Mason Hosts Conference on Best Practices in Concussion Management

Posted: April 30, 2013 at 5:00 am, Last Updated: May 1, 2013 at 6:39 am

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By Catherine Probst

achieveslogoIn an ongoing effort to bring attention to concussion education and prevention programs, George Mason University will host the conference ACHIEVING Best Practices in Concussion Management. The conference takes place in the Verizon Auditorium on Wednesday, May 1, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on George Mason’s Prince William Campus.

The conference is designed for athletic trainers, school nurses, primary care physicians, school athletic directors, school administrators and individuals in the community who are involved in the recognition, assessment and management of concussions in children and adolescents.

The conference is part of the Advancing Healthcare Initiatives for Underserved Students (ACHIEVES) project. Funded by the Potomac Health Foundation, the ACHIEVES project is a partnership between Mason and Prince William County Public Schools that aims to deliver more effective medical care and concussion education within schools.

“As we continue working with Prince William County Public Schools on the ACHIEVES project, this is yet another way that we can stress the importance of providing adequate concussion care and education,” says Shane Caswell, associate professor of athletic training and executive director of the Sports Medicine Assessment Research and Testing (SMART) Laboratory in Mason’s College of Education and Human Development.

Caswell will open the conference with an update on the ACHIEVES project, review some new data on concussions in local schools and discuss some lessons learned regarding concussion education.

Keynote speaker Sen. Ralph Northam (D-Norfolk) will discuss the current state of concussion care and management across the Commonwealth of Virginia. In addition to serving in the Senate of Virginia representing the 6th district, Northam is a pediatric neurologist at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk, Va. He also serves as assistant professor of neurology at Eastern Virginia Medical School. In 2010, Northam sponsored the Student-Athlete Protection Act, making Virginia one of the first states to enact concussion legislation.

Other speakers and their topics follow.

  • Joel Brenner, associate professor of pediatrics at Eastern Virginia Medical School, will discuss the latest updates on concussion diagnosis and evaluation.
  • Cmdr. John Biery Jr., Medical Corps of the United States Navy, will talk about what schools can learn from battlefield concussion management.
  • Brenda Eagan Brown, program coordinator for the Pennsylvania Brain Injury School Re-Entry Counseling Program, will talk about how to implement return-to-learn procedures and academic accommodations in schools.
  • Mike Ferrara, dean of the College of Health and Human Services at the University of New Hampshire, will discuss a team approach to concussion care that involves working with teachers and administration.

For more information about the conference and to register, visit the website.

Write to Colleen Kearney Rich at

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