On July 15, the NCAA and Department of Defense (DOD) announced the selection of MomsTeam Youth Sports Safety Institute as a recipient of a Mind Matters Challenge grant for our application, Creating a Safe Concussion Reporting Environment: A Multi-Media Approach.
A joint NCAA-DOD initiative announced in November 2014, the Mind Matters Challenge focuses on two important areas related to concussion: Changing Attitudes about Concussions in Young and Emerging Adults (a research challenge); and Educational Programs Targeting Young and Emerging Adults (an educational programs challenge).
The Institute was one of just six winners (of a possible ten) in Phase One of the Educational Programs Challenge, for which it was awarded a $25,000 cash prize for its proposal to create a multi-media concussion education intervention designed to create an environment in which student-athletes are not penalized, ostracized, or criticized for honestly reporting their own concussion symptoms as well as those of teammates but are actually encouraged to do so.
In Phase Two, which will begin in August, the Institute will be awarded an additional $75,000 to work with the NCAA and DOD to actually design a prototype educational program to increase understanding of the critical importance of honest and early self-reporting by student-athletes of concussion symptoms in the diagnosis and management of concussions.
We are truly honored to have been selected to participate in this prestigious program by a stellar panel of judges, including, among others, , Jim Whitehead, Executive Vice President of the American College of Sports Medicine, and Kelly Sarmiento of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Heads Up Program.
Brooke de Lench is founding Executive Director of MomsTEAM Youth Sports Safety Institute, founder of MomsTEAM.com, producer of The Smartest Team: Making High School Football Safer, and author of Home Team Advantage: The Critical Role of Mothers in Youth Sports (HarperCollins).