Concussion Initiative Committee committed to bringing the best of their knowledge across multiple disciplines to create a model that can be replicated nationwide

ALBANY, NY: June 13, 2017 – The Brain Injury Association of New York State (BIANYS) announced today a Concussion Initiative comprised of leading medical professionals in the various fields of concussion across New York State.  The announcement comes following the statement release of new guidelines, written by an international panel of concussion experts and recently published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

The Concussion Initiative Advisory Committee was developed by the organization with an interdisciplinary approach to achieve the following goals: evaluate existing pertinent legislation, identify gaps, and advocate for stronger regulations to ensure successful outcomes; identify and implement protocols to ensure a successful Return to Life strategy for concussion survivors; and lastly to  implement a statewide educational standard for education and health professionals that can be used to serve all New Yorkers.

The committee, which is led by co-chairs Commissioner of Department of Mental Health for Westchester County Dr. Mark Herceg and Pediatric Psychologist Dr. Andrew Hess consists of 22 members.  The committee is comprised of professionals and specialists in the fields of concussion research, brain injury rehabilitation, community resources, education, athletics as well as state agencies. The committee also includes Dr. John Leddy, a professor of orthopedics at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo, and co-author of the new consensus document.

“We are excited to announce this initiative,” said Dr. Andrew Hess, BIANYS Board Member and Co-Chair for the Concussion Initiative. “This group of professionals has been working behind the scenes for nearly a year and our announcement of this is timely with the recent statement release following the 5th International Conference on Concussion in Berlin.  The committee is committed to getting the word out about these guidelines and to put New York State on the forefront of what we hope will become a results-driven model focused on concussion prevention and management across all ages and stages of life.”

The efforts of the Concussion Initiative are supported by the recently released Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport. The Statement provides insight into changes in best practices of concussion management, with highlights of the statement including:

  • A focus on the use of symptom-limited activity versus full rest for those who sustain concussion
  • Clear guidelines on establishing a return-to-school protocol and ensure that it is completed before return-to-play is considered with a focus on mental exertion as well as physical symptoms of concussion
  • Rehabilitation, specifically the need for referrals to specialized programs if there is a slow or complicated recovery
  • A strong statement on the importance of helmet use in skiing and snowboarding, as well as other sports

A complete list of committee members and their respective institutions can be found on the here.

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