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Internationally recognized trailblazer in health promotion, sports medicine at OHSU receives Lifetime Achievement Award

The President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition (PCFSN) will honor Linn Goldberg, M.D., with its Lifetime Achievement Award at its annual meeting in Washington, D.C., May 1, 2012.

Lifetime Achievement Awards are given to individuals whose careers have greatly contributed to the advancement or promotion of physical activity, fitness, sports and nutrition-related programs nationwide, according to the President's Council. Recipients are selected by PCFSN members based on the span and scope of their career, the estimated number of lives they have touched and the impact of their legacy.

Goldberg, an internationally recognized expert on researching, diagnosing and treating medical illnesses that impair physical activity, is the co-founder and longtime head of Oregon Health & Science University's Division of Health Promotion and Sports Medicine.

Goldberg may be best known for co-creating the groundbreaking health promotion and drug abuse prevention programs for teen athletes called ATLAS and ATHENA. The NIH-studied, award-winning programs promote physical activity, healthy nutrition and athletic achievement as alternatives to performance-enhancing and illicit drug use, and other health harming behaviors, using student-athlete peer leaders to educate their teammates in small groups.

Today, more than 80,000 high school athletes and their coaches in 45 states and the District of Columbia participate in ATLAS and ATHENA thanks to funding provided by the National Football League, Sports Illustrated, community groups and private foundations.

ATLAS and ATHENA have been honored by the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the U.S. Congress, the Federal Interagency Working Groups on Youth Programs, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (Model Program Award), the U.S. Department of Education (Exemplary Program Award), Office of Juvenile Justice (Model Program Award), and the World Anti-doping Agency. In 2010, Sweden's Queen Silvia honored Dr. Goldberg with the Mentor International Achievement Award for development and dissemination of ATLAS and ATHENA.

Goldberg's scientific advancements regarding physical activity and nutrition span nearly 30 years, from publishing the first study demonstrating cholesterol level improvement after strength training in the 1984 Olympic Edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), to the 2010 New England Journal of Medicine report on the HEALTHY trial, as one of its seven principal investigators.

The multi-site National Institutes of Health-funded HEALTHY trial involved 6,000 middle school students and illustrated how peer educators, team-based health classes, and revamped food service and physical education instruction can reduce childhood obesity, providing a new model for health promotion in our nation's schools.

Goldberg co-developed the National Cancer Institute-funded PHLAME firefighter wellness program. This team-centered exercise and nutrition intervention reduced medical costs and work-related injuries and is now disseminated to firefighters throughout the United States.

His myriad achievements also include publishing more than 235 scientific publications; and co-authoring a preeminent medical textbook, "Exercise for Prevention & Treatment of Illness," and the highly regarded lay book, "The Healing Power of Exercise, explaining how to prevent and treat common medical problems through physical activity."

Most recently, Goldberg developed the Healthy Team Healthy U wellness program for Oregon Health & Science University's nearly 14,000 employees.

The 2012 PCFSN Lifetime Achievement Award recipients are: Goldberg; Thomas McKenzie, Ph.D., emeritus professor in the San Diego State University School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences; Jacki Sorensen, originator of Aerobic Dancing; Charles Sterling, Ed.D., chairman of Youth Initiatives at The Cooper Institute and Chairman of the FITNESSGRAM Board of Trustees; and Pat Summitt, Hall of Fame University of Tennessee Head Women's Basketball Coach Emeritus.

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