Baptist Health makes $25,000 grant for concussion program to help Jacksonville-area youth athletes
March 21, 2013 | Jacksonville, FL
Baptist Health made a $25,000 grant this month to the Jacksonville Sports Medicine Program (JSMP) for testing and education regarding concussions in youth sports.
The grant will be used to perform baseline testing for athletes and to conduct tests after an injury. The money will also help fund education programs for athletes, coaches, parents and physicians about concussion symptoms, safety and treatment.
“The safety of the children participating in athletic activities is of paramount importance and this addresses a critical need identified in our recent Community Health Needs Assessment,” said Lynn Sherman, director of community health for Baptist Health. “We are excited to partner with the Jacksonville Sports Medicine Program to provide this service and help fill an important gap in our community.”
Following the state concussion law signed last year by Gov. Rick Scott, JSMP helped develop return-to-play guidelines and assemble the Northeast Florida Regional Sports Concussion Task Force.
“This gift will provide us the ability to offer this specialized baseline test to our area student athletes and also make this tool available to our local physicians should a head injury happen to a Duval County Public Schools athlete,” said Robert Sefcik, Executive Director of the Jacksonville Sports Medicine Program.
The grant, which will be issued over two years, was announced March 13 at the JSMP Annual National Athletic Trainers Month Social and Educational Lecture Series.
“From 2001 to 2009, the number of annual Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)-related emergency room visits nationally increased significantly, from about 153,000 to 248,000 -- with the highest rates among males between the ages of 10 and 19,” Sefcik said.
“The incidence, severity and long-term health effects of TBI among children and teens can be significantly reduced by increasing awareness of the inherent risks involved from sports participation, using proper technique and protective equipment and recognizing injuries when they occur,” Sefcik said.