The First Miami-Dade Countywide Concussion Care Workshop presented by the KiDZ Neuroscience Center at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis and UHealth Sports Medicine Center

March 2, 2011 – The KiDZ Neuroscience Center at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis and the UHealth Sports Medicine Center will host the first Concussion Care Workshop March 3rd for more than 100 Miami-Dade County Public High Schools (M-DCPS) athletic trainers and athletic directors.  The event is intended to educate and implement in the M-DCPS Senior High Schools concussion management programs and ImPACT Testing.  The program will take the unprecedented step of implementing the performance of baseline neurocognitive testing this year for each student athlete in the contact sports of football, girls volleyball, boys and girls soccer, baseball and softball.

Presentations during the morning long conference will include experts in field and stakeholders in the fight against concussions including; Dr. Lee Kaplan, Director UHealth Sports Medicine Center, Vinny Scavo, UHealth Sports Medicine Director of Sports Medicine Services & Head Athletic Trainer, Cheryl Golden, Instructional Supervisor, Greater Miami Athletic Conference, Division of Athletic/Activities, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, David Goldstein, a student at Ransom Everglades who has suffered from concussions,  Dr. Kester Nedd, Director Neurorehabilitation UM/JMH and Co-Director Concussion Program at UHealth Sports Medicine, Dr. Gillian Hotz, Director KiDZ Neuroscience Center and Concussion Program at UHealth Sports Medicine, and  ImPACT Training via webinar from Doug Tauchen.  Marc Buoniconti, President of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis will offer the closing remarks.

“This Countywide Concussion Care Program will allow each High School Football Player and eventually every Junior Varsity and Varsity player in high risk sports baseline ImPACT testing.  This will allow us to have an objective cognitive assessment to assist in the management of their concussion and to returning them back to the game safely,” said Dr. Hotz.

“The M-DCPS are excited to help develop and implement Concussion Management Programs in the senior high schools athletic programs. The ability to implement ImPACT testing to our athletes is a huge tool to add to the education of our patents, student athletes, coaches, faculty and administrators help in the understanding of  the concussion diagnoses, treatment and safe return to play for all of our student athletes,” said Cheryl Golden.

The KiDZ Neuroscience Center (KNC) is under the auspices of The Miami Project.  The KiDZ Injury Prevention & Research Program will focus specifically on injury prevention in childhood.  The program will be dedicated to tracking the types, causes, and consequences of childhood injuries by using epidemiological tools to identify risk factors for injury.  This program will encompass the WalkSafe™, BikeSafe™, and Car Seat programs.  Dr. Hotz is the Director of the WalkSafe Program, which considered one of the best pediatric pedestrian injury prevention programs in the country.  Its primary goal is to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities of children (ages 5-13).  WalkSafe pioneered the injury prevention model which was adopted by the National Center for Safe Routes to School Initiative. Currently, a feasibility study is taking place for BikeSafe.   Dr. Hotz also directs the Concussion Program which serves the public and private high school and college sports teams (football, soccer, wrestling, etc.) and athletes from the community.  This program offers comprehensive evaluations and recommendations for returning to play safely.

ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) is the first, most-widely used, and most scientifically validated computerized concussion evaluation system.

Developed in the early 1990’s by Drs. Mark Lovell and Joseph Maroon, ImPACT is a 20-minute test that has become a standard tool used in comprehensive clinical management of concussions for athletes of all ages. ImPACT Applications, Inc. was co-founded by Mark Lovell, PhD, Joseph Maroon, MD, and Michael (Micky) Collins, PhD.

Given the inherent difficulties in concussion management, it is important to manage concussions on an individualized basis and to implement baseline testing and/or post-injury neurocognitive testing. This type of concussion assessment can help to objectively evaluate the concussed athlete’s post-injury condition and track recovery for safe return to play, thus preventing the cumulative effects of concussion. In fact, neurocognitive testing has recently been called the “cornerstone” of proper concussion management by an international panel of sports medicine experts.

Source : The Miami Project