St. Mary's Partnership Raises Concussion Awareness For Student Athletes

Share Article

Through the first partnership of its kind in the Tri-State area, St. Mary’s has joined Tri-State Orthopaedics and ProRehab to form St. Mary’s Concussion Alliance.

News Image
In the past three years ProRehab has performed baseline IMPACT testing on over 5,000 high schools, collegiate and professional athletes. These baseline tests are instrumental in providing critical neurocognitive information..."

Through the first partnership of its kind in the Tri-State area, St. Mary’s has joined Tri-State Orthopaedics and ProRehab to form St. Mary’s Concussion Alliance. The Concussion Alliance, comprised of the Tri-State’s most experienced Sports Medicine providers, has established a pathway for athletes to seek appropriate medical treatment and to use standard guidelines to return the athlete to play safely and quickly. The Concussion Alliance is also an educational resource for athletes, parents and coaches on the topic of concussions.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, concussions are among the most commonly reported injuries for the country’s 38 million boys and girls who participate in organized youth sports. Though most commonly associated with contact sports such as football and ice hockey, concussions can occur in all youth sports. Since the brains of adolescents have not yet fully developed, they run a higher risk of Second Impact Syndrome (SIS). SIS is known to cause severe brain damage and sometimes death.

Dr. Andrew Saltzman, who holds a Subspecialty Certification in Orthopaedic Sports Medicine, initiated this "Return to Play" concussion evaluation program two years ago at the request of the Certified Athletic Trainers, (ATC’s), who work for ProRehab. A combination approach of ImPACT baseline and follow up testing, along with a standardized post-injury activity progression, allow the team to determine when the athlete is safe to return to play. After receiving specialized training in concussion evaluation from Dr. Todd Arnold and Dr. Pat Kersey [both team physicians for the Indianapolis Colts], Dr. Saltzman instituted the same concussion evaluation protocol that is used by the NFL and NHL for the high school athletes in the Evansville area.

After seeing over 100 concussed athletes in the past two years, Saltzman noted "I am pleased that more coaches, parents, and athletes are becoming aware of current concussion evaluation techniques, and that we now have a "team" of physicians, ATCs, and other providers to continue this important work, and to expand its availability to more tri-state athletes.” Dr. Chip Walsh, Adult Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, and Dr. Tom Weinzapfel, Pediatrician, both St. Mary’s physicians, are also trained providers for concussion management and return to play guidelines for athletes. Dr. Glen Johnson and Dr. Ross Whitacre have also recently received their training and will be joining the group.

“In the past three years ProRehab has performed baseline ImPACT testing on over 5,000 high schools, collegiate and professional athletes. These baseline tests are instrumental in providing critical neurocognitive information for the physicians assessing the athlete,” said Concussion Alliance member Patrick Wempe, DPT and CEO of ProRehab, PC. “The last piece is the functional progression in which the physician, ATC, coach and parent can monitor the athlete’s symptoms to ensure a safe return to sport.”

Dr. Saltzman, Dr. Walsh and Pat Wempe, DPT are the medical providers for the Division I athletes at the University of Evansville. Dr. Johnson and Dr. Walsh are the team physicians for the Evansville IceMen professional hockey team. The St. Mary's Concussion Alliance is pleased to make their extensive experience with high level athletes available to younger athletes in the Tri-State.

For more information on the St. Mary’s Concussion Alliance call 812/403-DING (3464).

About ProRehab:
ProRehab is a private physical therapy practice with locations in Evansville, southwest Indiana and western Kentucky. Known for teaching and training physical therapists throughout the region, ProRehab physical therapists are proud that patients ask their doctors to send them to ProRehab for orthopaedic care. They deliver hands-on physical and occupational therapy based on the newest research to achieve the best results for patients with bad backs, achy joints, wounded hands, and sports and work injuries. Find ProRehab on Facebook, @ProRehab on Twitter, and FourSquare.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Andrea Baumann
Visit website

Media