Evolution of Sport-Related Concussion the Focus of Mercy Health - Youngstown Symposium July 27

YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO (July 24, 2017) – According to the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) Research and Education Foundation, a youth athlete seeks emergency medical treatment for a sports-related concussion every three minutes. Mercy Health - Youngstown is working to ensure those in the Mahoning Valley have access to the most current and effective evaluation and treatment protocols.


The healthcare leader will host “2017 Concussion Symposium: Evolution of Sport-Related Concussion and Where We Are Today” on Thursday, July 27 from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Targeted to healthcare professionals involved in the care of concussion patients – primarily physicians, athletic trainers, physical therapists and EMS professionals – the symposium will take place at the McKay Auditorium in Youngstown State University’s Beeghly Hall. The educational event was developed in collaboration with the university.


Healthcare professionals play vital roles in the prevention, evaluation/diagnosis and treatment of sport-related concussion. And because the scientific research and treatment protocols for the condition are evolving, ongoing education is integral to the most effective prevention and care. According to Ryan Foertch, ATC, director of orthopaedics and sports medicine for Mercy Health - Youngstown and a certified athletic trainer, the rate of change in the field of sport-related concussion was the inspiration for the symposium.


“Especially during the past decade, we’ve seen rapid evolution of the protocols for evaluating and treating sport-related concussion,” Foertch said. “Our goal is to provide contemporary information related to the care and treatment of patients with these types of injuries.”


The keynote speaker for the symposium is Michael “Micky” Collins, PhD, associate professor of orthopaedic surgery for the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr. Collins is an internationally renowned expert in sports-related concussion. Each day, he sees dozens of high school, collegiate and professional athletes with concerns about safe return to play following concussion. He’s been instrumental in the development of numerous national youth concussion management programs, including the Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT®) system, which is the most widely used and scientifically validated computerized concussion management tool.


All of Mercy Health - Youngstown's athletic trainers have either completed or are undergoing ImPACT training, with several of the provider’s primary care and physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians also having ImPACT expertise.


Concussion Symposium sessions include:


  • Moving Toward a Targeted Approach to Concussion Assessment and Active Rehabilitation
  • Concussion Advancements: From Risk Factors to Treatment
  • Psychosocial Aspects Related to Concussions
  • Evolution of Care for Sport-Related Concussion


Jeffrey Johnston, M.D., medical director of sports medicine for Mercy Health - Youngstown, emphasized the importance of ongoing training in sport-related concussion.


“By continuing to expose healthcare professionals to the latest approaches and techniques, we will achieve better outcomes not just for our high school and collegiate athletes, but for other members of the community who experience sport-related concussion, such as sports hobbyists, ‘weekend warriors' and industrial workers,” Johnston said.


Healthcare professionals can register for the symposium by calling (330) 480-2986. Members of the media can gain access to sessions or local experts by contacting Carrie Kandes at (330) 480-2106 or cakandes@mercy.com.


Mercy Health - Youngstown delivers a comprehensive continuum of orthopaedic care that includes the region’s largest group of clinically integrated orthopaedic surgeons; diagnostic imaging; inpatient rehabilitation; outpatient rehabilitation, such as physical therapy (PT); occupational therapy (OT); and home health services including PT/OT. Available subspecialties include general orthopaedics; sports medicine; hand, wrist and elbow; joint replacement (hip, knee and shoulder); orthopaedic trauma/fracture; and physical medicine and rehabilitation. For more information, visit www.mercy.com/y-ortho.



About Mercy Health – Mercy Health - Youngstown is an integrated health system in the Mahoning Valley, which encompasses the Youngstown/Warren metropolitan area – Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties in Ohio. It is part of Mercy Health, which is headquartered in Cincinnati and is the largest health system in Ohio and one of the largest Catholic health systems in the United States. Mercy Health - Youngstown provides a full spectrum of healthcare services – acute inpatient and trauma, outpatient and ambulatory, rehabilitation, behavioral, emergency and urgent care, primary care physicians in patient-centered medical homes, specialist physician care, home health, home medical equipment, long-term care and hospice care, as well as Mercy Health Foundation Mahoning Valley. Learn more at www.mercy.com/Youngstown.