Monday, July 25, 2011

SportsSmart Program Gives Area Athletes Concussion Baseline Test

BROCKTON--A new partnership between Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital and five area high schools will help athletic trainers, coaches and school nurses provide orthopedic care, medical Care, physical therapy and concussion baselines for all athletes at the schools.
Participants from Brockton High School, Cardinal Spellman, Whitman-Hanson High School, Stoughton High, and East Bridgewater High will be a part of a new program, SportsSmart, that along with numerous services will include an ImPact test that creates a medical baseline of the student's brain in case of a concussion.
Brockton Hospital officials said in a prepared statement the ImPact program is used to create baselines for athletes, so when they experience a concussion, there is a way to measure against their normal reaction time.
The test shows a combination of memory, spatial recognition, color recognition, word recognition, reaction time and irritability.
Officials said a concussion cannot be "graded" because the same hit to the head affects different people in different ways.
Every athlete at a professional level performs the ImPact test as a baseline, officials said.
Schools in the ImPact testing program, which was launched earlier this month, will receive access to free impact testing by a certified impact consultant, and clinically managed pre-season conditioning, and 24/7 access to emergency medical care, radiology services, physical therapy-rehabalitation services, orthopedic surgeons, and a SportSmart medical director.
Also offered as a part of the SportSmart program are free educational forums for CEU credits for athletic directors and athletic trainers, presented by experts, including Dr. Ken Lawson,SportSmart Program Director and Chief of the Emergency Department at Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital.
Forum topics will include preseason nutrition and hydration, traumatic brain injury, and sudden cardiac arrest.
Many of these forums will be open to parents and teachers.
Bill Buckner, former Major League Baseball first baseman and manager of the Brockton Rox, is the program's spokesperson.
For more information, please visit
Photo above, courtesy Brockton Hospital. Pictured are members of Stoughton High's sports staff and officials from Brockton Hospital. From left to right: Dr. Ken Lawson, Stoughton Athletic Director Ryan Donahue and athletic trainer Jen Dowd, Stoughton Nursing Director Pat Small, Brockton Hospital Program Coordinator Linda McAlear, and CEO Kim Hollon.

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