Dr. Tanya J. Hagen - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Obituaries

Dr. Tanya J. Hagen

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Posted: Thursday, July 2, 2015 4:20 pm

After spending her life serving athletes at all stages of the game, Dr. Tanya J. Hagen deserves the title of pioneer. Dedicated in her professional endeavors and inspiring in her personal life, Tanya became a pillar in the Pittsburgh medical community.

Tanya passed away on Thursday, June 11 at the age of 45.

Tanya grew up in Coronado and was the daughter of Russell Hagen and Virginia Hagen Knox. She started Kindergarten at Glorietta Bay School and graduated from Coronado High in 1987 where she was senior class president.

A traumatic car accident in her high school years left friends and family questioning whether or not the talented, driven young woman would ever fulfill her dream of being a doctor. As she would prove again and again through her celebrated career, Tanya was a force to be reckoned with.

While completing her undergraduate degree in biology from University of California at Berkeley, Tanya developed an interest in sports medicine during a stint as a student athletic trainer. From there, she obtained a Master’s degree in physiology from Georgetown University where she graduated first in her class.

Upon her graduation from Georgetown’s School of Medicine in 1998, Tanya became the first female to be hired as a primary care physician at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s world-renowned sports medicine complex.

Already a well-respected medical figure, Tanya’s career would continue to soar. After completing postdoctoral research in female athletic injuries, the prevention and cure of musculoskeletal injuries, concussion prevention, and gender-based concussion studies, her finely-honed skills and extensive knowledge base became invaluable to local sports teams.

She would go on to be the first female doctor to travel with a professional football team when she signed on as a consultant for the Steelers’ medical team. The Penguins, Robert Morris, Point Park, University of Pittsburgh, the Passion women’s professional football team and several surrounding high schools all came to depend on Tanya’s abilities as she operated as the clubs’ physician, often serving multiple teams at once.

Her medical prowess was known and appreciated by all who experienced her care, but especially her superiors. The chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and UPMC, hired Tanya and regularly recommended her and even sent his own families to her.

As impressive as her work may be, her personal life was even more exceptional, according to those who knew and worked with her. Her compassion and sensitivity to patients and friends alike were championed by her coworkers.

Tanya fought for gender equality in sports, holding a position in the Women and Girls Foundation and focusing some of her research on problems in female athletics. Tanya provided medical care and spoke around the world. Last summer, at the request of Coronado resident and goddaughter Kate Buzby, she even gave an impromptu medical talk to Coronado Junior Lifeguards.

Tanya valued volunteerism and sought to instill a giving spirit in her two sons, Callen, 10, and Cash, 7, McAdams. In her spare time, she served as a medical and coaching volunteer with the Special Olympics, as a health care provider in Cameroon, Africa; at health clinics for the homeless, and has held several other medically based volunteer positions.

Her mother Virginia called her a “fierce woman,” able to bring out the best in anyone while simultaneously pushing them to their limits. Her sister Marta McClintock said she was a “rock star in everything she did.”

Tanya had been on the east coast since her days at Georgetown Medical School and had been planning a move back to Coronado with her sons at the end of this month. There was no place Tanya loved more than Coronado and she was really looking forward to finally coming home.

In addition to her mother Virginia Knox, ex-husband, and sons, Tanya is survived by a sister, Marta Kristine McClintock of Moscow, Idaho, and her stepfather, John O. Knox of Atlanta. Her father Russell Hagen passed away in 1991.

A celebration of Tanya’s life will be held on Sunday, August 2 from 2 to 5 p.m. at Coronado Yacht Club, 1631 Strand Way.