Making An Impact on Sports in Alabama and Beyond
By: Ann B. DeBellis Posted: Monday, June 18, 2012 4:13 pm Courtesy: Birmingham Business Journal
When your vocation and avocation are one and the same, it makes going to work every day a pleasure and recreation time more meaningful. Lawrence Lemak, MD, has turned his love for sports into a lifetime commitment to helping athletes recover from injuries and, in the process, has established a nationally renowned orthopedic sports medicine practice. His passion for the health and safety of athletes of all ages and for the enjoyment of sports in general has led him to establish several organizations that have left a mark on the sports community in the state of Alabama. “I played sports growing up and am still interested in sports. It is always something fun to do,” says Lemak, chief executive of Lemak Sports Medicine and Orthopedics in Birmingham. “The other aspect is working games and treating the athletes and helping them regain their health after an injury. I like putting things back together and it is fun spending time with the athletes.”
Lemak has practiced sports medicine from the beginning of his medical career. Even in the Army, he took care of athletes who were injured in base athletic competitions. “Treating athletes is memorable because I get to see the injury as it happens, especially from the sidelines in football, and I can assess the injury on the field,” he says. “Then I see the player in my office to do diagnostics, correct the problem and help get him or her back on the field.”
In addition to sports medicine, Lemak also specializes in arthroscopy and reconstruction of the knee, shoulder, hip and elbow. He has published numerous articles in medical journals and is a faculty member of the Minimally Invasive Surgery and Computer-Assisted Orthopaedic Surgery Symposium. Lemak, who also serves as Orthopedic Medical Director for Community Health Systems, is a member of the Board of Trustees of Alabama State University and serves as a medical advisor to more than 10 orthopedic medical companies.
Over the past 20 years, Lemak has treated more than 2,000 professional football players in his role as medical director of the NFL’s Europe League, the United Football League, and Major League Soccer. In April, he signed a deal with the City of Birmingham for Lemak Sports Medicine and Orthopedics to provide medical services for athletes and events at the Crossplex indoor track and field and natatorium facility in Birmingham’s Five Points West.
In addition to his work with professional sports athletes, Lemak also serves as team physician for many colleges and high schools. “My relationship with the high school programs is one of the things I have enjoyed the most over the years,” he says.