2014 Mid Term Elections

President Barack Obama Hosts The White House Healthy Kids & Safe Sports Concussion Summit.


By Jueseppi B.



President Barack Obama, on this overcast Thursday morning, hosts the White House Healthy Kids & Safe Sports Concussion Summit and a variety of public-private partnerships to deal with the problem.



President Barack Hussein Holds The White House Healthy Kids & Safe Sports Concussion Summit




From the White House: the “summit is bringing together key stakeholders to highlight new commitments, including new public-private partnerships, to increase research that will expand our knowledge of concussions and to provide parents, coaches, clinicians, and young athletes tools to better prevent, identify and respond to concussions.”



Actions Obama will announce, according to the White House:


·         The NCAA and the Department of Defense are jointly launching a $30 million effort to fund the most comprehensive clinical study of concussion and head impact exposure ever conducted and to issue an Educational Grand Challenge aimed at improving concussion safety behaviors in college sports and the military. This initiative aims to produce research on concussion risks, treatment and management through a multi-site longitudinal clinical study and advanced research projects.  Through an Educational Grand Challenge, the initiative aims to create novel and impactful evidence-based concussion education materials and solicit research proposals to identify key factors for affecting change in the culture and behavior of college student-athlete and other young adult populations with regard to concussions.



·         The NFL is committing $25 million over the next three years to support projects and partnerships aimed at promoting youth sports safety, including support for new pilot programs to expand access to athletic trainers in schools, in conjunction with the National Athletic Trainers Association, and to support a Back to Sports program — a collaboration with the National PTA and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association — to hold information sessions across the country to educate parents about sports safety and the value of sports participation and an active lifestyle.




·         The National Institutes of Health is announcing the launch of a new longitudinal research effort to detect, characterize, and measure the chronic effects of repetitive concussions to inform clinical trials aimed at preventing or slowing disease progression in the future.  NIH is being supported by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, starting with an initial investment of $16 million from its first Sports Health Program partner, the National Football League. This funding, together with grants announced at the end of last year, fulfill the $30 million commitment the NFL made to the NIH in 2012.   This fall, the NIH will convene public and private funders of concussion and TBI research, including NIH, the NFL, DoD, and NCAA, with the goal of supporting enhanced coordination among research efforts and better leveraging of public and private investments to accelerate research outcomes.



·         The UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Program, with a $10 million investment from Steve Tisch, UCLA’s Departments of Neurosurgery and Pediatrics will launch the UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Program to target sports concussion prevention, outreach, research and treatment for athletes of all ages, especially youth.  The program will focus on strategies such as community education events, including a planned Southern California youth concussion day for players, coaches, parents and trainers; a new fellowship program training the next generation of pediatric sports neurologists; longitudinal research studies to advance understanding of and treatment of concussion; and expanded treatment capacity through new multidisciplinary concussion clinics.  In addition, this commitment will support a planning initiative to inform the development of a national system to accurately determine the incidence of youth sports-related concussions.



·          The National Institute of Standards and Technology will invest $5 million over five years as part of the Materials Genome Initiative, to work on tools to accelerate the development of advanced materials that can provide better protection against concussions for the athlete, the warfighter and others.  These efforts aim to advance the development of new materials including light-weight, structural composite, and active or smart materials for protective gear.



·         Pop Warner Little Scholars will participate this season in a research project modeled on the High School RIO reporting system, which tracks concussions and concussion trends in high school sports, to improve tracking of concussions among young athletes.  100 Pop Warner teams will participate in the RIO pilot.  Pop Warner provides youth football and cheer and dance programs to approximately 425,000 young people ranging in age from 5 to 16 years old.  The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia will launch a comprehensive pediatric and adolescent concussion registry to enable CHOP researchers to assess data for thousands of children with concussions to improve understanding of concussions and their impact on child health.




·         Safe Kids Worldwide, in partnership with Johnson & Johnson, will host more than 200 sports safety clinics for parents, coaches and young athletes across the country, including education on concussions, and will release a research report this summer providing updated insights into the culture of youth sports today.  The Brain Injury Association of America in collaboration with SAP will build an online application to help students, parents and educators better understand when to return to class after a concussion through a software platform that allows students, parents, educators, coaches and medical treatment providers to communicate.



·         USA Cheer will roll-out a new Head Injury Protocol to over 300,000 cheerleaders and their coaches this summer at clinics around the country to teach coaches and cheerleaders how to prevent, identify and seek treatment for any suspected head injuries.  USA Cheer and its partners, the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators, the U.S. All-Star Federation and the National Federation of State High School Associations will release new, updated cheerleading safety guidelines to reduce head injuries in cheerleading.




·         U.S. Soccer is establishing a Chief Medical Officer position to interface with the medical community and experts in the field of concussion management and prevention.   U.S. Soccer and Major League Soccer will jointly organize a first-of-its-kind Medical Summit to, among other topics, lead a coordinated effort on concussion management and prevention initiatives. They also will use their platforms to communicate PSAs and other concussion-related messages including through U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Team games, MLS games and special events, and other venues.



