Hackensack Meridian Health Jersey Shore University Medical Center Physician Stephen Rice, M.D., Receives Prestigious Sports Medicine Award

August 23, 2017

Stephen Rice, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., FACSM, FAAP, program director of the Pediatric Sports Medicine Fellowship program and director of the Sports Medicine and Concussion Center at Hackensack Meridian Health Jersey Shore University Medical Center, has been awarded the 2017 Citation Award by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) for his significant lifetime contributions and innovations to the fields of sports medicine and exercise science.

“This is an incredible honor,” said Dr. Rice, who has mentored more than 25 fellows and hundreds of residents and medical students at the nationally-recognized, fully-accredited training program at Jersey Shore University Medical Center. “There is no better feeling than being honored for something that you have passionately devoted your entire life to, and for that, I am thankful.”

Dr. Rice has been practicing for over 40 years, with much of his early career taking place on the West Coast. After completing his pediatrics residency at the Children’s Hospital in Seattle, WA, he obtained an M.P.H. from the University of Washington. He then led efforts to bring sports medicine care to inner-city schools and athletes in Seattle, and subsequently expanded these programs to interested school districts nationwide. In 1996, he was recruited to establish a sports medicine fellowship at Jersey Shore University Medical Center and moved to New Jersey.

Upon joining the faculty of the pediatrics residency program at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in 1996, he developed and implemented a fellowship program in pediatric sports medicine.  This fellowship program was the first pediatrics-based sports medicine fellowship to be accredited by the Residency Review Committee (RRC) for Pediatrics in 1999.

Throughout his career, Dr. Rice has provided event sideline coverage for high school football, youth soccer, wrestling and mass participation events and has contributed to over 100 original publications. He is currently the school district and team physician for Neptune School District, school district physician for Manasquan School district, team physician (with the sports medicine fellow) for Raritan High School in Hazlet, and recently completed 20 years as team physician for Georgian Court University. Dr. Rice is also one of the primary care physicians who provide coverage for Sky Blue soccer games, the women’s professional soccer team in New Jersey.

“I have made advocacy a pillar within organizations that I am involved in at both a local and national level, which has also helped the public appreciate the importance of physical activity being central to good health,” reflected Dr. Rice.

“I want to extend my sincerest congratulations to Dr. Rice on receiving this distinguished award,” says Kenneth N. Sable, M.D., president of Jersey Shore University Medical Center and K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital. “His contributions to sports medicine and exercise science, both regionally and nationally, continue to propel our hospital and health network forward. His exceptional patient-centered vision and numerous accomplishments are valued by not only the American College of Sports Medicine, but also by his colleagues and hospital family.”


ACSM is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. With more than 50,000 members and certified professionals worldwide, ACSM is dedicated to advancing and integrating scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine.

For more information, please visit ACSM.org.

Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care. Hackensack Meridian Health comprises 13 hospitals, including two academic medical centers, two children’s hospitals and nine community hospitals, physician practices, more than 120 ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services, lifesaving air medical transportation, fitness and wellness centers, rehabilitation centers, and urgent care and after-hours centers. Hackensack Meridian Health has 28,000 team members, more than 6,000 physicians and is a distinguished leader in health care philanthropy, committed to the health and well-being of the communities it serves.

The Network’s notable distinctions include having one of only five major academic medical centers in the nation to receive Healthgrades America’s 50 Best Hospitals Award for five or more consecutive years, the number one hospital in New Jersey as ranked by U.S. News and World Report, consistently achieving Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, recipient of the John M. Eisenberg Award for Patient Safety and Quality from The Joint Commission and the National Quality Forum, a six-time recipient of Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” one of the “20 Best Workplaces in Health Care” in the nation, and the number one “Best Place to Work for Women.” Hackensack Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium of leading health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies.