For the past 25 years, Divers Alert Network and Rolex have collaborated to award one of the most prestigious honors in scuba diving, the DAN/Rolex Diver of the Year Award. This year, Karen Van Hoesen, Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine at University of California, San Diego Health System was selected by committee as the winner of this coveted award.
Van Hoesen’s involvement in scuba diving began at an early age where she was involved in snorkeling and free diving. Van Hoesen later attended Duke University and earned her degree in medicine before continuing her education in emergency medicine and undersea and hyperbaric medicine at the University of California, San Diego Medical Center from 1989-1993. Currently, Van Hoesen holds several distinguished positions including Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine, UCSD Medical Center, Director, UCSD Diving Medicine Center, and Director, UCSD, Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine Fellowship.
“We are very pleased to name Karen Van Hoesen as this year’s DAN/Rolex Diver of The Year Award winner,” said Bill Ziefle, President and CEO, Divers Alert Network. “Her lifelong dedication to advancing dive research and education exemplifies the qualities found in this distinguished group of award recipients. “This year, Karen’s achievements stood out amongst a group of very strong candidates nominated for the award and she should be very proud of this achievement,” added Ziefle.
“I am passionate about education and teaching divers and physicians about diving medicine and safety. Whether I am taking care of injured divers in our clinic or answering phone calls or emails as a referral physician…my greatest joy is improving diver health and fitness and keeping divers safe,” said Karen Van Hoesen. “Diving and DAN have been in integral part of my life even from a young age and I cannot begin to express my gratitude and appreciation for this recognition,” added Van Hoesen.
Van Hoesen will receive her award at the 2014 Beneath the Sea Dive Show in Secaucus, New Jersey, on March 28-30, where she will be presented with an Oyster Perpetual Rolex Dive Watch and a commemorative wall plaque. In addition, Rolex will donate $15,000 to DAN to fund this experience for the guest of honor and to support essential safety initiatives such as medical research, safety education and first aid training.