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BIAA Participates in White House Summit on Youth Sport Concussions


The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) is an invited participant at today’s White House Healthy Kids and Safe Sports Concussion Summit, where President Obama will announce new public and private initiatives to improve prevention, identification, and management of youth sports concussions.

Greg O’Shanick, M.D., former chairman of the board and medical director emeritus of BIAA, will represent the organization and discuss BIAA’s efforts surrounding youth sport concussion interventions. Dr. O’Shanick has treated patients with brain injuries for more than 30 years and has served on the faculties of three different medical schools in addition to his work with BIAA and in private practice.

With a generous grant from SAP, the world leader in enterprise software solutions, BIAA is developing an app that will give parents, teachers, coaches, and allied health professionals a platform to communicate with one another. The app will also provide tools to help parents and students know when it is safe to return to school after concussion.

“Teamwork does not end on the playing field,” Dr. O’Shanick said during a meeting on BIAA’s work on youth sport concussions. “When it comes to concussion, student athletes need a full circle of support.”

Youth sport concussion legislation has been enacted in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, due in large part to the advocacy efforts of BIAA’s network of state affiliates. All of the statutes include return-to-play provisions but only three – New York, Nebraska, and Virginia – include return-to-learn components that help get students back in the classroom.

“We need to redefine what it means to ‘get back in the game,’” said Susan Connors, president/CEO of BIAA. “Student athletes are students first; they need to get back in the classroom as well as back on the field.”

The White House Summit will highlight the recommendations of the National Academies’ Institute of Medicine and National Research Council pertaining to sports-related concussions in youth. Connors said BIAA supports these recommendations, emphasizing, “a concussion is a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Everyone who sustains a TBI should have an accurate, timely diagnosis and access to evidence-based, age-specific treatment, including rehabilitation.”

BIAA endorses the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation’s Guidelines for Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and Persistent Symptoms and calls for their adaptation for youth and widespread adoption in the U.S.

In addition, BIAA recognizes the value of conducting annual baseline testing to reveal potential cognitive impairment sustained both on and off the field.


The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) is the country’s oldest and largest nationwide brain injury advocacy organization. Our mission is to advance brain injury prevention, research, treatment, and education, and to improve the quality of life for all individuals impacted by brain injury. Through advocacy, we bring help, hope, and healing to millions of individuals living with brain injury, their families, and the professionals who serve them.

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