Western alumnae Sandy Kirkley (MD’86) will be posthumously inducted into the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’s (AOSSM) Hall of Fame July 8 during its Annual Meeting in California, honouring her work in the field of sports medicine.
On Sept. 8, 2002, Kirkley and her husband Michael were killed in a plane crash.
Kirkley performed an orthopaedic sports medicine fellowship in 1993 while at Western before completing an orthopaedic surgery residency at McMaster University, where she also earned an MSc in Health Research Methodology in 2001. In addition to membership with a number of sports medicine journals, she assisted in editorial roles, including her time as a peer reviewer with the American Journal of Sports Medicine.
Kirkley served in numerous academic appointments at Western, including positions as an associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology and the Department of Surgery. She provided physician coverage for varsity teams from 1994-2001 and also served as the charge physician at the swimming and diving competitions in the 2001 Canada Games.
Kirkley was involved with AOSSM in a variety of areas, including as a traveling fellow in 2002 and as a representative for Canada on the Council of Delegates. Due to her outstanding body of research work, AOSSM honored her with the Sandy Kirkley Clinical Outcomes Research grant to support clinical trials in the sports medicine field.
She contributed to more than 60 pieces of published research in a combination of peer-reviewed and scientific journal articles, and contributed to more than 100 presentations in the sports medicine community. At the time of her death, Kirkley had nearly 20 research projects in process, several of which were continued in her absence and have produced ongoing knowledge of musculoskeletal injuries and prevention strategies.
In 2003, as a tribute to Kirkley, Western and the London Health Sciences Centre joined forces to establish the Dr. Sandy Kirkley Chair and The Dr. Sandy Kirkley Research Centre. The Kirkley Musculoskeletal Research program focuses on sport medicine, joint replacement, clinical epidemiology, biomechanics and medical imaging.