Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers’ Society Enters 2nd Year of a Partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Health to Enhance Traumatic Brain Injury Education

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The Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers’ Society (PATS) partnered when they were awarded a 4 year Traumatic Brain Injury Grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration. Using ConcussionWise trainings, the focus is to provide culturally competent, skills-based traumatic brain injury educational trainings to individuals involved with youth athletes, in addition to a peer-reviewed course for physicians.

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The Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers’ Society (PATS) enters its second year of participation with the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) utilizing the four year Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) grant received from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). PATS, in collaboration with the Sports Safety International (SSI) and the Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMed), have conducted numerous ConcussionWise trainings. These educational programs provide culturally competent, skills-based TBI trainings to professionals involved with youth athletes as well as physicians. Professionals involved with youth athletes 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.

These ConcussionWise trainings were established to meet the initial objectives to Increase TBI knowledge in the athletic community particularly in programs serving young children, increase appropriate referrals for young athletes who have sustained a brain injury and to increase the knowledge of the medical community, specifically primary care physicians and emergency room physicians about TBI and available TBI resources in PA. These programs have been peer-reviewed and are consistent with the latest science and practical applications regarding the prevention and management of concussion.
The ConcussionWise™ DR program is a separate education initiative to ensure that physicians across the Commonwealth are knowledgeable on the topic of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and are trained in current peer-reviewed research about the management of concussions. Two Continuing Medical Education (CMEs) units will be provided to physicians who take the course. Normally $59, this online course is available for free to the first few hundred Pennsylvania physicians who sign up thanks to a grant made possible by the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH). Pennsylvanian physicians interested in the training course can go to http://www.concussionwise.com/pa-physician

Approximately 3,000 physicians in the Commonwealth received a personal invitation to participate in the ConcussionWise™ DR education program. From April 2015 through September 2015, PATS, in conjunction with PAMed, has issued 166 codes to physicians to complete the ConcussionWise™ DR educational program. PATS has also issued 83 codes for athletic trainers to become ConcussionWise™ Instructors (CWI). There has been 23 face to face presentations provided by athletic trainers, reaching over 750 attendees from diverse populations including administrators, coaches, parents, and athletes participating in youth sports in the Commonwealth. In addition, PATS attended the Penn State / Hershey Third Annual Central Pennsylvania Sports Medicine Symposium where they invited a combined audience of 250 physicians and Athletic Trainers to participate in ConcussionWise education programs.    

Utilizing funds from the awarded grant, PATS also produced the television documentary, “A Consumer’s Guide to the Management and Care of Concussion” that was aired on the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN) Sunday Fusion program. The production was aired for six consecutive Sundays in July and August.

PATS continues to schedule and complete face to face educational regional presentations across the Commonwealth. During year two of the grant, a goal is to collaborate with the Pennsylvania Society for Physican Assistants (PSPA) to invite Physician Assistants to participate in the ConcussionWise™ DR educational program as they are often the initial health care provider an athlete sees in the physician’s office.

The Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers’ Society (PATS) can utilize their trained ConcussionWise™ Instructors (CWI) from across the Commonwealth to increase the concussion knowledge in the athletic community particularly in programs serving young children. The live program generally lasts about 60 minutes and can be presented to any size audience. To set up a local concussion education program in your Pennsylvania community please contact PATS at secretary@gopats.org

All of the ConcussionWise Pennsylvania online programs can be found at http://www.concussionwise.com/pennsylvania.

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 at patsexecutivedirector(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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