2013 Distinguished Alumni Award: Anthony E. Chiodo

Dr. Anthony “Tony” Chiodo is currently a professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers. There, he directs the multidisciplinary Spine Program for the management of patients with conditions and pain of the spine. He is also medical director and co-principal investigator of the Spinal Cord Injury Model System at the University of Michigan, one of fourteen such centers funded by the National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research. He directs and started the Adult Spasticity Clinic and was a founder of the Adult Assisted Ventilation Clinic. His current research interests include pain after spinal cord injury, sleep disordered breathing after spinal cord injury, and interventional management of painful spine conditions.

His national work includes being Treasurer of the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, one of twenty-four American Board of Medical Specialties member boards. He also serves on the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residency Review Committee, Pain Medicine Examination Committee, and is a committee chair for the American Board of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine.

He is proud of his Connecticut roots, having grown up in Ridgefield. After high school, he attended the University of Connecticut as part of the Honors Program, graduating with a B.A. in psychology. He then moved some forty miles down the road to attend the University of Connecticut Medical School in Farmington, graduating with his medical degree. It was at that point that he made his first trip to the University of Michigan, where he completed his Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation residency, followed by his fellowship in Neuromuscular Diseases.

He made further travels with his first job as the Director of Pediatric Rehabilitation at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. After four years, he took a position as the Director of Rehabilitation at a rehabilitation hospital adjacent to San Juan Regional Medical Center in Farmington, New Mexico. After building a program and serving the patients of the four corners, including the Navajo reservation, he returned to Ann Arbor to start his academic career. The rest, so they say, is history.

His father and siblings are still in Connecticut, for the most part, and he comes back to visit often. He sees several similarities between what goes on at the University of Michigan and in his time and in his correspondence with his alma mater: commitment to excellence, commitment to the state that each institution serves, and translating discoveries to the betterment of mankind around the world. These shared values keep him connected to the University of Connecticut.