American College of Sports Medicine
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The American College of Sports Medicine is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world.
Founded in 1954, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) promotes and integrates scientific research, education, and practical applications of sports medicine and exercise science to maintain and enhance physical performance, fitness, health, and quality of life. The ACSM national headquarters moved to Indianapolis in 1984, joining organizations such as the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the National Federation of State High School Associations, and national sport-specific governing bodies.
Members of ACSM work in a wide range of medical specialties, allied health professions, and scientific disciplines, and are committed to the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of sports-related injuries and the advancement of the science of exercise.
The current (2013-2014) ACSM elected offices are held by:
- President: William Dexter, M.D., FACSM, Maine Medical Center
- President-elect: Carol Ewing Garber, Ph.D., FACSM, Columbia University
- Immediate Past President: Janet Walberg Rankin, Ph.D., FACSM, Virginia Tech
- Second Past President: Barbara Ainsworth, Ph.D., MPH, FACSM, Arizona State University
The founding meeting of the "Federation of Sports Medicine" took place in New York City at the Hotel Statler on April 22, 1954, as part of the afternoon program of the American Association for Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (AAHPER). The following year, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) was officially incorporated, and 11 individuals were designated as founders. This group was composed of seven men and one woman with careers in physical education, and three physicians. The physical educators were Clifford Brownell, Ph.D. Ernst Jok, M.D., Peter Karpovich, M.D., Leonard Larson, Ph.D. Grover Mueller, M.S., Neils Neilson, Ph.D, Josephine Rathbone, Ph.D. and Arthur Steinhaus, Ph.D. Although they had training in physical education or were employed in departments of physical education, Jokl, Larson, Karpovich, and Steinhaus were primarily involved in research dealing with the physiology of exercise. The physicians were Louis Bishop, M.D., Albert Hyman, M.D., and Joseph Wolffe, M.D. All three were practicing cardiologists.
ACSM members represent more than 70 disciplines in sports medicine and exercise science.
ACSM membership is offered in six categories:
- Health & Fitness Professionals
ACSM has 12 Regional Chapters throughout the United States that ensure easy access to regional educational meetings.
ACSM's 12 Regional Chapters are:
- Alaska ACSM Regional Chapter
- Central States ACSM Regional Chapter
- Greater New York ACSM Regional Chapter
- Mid-Atlantic ACSM Regional Chapter
- Midwest ACSM Regional Chapter
- New England ACSM Regional Chapter
- Northland ACSM Regional Chapter
- Northwest ACSM Regional Chapter
- Rocky Mountain ACSM Regional Chapter
- Southeast ACSM Regional Chapter
- Southwest ACSM Regional Chapter
- Texas ACSM Regional Chapter
ACSM Journals, Books, and Publications
The American College of Sports Medicine has a publishing program made up of books and journals dating back to 1975. The four journals, several books and various multimedia resources serve ACSM’s diverse audiences.
ACSM’s four leading scholarly journals provide access to cutting-edge research, relevant clinical reports and recent health-and-fitness information.
ACSM publishes several books and multimedia resources to serve a variety of readers across the spectrum of students and teachers, researchers, M.D.’s and clinicians, public health professionals and those in the health and fitness industry. ACSM is best known for ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, first published in 1975.
Some of ACSM’s most popular titles include:
- ACSM’s Behavioral Aspects of Physical Activity and Exercise
- ACSM’s Exercise Management for Persons with Chronic Diseases and Disabilities
- ACSM's Health/Fitness Facility Standards and Guidelines
- ACSM’s Introduction to Exercise Science
- ACSM’s Resources for the Health/Fitness Specialist
- ACSM’s Resources for the Personal Trainer
ACSM holds two major conferences each year, dedicated to continuing education for professionals. The 2013 Annual Meeting was held in Indianapolis, Indiana. Other meetings include roundtable specialty conferences, Team Physician courses, and Regional Chapter meetings.
The American College of Sports Medicine was the first organization to certify health fitness professionals.
ACSM establishes the exercise guidelines that all other certifications use for training and certification.
The American College of Sports Medicine Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization affiliated with and developed to support the American College of Sports Medicine, Inc.
Awards & Scholarships: Each year the ACSM Foundation awards approximately $100,000 in research awards and scholarships. To sustain and build these funds, the Foundation conducts ongoing fundraising efforts.
Board of Directors: Current ACSM Foundation President, Jim Pivarnik, Ph.D., FACSM serves as Professor of Epidemiology and Kinesiology at Michigan State University. Officers of the ACSM Foundation board also include Dave Hillery, Treasurer and James R. Whitehead, Secretary & CEO/EVP of ACSM, Inc. Corporate representatives on the ACSM Foundation board include: Gatorade Sports Science Institute, Dairy Research Institute, eSigma Solutions, Anytime Fitness, LLC, and TogoRun. Partner representatives include Henry S. Miller, Jr., M.D., FACSM from Bowman Gray School of Medicine at Wake Forest University and Regional Chapters Trustee, Lynn Darby, Ph.D., FACSM.
ACSM supports evidence-based public policy that encourages healthy lifestyles and the safe enjoyment of sports and other physical activities. In addition, ACSM members serve as expert resources for federal, state and local policy makers, ensuring that decisions are founded on the latest research.
ACSM advocates on several different issues on the federal, state and local level. It is through this advocacy that ACSM is able to affect positive change that results in healthy lifestyles. Whether it’s physical activity guidelines legislation on the federal level or concussion legislation on the state level, ACSM plays an active role in policy discussions.