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NCAA-Department of Defense Mind Matters Educational Challenge
On July 15, 2015, the NCAA and Department of Defense (DOD) announced the selection of MomsTeam Youth Sports Safety Institute as a recipient of a Mind Matters Challenge Educational grant for our application, Creating a Safe Concussion Reporting Environment: A Multi-Media Approach.
A joint NCAA-DOD initiative  launched 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 began in August 2015, 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 . (Kelly has since agreed to join the Institute's Board of Advisors  as part of its Head Injury Working Group)
Six Pillars of Concussion Risk Management
Head injuries in football, as in other contact and collision sports, cannot be completely eliminated, but there ARE steps that can be taken to minimize risk.
MomsTEAM's high school football concussion documentary, The Smartest Team,TM  focuses on what we call The Six PillarsTM of concussion risk management (all of which, it should be emphasized,
are backed by peer-reviewed evidence and/or the consensus of experts):
Pillar One: Comprehensive concussion education
Pillar Two: Protection (Minimizing Risk)
Pillar Three: Early Identification/Immediate Removal from Play
PillarFour: Conservative Treatment (Physical/Cognitive Rest)
Pillar Five: Cautious Return to Play
Pillar Six: Retirement
(Read more)