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Concussion Center at Saint Clare’s Ready for Impact

June 1, 2011

Super Bowl MVP Ottis Anderson to Join Training Session for Coaches, Trainers, and the Public

The Concussion Center for Children and Adolescents at Saint Clare’s Health System is pleased to announce two upcoming concussion seminars that will offer trainers, coaches, and the general public information on signs and symptoms of concussions.  The seminars will be held Tuesday, June 7, 2011 and Wednesday, June 8, 2011, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at the Hanover Marriott, 1401 Route 10 East, Whippany, NJ.  Admission is free; but registration is requested.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, more than 400,000 high school athletes suffer brain injuries, including concussions.  The vision of Dr. Sandy Waran, Medical Director of Saint Clare’s Children’s Neurology and Epilepsy Center, the Concussion Center for Children and Adolescents at Saint Clare’s provides a full range of testing, evaluation, treatment, and educational services.

“One of the most difficult problems facing sports medicine practitioners is the recognition, treatment, and management of athletes – especially student athletes - with head injuries,” said Dr. Waran.  Symptoms can include dizziness, confusion, nausea, slurred speech and memory problems – but may not be easily recognizable or diagnosed during a sporting event, and repeated concussions may lead to edema, swelling, herniation or death.

Diagnosing concussions is often a multi-step process, but can be helped by baseline testing – pre-testing of cognitive abilities and reactions that set a standard against which post-trauma abilities and reactions can be measured.  As per state law, New Jersey schools must develop a written policy concerning the prevention and treatment of concussions; many already include baseline testing as a requirement in order to participate in athletics.

Super Bowl XXV MVP and former New York Giants running back, Ottis Anderson is a fan of Saint Clare’s testing initiative, and looks forward to sharing his experiences.

 “I have certainly taken my share of hits and have probably had my share of concussions,” said Anderson.  “With baseline testing already in hand, and utilizing state-of-the-art technology, we can protect future athletes.”

Besides baseline testing, Saint Clare’s also offers post-concussion testing, physical and occupational therapy, cognitive testing and balance/vestibular testing.  Attendees at each of the seminars will have the opportunity to learn about return-to-play guidelines and the testing process itself, including a demonstration of ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Test).

“State and federal governments, and schools all across New Jersey, recognize the importance of properly recognizing and treating a concussion,” said Waran.  “Training the trainers is just another way we at Saint Clare’s are able to turn promise into practice for our community.”

IF YOU GO:  Saint Clare’s Health System Community Health Talk “Concussions and Your Child: Diagnosis, Treatment and Affects”, Tuesday, June 7, 2011 and Wednesday, June 8, 2011 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Hanover Marriott, 1401 Route 10 East, Whippany, NJ  07981.  The event is free, but registration is requested by calling 973-983-5576.

About Saint Clare’s Health System
Saint Clare’s Health System, which has served the healthcare needs of northwestern New Jersey residents since 1895, is the region’s premier provider of community-based healthcare and behavioral health services.  Saint Clare’s operates hospitals in Boonton Township, Denville, Dover and Sussex Borough and other facilities located throughout Morris and Sussex counties.

Saint Clare’s is part of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), a national nonprofit health organization with headquarters in Denver, Colorado. The faith-based system operates in 19 states and includes 73 hospitals; 40 long-term care, assisted- and residential-living facilities; two community health-services organizations; and home health agencies.

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Turning Promise Into Practice