PR-BRAIN INJURY ASSOCIATION TO HOLD STATEWIDE YOUTH SPORTS INJURY CONFERENCE OCTOBER 24, 2006 in Marlborough; will feature noted boxer, health and legal experts

30 Lyman St.· Westborough, MA 01581 · 508-475-0032 ·                
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                           October 5, 2006
BRAIN INJURY ASSOCIATION TO HOLD STATEWIDE YOUTH SPORTS INJURY CONFERENCE OCTOBER 24, 2006 in Marlborough; will feature noted boxer, health and legal experts
Last year, some 7 million US students took part in high school sports—and an important upside is that physical activity can have positive effects on health. But there can also be a downside: high school athletes experience 2 million injuries each year. Many of those injuries are visible–cuts, bruises, broken bones—and heal with time. But injuries to the  brain cannot be seen—and atheletes who go back into play after being hit in the head risk further damage that can alter their  lives forever.

“Every year in the US, more than 300,000 people incur brain injuries in recreation and sports activities—often with tragic results,” says Arlene Korab, Executive Director of the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts (BIAMA). “But in recent years, there have been many advances in preventing, recognizing and dealing with head injuries. Through immediate action, it is often possible to minimize damage that could otherwise shatter many lives.”

To provide professionals and the public with up-to-date information on the best responses to head injuries in young athletes, BIAMA will hold a statewide conference from 7:30-3:45 PM on Tuesday, October 24 at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel and Trade Center in Marlborough.

The conference, entitled “Playing It Safe,” will offer the latest knowledge about diagnosing, assessing and managing sports-related brain injuries. The program is aimed at coaches, fitness instructors, activity directors, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, doctors, nurses, and parents.

Co-sponsored by Emerson Hospital of Concord, Ma, and the May Institute, of Randolph, the conference will feature:

  • Keynoter Chris Nowinski, a wrestling star and brain injury survivor. Nowinski will discuss his recent book: “Head Games: the Concussion Crisis in Football.”
  • Don Del Negro, MS, ATC/L/CSCS, head athletic trainer for the Boston Bruins
  • William Braun, a former high school football player who sustained a permanent brain damage after being sent back onto the field with an undiagnosed concussion by a coach, who was also his father. William and his father will speak on a panel about Pop Warner Football along with neurotrauma rehabilitation specialist Beth A. Adams, M.Ed. LRC and Robert C. Cantu, MD MA, FACS, FACSM, Chief of Neurosurgery and Director of the Sports Medicine Service at Emerson Hospital .
  • Presentations on how to evaluate when young athletes with head injuries should be sent home or to the hospital; handling head injuries in the emergency room; and legal and liability issues for athletic programs and coaches
  • Workshops on computer-based neurological testing and on sideline recognition and management of head and spine injuries.

Continuing education certifications are available for nurses, certified athletic trainers, and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs). Registration fees, which are tax-deductible, are $100 for nurses, $75 forEMTs and athletic trainers, and $50 for all others.

For more information or to register, contact the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts 30 Lyman St. Westborough, MA 01581, telephone 5058-475-0032; fax 508-475-0040.
The Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts (BIAMA) is a nonprofit corporation providing support, information, prevention, education and advocacy services for individuals, families, professionals and the general public, statewide. Headquartered in Westborough, BIAMA is one of 43 state organizations affiliated with the National Brain Injury Association, which is based in McLean, Virginia.