Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers’ Society Partners with Department of Health to Enhance Traumatic Brain Injury Education

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The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) was recently awarded a 4-year traumatic brain injury (TBI) grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The overarching goal of the HRSA grant program is to address barriers to needed services encountered by children, youth and adults with TBI.

“Managing a concussion takes an athlete centered, physician led team approach that includes parents, athletic trainers, physicians, & other healthcare professionals working together.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) was recently awarded a 4-year traumatic brain injury (TBI) grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The overarching goal of the HRSA grant program is to address barriers to needed services encountered by children, youth and adults with TBI. HRSA has identified a nationwide trend of four common barriers to accessing TBI care and services.

The Pennsylvania DOH selected to partner with the Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers’ Society (PATS) to address the needs of athletes of all ages. The objectives are to (1) Increase TBI knowledge in the athletic community particularly in programs serving young children; (2)Increase appropriate referrals for young athletes who have sustained a brain injury;(3) Increase the knowledge of the medical community, specifically primary care physicians, medical home providers, and emergency room physicians, about TBI and available TBI resources in PA.

“We’re excited for this opportunity to partner with PATS and build upon our previous successful collaborations. Through this initiative we’ll be able to reach one of the most vulnerable populations: the young athletes.” Carolyn S. Cass, Pennsylvania Department of Health.

For this set of ambitious goals, the Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers’ Society will team with Sport Safety International (SSI) and the Pennsylvania Medical Society to conduct DOH approved ConcussionWise trainings which provide culturally competent, skills-based Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) trainings to professionals involved with youth athletes as well as physicians.

“As a former high school and college athlete as well as a parent of a lacrosse player, I’ve seen many young competitors sit out of games because of concussions,” said Karen Rizzo, MD, president of the Pennsylvania Medical Society. “Managing a concussion takes an athlete-centered, physician-led team approach that includes parents, athletic trainers, physicians, and other healthcare professionals working together. The educational initiative through the Pennsylvania DOH grant and the Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers’ Society will strengthen the care an athlete receives, hopefully returning them to competition when fully healed.”

Professionals involved with youth athletes could include, but are not limited to coaches, officials, school nurses, practitioners, teachers, community sports programs, community members, and/or providers of recreational opportunities which could result in physical injury. The ConcussionWise training meets the Pennsylvania Safety in Youth Sports Act educational requirements. All participants of the ConcussionWise training will be able to receive a certificate of completion and be placed on the ConcussionWise registry.

TheConcussionWise program for doctors will be a separate education initiative to ensure that physicians across the Commonwealth are knowledgeable on the topic of TBI and are trained in current peer-reviewed research about the management of concussions. Continuing Medical Education (CMEs) units will be provided to physicians who take the course as well as a “Recognition Database” that is searchable to the public in order to find a local physician trained in the most up-to-date training in the evaluation and management concussions. The clinical content of the course was peer-reviewed and approved by the Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians, Pennsylvania Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics, Pennsylvania College of Emergency Physicians, Pennsylvania Neurological Society, Pennsylvania Orthopaedic Society, and the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Society.

For more information regarding this topic or to schedule an interview with PATS President John Moyer LAT, ATC, please contact Linda Mazzoli MS, LAT, ATC, PATS Executive Director atpatsexecutivedirector(at)gopats(dot)org

The Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers' Society, Inc. is a progressive organization of licensed health care professionals who work under the direction of a licensed physician. Our society continues to increase public awareness and education regarding Athletic Trainers and the Athletic Training profession while serving as the premier source of information for public safety, injury and illness prevention, early intervention, patient care, and healthcare delivery for the physically active in the Commonwealth.

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