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UNC Hosting Program Highlighting Concussions

A town hall-style meeting to draw attention to the problem of youth sports concussions and other brain injuries among children and young people is being held at Carolina on Jan. 29.

The event, “How Do We Prevent, Identify and Treat Concussions in Youth?” will be held from 10 a.m. to noon in the Stallings-Evans Sports Medicine Center adjacent to Woollen Gym.

The meeting is part of a nationwide public awareness campaign led by the Sarah Jane Brain Foundation. The tour aims to raise awareness of the risks and symptoms of concussions and introduce the foundation’s National Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury Plan. The plan aims to improve the prevention, identification and treatment of brain injuries and provide help for injured children and young adults and their families.

The event will feature brief talks from several experts, followed by a discussion and question period. Panelists include:

  • Kevin Guskiewicz, chair of the exercise and sport science department who also is director of the Matthew Gfeller Sport-Related Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center and a Kenan Distinguished Professor at UNC;
  • Jason Mihalik ’09 (PhD), assistant professor of exercise and sport science; and
  • Johna Register-Mihalik ’06 (MA), a postdoctoral research associate in the Gfeller Center.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half a million children aged 0 to 14 visit an emergency department or are hospitalized with a traumatic brain injury every year, and almost 2,200 die. Annually, hospital emergency departments treat an estimated 135,000 sports and recreation-related brain injuries among children aged 5 to 18.

The event is free, but registration is requested. RSVP to Johna Register-Mihalik at (919) 962-2702 or johnakay@email.unc.edu.

UNC serves as the site of the brain foundation’s State Lead Center of Excellence for North Carolina. The meeting in Chapel Hill is one of four similar foundation events in the state over the coming month.


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