As Arizona schools open their doors for returning students and sports teams begin practicing for fall season, coaches, athletic trainers, athletic directors, medical professionals and others concerned about protecting high school athletes from the effects of concussions, gathered for the Arizona Concussion Summit sponsored by Mayo Clinic, Arizona State University and Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
The Summit was held on Saturday, August 20, 2011, an important date recognized by Governor Jan Brewer as Concussion Awareness Day in Arizona. Presenters from Mayo Clinic included Wyatt Decker, M.D. and CEO, David Dodick, M.D., Professor of Neurology, and Bert Vargas, M.D., Asssistant Professor of Neurology.
Dr. Dodick explains some of the key topics covered during the Summit such as recognizing the signs and symptoms of concussion, the changes in brain function that occur after concussion, the proper evaluation and management of the concussed athlete, and helping health care providers make return-to-activity decisions:
Throughout the Summit a common phrase surfaced ”when in doubt, sit them out and then check them out.” Bert Vargas, M.D. shows us how this simple statement can really make a big difference in the recognition and treatment of concussed athletes:
Wyatt Decker, M.D. and CEO shares how Mayo Clinic is dedicated to providing preventive and post concussion solutions for all patients and others in the community:
While the Summit aimed to raise concussion awareness throughout the state, Dr. Vargas explains how the pilot telemedicine program will be pivotal in providing expertise care to concussed athletes in rural Arizona area:
David Dodick, M.D. captures the importance of raising concussion awareness and how collaboration between Mayo Clinic, Arizona State University and Phoenix Children’s Hospital brought us one step closer to this goal:
Attendees at the Summit not only heard from experts in the field of concussion diagnosis and management, but also had an opportunity to catch a glimpse into the personal experiences of two well known athletes who had suffered concussions in their careers, Picabo Street and Steven Threet, retired Arizona State University quarterback.
In the end, Picabo Street, Gold medal Olympic winner and World Champion, American Alpine ski racer shares how having the proper treatment to manage concussions allows children to ultimately pursue their dreams: