Once again, thank you for contributing to and caring about my efforts to spread concussion awareness, education, and prevention throughout Miami-Dade County and Florida. Countywide Concussion Care has made great progress in recent months. All of the Miami-Dade County public high school football players, over two thousand in total, have had a base line ImPACT test for the fall football season! The goal of protecting the student athletes of Miami-Dade County is now a reality. This would not have happened without the $35,000+ in donations that the supporters of Countywide Concussion Care have provided.
The following sports, for both JV and Varsity teams, will be tested for the 2011-2012 athletic seasons: football, girls volleyball, soccer, wrestling, baseball, softball, water polo, and lacrosse. Thirty-five high schools for football and thirty-seven high schools for girls volleyball have already been tested for the fall sports season. The other sports will be tested when the winter and spring athletic seasons draw nearer. On the county level, my goals are to spread ImPACT testing to as many sports as possible and to sustain ImPACT testing for years to come. I will also continue to speak about concussion awareness and to encourage private schools to use their resources to provide ImPACT testing to their students.
Though the attempt to pass the Youth Athlete Concussion Bill through the Florida Legislature did not end successfully, the effort to protect the student-athletes of Florida is undeterred. A renewed effort is underway to create a strategy to have the bill pass in the next Session. About half the states in the U.S. have passed similar legislation in the past two years. We are working with organizations such as the National Football League, the Florida Brain Injury Association and the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) to ensure that this important bill passes. The guidelines detailed in the bill will greatly increase the level of safety in Florida youth athletics. Good news – the FHSAA has agreed to implement the guidelines that would have been in the bill, even though the bill didn’t pass. This will not only protect Florida high school athletes, but will give momentum to the effort to pass the bill that will establish the guidelines for all Florida youth athletes.
Not only has Countywide Concussion Care continued to make progress on both county and statewide levels, but there is now also a Countywide Concussion Care website! It includes Countywide Concussion Care updates, news coverage, and many other great features, with more to come! Recent articles in The Miami Herald and The New Times that I am featured in will be posted to the website by the end of the week. The website is called www.countywideconcussioncare.com.
I strongly encourage you to check it out and give me feedback! Once again, thank you very much for supporting my efforts to protect the student athletes of Miami-Dade County and Florida. Hopefully, I will soon have more progress to report!