Pittsburgh, September 27, 2018 -- Joseph Maroon, MD, renown health and sports medicine expert and Heindl Scholar in Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh, was presented the Humanitarian of the Year Award by the Jerome Bettis Bus Stops Here Foundation at the group's 13th Annual Caring for Kids Gala, September 27, at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh Steeler Ryan Shazier was also honored at the gala, receiving the Most Courageous Man of the Year Award for his remarkable recovery from a severe spinal cord injury suffered in a 2017 game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Dr. Maroon has been extensively active in numerous charity events and fundraisers in the Pittsburgh area over the last 30 years, most recently for the Chuck Noll Foundation for Brain Injury Research.
A video featuring National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell was presented at the gala acknowledging Dr. Maroon and Shazier for their work and contributions. In 1982, Dan Rooney appointed Dr. Maroon as the Steelers' neurosurgeon—the first such role in the league—and he has served in that role ever since. He has also served on the NFL's Head, Neck and Spine Committee for 12 years and he has written and published extensively on managing concussions and head and spine injuries in athletes of all ages, from youth football to the pros.
"It is a great honor for me to be recognized," Dr. Maroon noted. "I have a great relationship with the Steelers family for over 30 years and both Jerome and Ryan are great examples of both quality and caring players. I encourage every Steelers fan to join me for a great evening of storytelling and learning more about Caring for Kids organization."
The Jerome Bettis Bus Stops Here Foundation was created in 1997 by the Pro Football Hall of Fame running back to provide opportunities for inner-city youth to succeed and become productive individuals in today’s society. Bettis has said that he wants to lead by example and give back to societies and communities, which enabled him to achieve the level of success he has acquired. He strongly believes that in addition to his parents and extended family, a multitude of individuals and programs assisted in shaping his life. Now, it is his turn to impact the lives of our youth.
Prior year awardees include Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback Ben Roethlisberger; Dick’s Sporting Goods president Ed Stack, and Pittsburgh Steeler running back James Conner.