Concord, MA, April 3, 2014: Brooke de Lench will be participating in a two-day conference presented by the University of Tennesee at Chattanooga on April 15-16 which will explore and highlight issues related to prevention and management of sports injuries at the high school and college level. "The Sports Injury Epidemic" conference will include presentations and panel discussions from nationally recognized speakers, and is being hosted by UTC in partnership with Erlanger Hospital and the National Athletics Trainers' Association.
On Tuesday, April 15, de Lench, Executive Director of the non-profit MomsTEAM Institute and Founder and Publisher of MomsTEAM.com, a nationally recognized information source and online community for youth sports parents, will be featured in a panel discussion on the "Local Response to a National Problem."
De Lench will dicuss parents' concerns and perspectives on issues pertaining to the health and safety of athletes, and speak to how youth sports parents are working in their communities to make high school sports safer, using her PBS documentary "The Smartest Team: Making High School Football Safer"  to show how the concerns of one football mom about the alarming number of concussions on her son's team led one Oklahoma community to implement a comprehensive concussion risk management program which not only began to overcome the culture of resistance to concussion reporting but reduced the concussion rate by 75 percent.
Tuesday evening's event will begin at 7 p.m. in UTC University Center Auditorium, and is free and open to the public.
On Wednesday, April 16 at 10:00 a.m. to noon, de Lench will participate with Dr. Brian Hainline, Chief Medical Officer of the NCAA, and Ron Courson, Head Athletic Trainer and Athletic Director for Sports Medicine at the University of Georgia, in a symptosium titled “Safeguarding Student-Athlete Health and Welfare,” which will include a discussion by Courson of the importance of a chain of command within the high school and college sports medicine team and the need for clear delineation of responsibilities to avoid conflicts that could compromise medical care. Dr. Hainline will discuss the need for school athletic programs to eliminate any appearance of conflict of interest by becoming transparently accountable. The event, at the UTC University Center Auditorium, is also free and open to the public.
At 2 p.m. on Wednesday, April 16, Dr. Craig Denegar, Director of the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at the University of Connecticut and the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Athletic Training, will serve as moderator of a panel of national experts in a discussion on the best practices in administration of sports medicine programs for youth and intercollegiate athletics. Registration for this event in the UTC University Center Auditorium is required.
"The purpose of this event is to create a dialogue with parents, coaches, administrators, and educators on this timely and sensitive issue. Injuries such as concussions, heat stroke, and ACL rupture are potentially catastrophic and disabling in young athletes if not recognized and managed properly," Dr. Gary Wilkerson, UTC Professor of Graduate Athletic Training and one of the organizers of the conference, said.
"With all these panels and discussions, we hope to educate attendees, especially parents of children participating in school athletics programs, that physicians and athletic trainers are dedicated to doing everything they can to keep their student athletes safe on and off the field," Wilkerson said.
For more information about the conference, click here .
About Brooke de Lench
Recognized as a visionary thought leader in youth sports safety and a pioneer in concussion education for the past fifteen years, Brooke de Lench is journalist and blogger for MomsTEAM.com, now in its fifteenth year as the trusted source of youth sports parenting information, the author of Home Team Advantage: The Critical Role of Mothers in Youth Sports (New York: HarperCollins), and Producer/Director/Creator of the critically acclaimed documentary "The Smartest Team : Making High School Football Safer," now airing on selected PBS stations across the country through early 2014.
A sought-after speaker on a wide range of youth sport parenting topics, she has made appearances on all the major television networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox), as well as The Today Show, the CBS Morning Show, ESPN's "Outside the Lines,"  and three documentaries on youth sports, which aired on ESPN, HBO and A&E respectively. Ms. de Lench has also consulted for PBS's Frontline, HBO Real Sports, ABC's Nightline and ESPN youth sports-related shows and youth sports programs across the country.
She is quoted frequently in the print press, including Time, Reader's Digest, The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, and The Washington Post, and her opinion pieces have appeared on the op-ed pages of major newspapers nationwide, including The Washington Post and Long Island Newsday. A former high school and college athlete and ranked squash player, Ms. de Lench is the mother of triplet sons, and lives in the Boston area.
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