·         The National Federation of State High School Associations will host a concussion summit this year focused on promoting best practices to minimize injury risks in high school athletes.  NFHS writes playing rules for high school level sports, reaching more than 19,000 high schools and more than 7.7. million participants in high school sports.  The National High School Athletic Coaches Association will use its summer  convention to provide education sessions on concussion for high school coaches and expand the concussion information on its Web site.



·         The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will promote the use of its new Heads Up to Parents app to help parents learn how to spot concussion symptoms and what to do if they think their child or teen has a concussion.  In response to the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation to evaluate education efforts, CDC will evaluate its Heads Up concussion education program to help ensure that its messages are best reaching parents, coaches and young athletes.  It also will support the evaluation of ‘return to play’ laws.




·         The American Academy of Neurology will host its first multidisciplinary Sports Concussion Conference this summer and continue to support a national public education campaign to increase awareness of its clinical guidelines on sports concussions.   The American Psychological Association will produce a Web-based Concussions Toolkit as a resource for psychologists on concussions research and clinical information.  The American Academy of Pediatrics anticipates releasing an updated policy statement on sports-related concussion in children and adolescents in the  fall of 2015.   The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will, by spring 2015, release the clinical guidelines it is developing for the appropriate diagnosis and management of children and teens with mild traumatic brain injury, including concussions, for use in doctor’s offices and emergency departments.  CDC has convened a Pediatric Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Guideline Workgroup composed of leading clinical experts to support the development of these guidelines.


Heads Up


Remarks by the President at the Healthy Kids and Safe Sports Concussion Summit


Remarks by the President at the Healthy Kids and Safe Sports Concussion Summit

East Room

11:19 A.M. EDT


THE PRESIDENT:  As a dad, when you — Tori’s parents are here.  And I have to imagine they are awfully proud of this remarkable young lady, and we really appreciate you taking the time to introduce me.



Healthy Kids and Safe Sports Concussion Summit



I want to welcome everybody here to the White House.  I want to thank members of Congress, who are here.  We’ve got leaders from America’s sports and medical communities, especially young people here like Tori, who did such a great job sharing her story today.


All across the country, there are millions of young athletes just like Tori who spend their weekends and summers on baseball diamonds and soccer pitches.  And they put in extra practice so they can make the varsity or maybe even earn a college scholarship.  Most of them are not as good as Tori was at her sport.  I certainly wasn’t — although, I had the same enthusiasm.  And for so many of our kids, sports aren’t just something they do; they’re part of their identity.  They may be budding scientists or entrepreneurs or writers, but they’re also strikers and linebackers and point guards.  And that’s a good thing.


First of all, the First Lady thinks everybody needs to move.  (Laughter.)  And obviously there’s a huge public health interest in making sure that people are participating in sports.  But sports is also just fundamental to who we are as Americans and our culture.  We’re competitive.  We’re driven.  And sports teach us about teamwork and hard work and what it takes to succeed not just on the field but in life.


And I was a basketball player — as I said, not as good as Tori was at soccer.  But I learned so many lessons playing sports that I carry on to this day, even to the presidency.  And still, when I need to relax and clear my head, I turn to sports — whether it’s a pick-up basketball game — and I’m much slower than I was just last week — (laughter) — or more sedate pastimes like golf, or watching Sports Center.


And more than that, as a parent, Michelle and I have always encouraged our girls to play sports.  One of the greatest transformations I think in our society has been how young women have been finally given the opportunity because of Title IX, and now you see just unbelievable women athletes who are getting the same exposure and experience and outlets for sports all across the country.  And Malia and Sasha are part of that generation.  They took for granted — of course, we’re playing sports.  And they played everything from soccer to basketball and tennis and track.  So sports are important to our life as a family, just like they are for families all across the country.


The reason we’re here today, though, is all across the country parents are also having a more troubling conversation, and that’s about the risks of concussions.  There’s a lot of concern, but there’s a lot of uncertainty.  And as Tori’s story suggests, concussions are not just a football issue.  They don’t just affect grown men who choose to accept some risk to play a game that they love and that they excel at.  Every season, you’ve got boys and girls who are getting concussions in lacrosse and soccer and wrestling and ice hockey, as well as football.  And, in fact, the Center for Disease Control reports that in the most recent data that’s available to us, young people made nearly 250,000 emergency room visits with brain injuries from sports and recreation — 250,000.  That number obviously doesn’t include kids who see their family doctor or, as is typical, don’t seek any medical help.


Read The Entire Transcript Of The Presidents Remarks Here.






FACT SHEET: President Obama Applauds Commitments to Address Sports-Related Concussions in Young People


Remarks President Obama Sports-Related Concussions Summit Slide Show




Heads Up







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4 replies »

  1. I am sure you know I love this one, right. The focus on how to keep young people safer is wonderful. The fact there is a partnership with private sector and public sector, showing once again what can happen when the two work together rather than at odds, another great thing.

    Love this, added bonus the involvement of young people!


    • I personally don’t think Barack has hit a sour note the entire minute he’s been in The White Mans House, even with millions against his every move. Proof that an intelligent man/woman, no matter his/her level of melanin, is always the best person for the job.


      • Only one….he played diplomat to long with people intent on his failure. I know, it was the best play. I know, it was the right play. Pragmatically and intellectually I know those things. Emotionally though I still wish he would have told them about themselves, just one time.


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