Contact Debra Schindler
Baltimore (September 18, 2012) – MedStar Sports Medicine and the Baltimore Ravens have joined efforts in a partnership to raise concussion awareness in the community. The organizations held a press conference at the Ravens’ Owings Mills headquarters on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012 at 11 a.m. to announce joint concussion awareness efforts and unveil a new public service announcement featuring Jameel McClain, Ravens’ starting linebacker and Andrew Tucker, MD, Ravens’ team physician.
MedStar Health, who has provided medical coverage to the Ravens since the 2004 season, joined efforts with the Ravens and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2011 in a public safety campaign addressing sports concussion awareness and prevention. The Ravens and MedStar Sports Medicine co-branded established CDC materials (coaches fact sheet, parents fact sheet, athletes fact sheet, coaches clipboard). The materials, highlighting the common signs, symptoms and treatment protocol associated with concussions, were distributed to more than 150 area youth and high school football coaches and athletic directors.
From partnerships with over 50 different organizations ranging from the professional, college, high school and recreational levels, MedStar Sports Medicine is seeing the impact concussion has on all ages. MedStar Sports Medicine developed a Concussion Program to provide education to players, coaches, athletic trainers and leagues about the seriousness of the injury and when to seek help. Our experts offer baseline (before play) and post concussion computer-based testing to aid physicians in determining the best course of treatment and when an athlete can safely return to sports and other activities. Athletic trainers are available for free phone consultation 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Ravens entered into a formal multi-year partnership with the MedStar Sports Medicine Concussion Program in 2011, providing a $25,000 grant to MedStar Sports Medicine each year for five consecutive years. Funding supports the Program’s community outreach, providing more education to coaches and parents. Funding also subsidizes the testing costs of student-athletes in the area, allowing screening for those who cannot afford it.
“MedStar Sports Medicine, like the Ravens, consider it to be of vital importance to work collaboratively to raise awareness,” said Lew Lyon, vice president of MedStar Sports Medicine. “Concussion is something unlike other injuries and awareness needs to be emphasized because we are all at risk - even the individual who doesn’t consider themselves an athlete.”
Anyone can suffer a concussion. By definition, a concussion is a type of brain injury caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works – this can occur in any athletic activity, as well as a motor vehicle crash or fall. Concussions left untreated can result in
significant long term consequences. In addition to prolonged symptoms and a delayed return to sport, school or work; an individual suffering from a concussion that has not healed is at an increased risk for severe brain injury or even death (Second Impact Syndrome).
Consistent with the Maryland and D.C. athletic concussion education and management laws passed in July 2011, athletes suspected of suffering a concussion must be removed from practice or play and returned only after clearance by a licensed health care provider. Because many athletes may not report their concussion symptoms, coaches, teammates and parents must be educated to recognize symptoms and signs of concussion.
MedStar Sports Medicine and the Ravens are leading the way in raising awareness about concussions and providing treatment to the region’s athletes. The partnership continues the commitment of both organizations to advance the safety of young athletes in all sports.
To learn more about the MedStar Sports Medicine Concussion Program, visit medstarsportsmed.org/concussion or call 888-44-SPORT (888-447-7678).
To view the PSA, as unveiled at the press conference, click here.
To view photos of the event, click here.
About MedStar Health
As the largest healthcare provider in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, MedStar’s nine hospitals, MedStar Health Research Institute and 20 other health-related organizations are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. MedStar Health combines the best aspects of academic medicine, research, innovation and treatments with a complete spectrum of clinical services to advance patient care. MedStar has one of the largest graduate medical education programs in the country, training more than 1,100 medical residents annually, and is the clinical partner of Georgetown University. As a $4 billion not-for-profit, regional healthcare system based in Columbia, Md., MedStar is one of the largest employers in the region. Our 27,000 associates, including more than 7,000 nurses and 5,600 affiliated physicians, support MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy that combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. Visit us at medstarhealth.org.