Honoring the Volunteer Service of
Michael M. Romash, MD
Like many orthopaedists, Dr. Michael Romash developed an interest in his specialty on the playing field. A high school football player, he originally studied engineering at West Point, but remained fascinated by the mechanics of the human body. After graduating in 1968, he served as a Field Artillery Officer in Germany, and when the Army offered to train regular Army officers to become physicians, he returned to the States to enroll in Temple University of Medicine. He completed his residency in orthopaedic surgery at Tripler Medical Center in Hawaii, where he later became Chief of Joint Replacement and Foot and Ankle Services. He did his fellowship in Adult Reconstructive Surgery, Sports Medicine at Duke University Medical Center. Dr. Romash served as physician for the 82nd Airborne Division for three years.
He joined Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center in Chesapeake in 1988, recently celebrating his 25th year in practice.
For nearly every one of those years, Dr. Romash has volunteered his time and talent on behalf of local athletes, particularly those on the soccer field. He has coached the Chesapeake United Soccer Club for 20 years. He coached the Great Bridge girls’ Junior Varsity soccer team for 14 years, and served as assistant coach to the Varsity girls. He’s a former Interim Director of Coaches for the Chesapeake United Soccer Club, and served on its Board of Directors. He served as the Southeast Region Olympic Development Coach, and is on the Virginia Youth Soccer Association Combined Coaching Faculty, where he presents coaching education courses to other coaches. He holds a National A license with the United States Soccer Foundation.
Since Hickory High School opened in 1996, Dr. Romash has proudly been “the doc on the field.” For him, it’s just a question of paying it forward. “When I was in high school playing football, there was always a physician on the field for us,” he remembers. “And when I was in med school, there were professors who took me under their wing. They didn’t have to, but they did.”
It’s the idea of helping young people that inspires him. And it doesn’t stop on the playing field: he’s equally interested in helping them move forward in their lives and careers. For the past 15 years, he has co-sponsored the High School Sports Medicine and Anatomy program at Great Bridge High School with Sharon Ivey. “We have students come to the office, and even accompany us to the operating room,” Dr. Romash says, proudly adding, “It’s been a very fruitful program, in that a couple of the surgical assistants now working at Chesapeake Regional Medical Center were high school students who went through the program.”
In addition, each year, Dr. Romash works with Mrs. Ivey to identify two students who excel in the program. They are presented with a medical text book, and he’s quick to boast that one of the past recipients, Lena Sifen, now works with him as his Physician’s Assistant. Others have gone on to pursue physical therapy, nursing and medicine.
One of his proudest accomplishments was working with Mr. Bullock, whose son died tragically while on the basketball court. “I was proud to be a member of the board of the Bullock Foundation which was established in his son’s name,” Dr. Romash explains. “We raised awareness, and we raised money, and we were able to get defibrillators placed in all the local schools. Of course, now they’re readily available, but back then, it was quite a coup.”
As he embarks on his second 25 years, he’s starting to attack his bucket list: this summer’s trip to Alaska will include a ride on a zip line.
If you know physicians who are performing good deeds – great or small – who you would like to see highlighted in this publication, please submit information on our website – www.hrphysician.com — or call our editor, Bobbie Fisher, at 757-773-7550.