The Northern California Chapter of the National Football Foundation/College Hall of Fame, in conjunction with UCSF Sports Medicine and the PlaySafe Program, will offer baseline concussion testing for high school student athletes beginning in the spring of 2016.
According to Robert Keropian, president of the Foundation’s Northern California Chapter (which is not associated with the National Football League), the pilot program will involve one San Mateo County high school varsity football program at the outset.
“Later,” he said, “with increased funding, it will be expanded to include an increasing number of local high school teams.”
The primary aim of the testing, which will include free computerized neurocognitive testing for student athletes, will be to establish a baseline set of data that can be used to manage an athlete’s return to sport following a sports-related concussion.
“With a baseline test in hand, a physician will have an additional tool to assist him or her with determining when it is safe for an athlete to return to sport participation,” explained Keropian.
The involvement of UCSF Sports Medicine is critical to the success of the new effort, he added, noting that the institution’s medical staff is already involved with the Foundation under the direction of Jason Miyamoto, manager/coordinator of the hospital’s PlaySafe Program.
For the last seven years, Keropian said, the Foundation/College Hall of Fame has provided financial support and volunteers who work with UCSF and community sports medicine physicians and orthopedic surgeons, cardiologists and other specialists who offer sports pre-participation screenings for high school athletes. The one-day screening event is free for the athletes and their families.
Keropian stated that the ongoing relationship with UCSF has been “extremely positive and a boon to young athletes in the Bay Area.”
For more information, Keropian can be contacted by telephone at 650-342-4775 and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Foundation’s website is www.footballfoundation-norcal.com.