. Following retirement, he completed his medical degree at the Stony Brook School of Medicine in 2016, finished his emergency medicine residency in 2019, and completed a primary Sports Medicine fellowship at North Shore Manhasset hospital.

October 2020 – Marshall Leonard, MD

Dear Game Plan Participants,

We would like to invite you to participate in a new series called "Game Plan."  Our first meeting has been finalized for Thursday, September 17, 2020, at 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm (virtual format: ZOOM).  As we previously mentioned, the idea is that you must have a “game plan” to win in sports, and the same applies to success in academics.  Our series will allow you to hear the game plans from former (collegiate and professional) athletes to aid you in your preparation.  Our first guest speaker is Dr. Nate Hughes, MD (Anesthesiologist).

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Nate Hughes, MD

Biosketch

Dr. Nate Hughes was born in Jackson, Mississippi, and is currently in an Anesthesiology Fellowship at a University of Medicine and Dentistry, New Jersey (UMDNJ).  In second grade, during a “What I Want to Be When I Grow Up…” classroom assignment, young Nate Hughes wrote that he wanted to be a football player and a doctor.  His answers indicated a love for sports and medicine.  Dr. Hughes grew up learning about the medical profession from his father, Dr. Nate Hughes Sr., who was an Anesthesiologist at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) in Jackson, Mississippi.  Dr. Hughes Sr. retired earlier this year in March.

After high school, Dr. Hughes attended Alcorn State University (an HBCU), where he was a standout starting four-year wide receiver.  He caught 161 passes for 19 touchdowns and 2,415 yards.  While earning All-America honors, he also earned three Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) decathlon championships (2005, 2007, 2008), two time champion in the 400-meter hurdles (2007, 2008) and the 110-meter hurdles (2008).

Dr. Hughes graduated from Alcorn State University in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in Nursing (RN) and entered the NFL Draft.  He signed as an undrafted free-agent to the Cleveland Browns and had stints with the Kansas City Chiefs, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Detroit Lions.

During the 2011 NFL lockout, Dr. Hughes worked as a nurse and later enrolled in medical school in 2015.  It is no surprise that Dr. Hughes would attend the same university where his father worked and graduated to become an anesthesiologist like his father. 

Dr. Hughes completed his Residency at UMMC before moving on to a Fellowship at Rutgers University in New Jersey.  He is married with two beautiful daughters and enjoys mentoring the next generation of Scholar-athletes With Academic Goals (SWAG).

September 2020 – Nate Hughes, MD