Policy Corner: Concussion at the Forefront, With ACSM Leading the Way
The dangers of concussion in sport receive a startling reminder each time a professional athlete is prominently concussed. For every such incident, though, many more youth and collegiate athletes are put at risk through traumatic brain injury in play or practice. Lately, heightened awareness among professionals and their leagues has elevated the profile of concussion issues at every level.
Recent developments include:
ACSM and the NFL are teaming up to co-sponsor a congressional briefing on youth sports issues and concussion in Washington, D.C. The briefing will be held Sept. 23 from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m. in Room B369 – Basement of Rayburn House Office Building.
- Passage in several states of effective concussion laws based on Washington’s Zackery Lystedt Law
- Approval by the Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee of the Concussion Treatment and Care Tools (ConTACT) Act. The bill’s sponsors have asked for ACSM’s cooperation and guidance.
- Scheduling of a hearing (this Thursday, Sept. 23) of the House Education Committee regarding the proposed Protecting Athletes from Concussions Act, developed in consultation with ACSM experts.
- Presentation of a briefing (Sept. 23, following the hearing) for Members of Congress and legislative staff. Co-sponsored by ACSM and the National Football League (NFL), the briefing will feature several ACSM experts to discuss concussion and recommend policy solutions. ACSM members in the Washington, D.C. area are invited to participate.
Thursday’s briefing will feature a panel of noted experts who will address the spectrum of issues relating to the health and safety of youth athletes, with particular emphasis on policies to prevent and appropriately manage concussion.
Topics will include:
Speakers will include:
- Overview of health & safety issues in youth sports
- Personal testimony by a young athlete about her journey of recovery after an on-field concussion
- Concussion risks and consequences: Early recognition of concussion and “on-the-field” decision-making
- Management of concussion, advances in science, new trends, and the road to physical recovery
- Policy solutions: The Lystedt Law as a model for state legislation on concussion
- Review of federal legislation on concussion
- Questions and answers; discussion among policy makers and experts
For more information on this congressional briefing, please contact Sean Keefer, director of government relations and global health & science policy, at (317) 352-3843 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Congressman Mike McIntyre (NC-7), Co-Chair, Youth Sports Caucus
- Congressman Jim Jordan (OH-4), Co-Chair, Youth Sports Caucus
- Michael Bergeron, Ph.D., FACSM, Dir., Nat. Institute for Athletic Health & Performance, Sanford Medical Ctr.
- Gerard A. Gioia, Ph.D., Chief, Division of Pediatric Neuropsychology, Children's National Medical Center
- Kevin Guskiewicz, Ph.D., FACSM, Chair, Dept. of Exercise and Sport Science, U. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Stanley Herring, M.D., FACSM, U. of Washington Medical Ctr.; Team Physician, Seattle Seahawks
- Jeff Miller, Vice President, Government Relations & Public Policy, National Football League
- Stephen Rice, M.D., Ph.D., FACSM, Jersey Shore U. Medical Ctr.; Chair, ACSM Health & Science Policy Comm.
- Yvette Rooks, M.D., FAAFP, Head Team Physician, University of Maryland at College Park