CONCORD, MA - MomsTEAM Executive Director and Founder and Publisher of MomsTEAM.com, Brooke de Lench, has been named to The National Council on Youth Sports Safety (NCYSS), a panel of more than twenty of the nation's top youth sports safety experts convened by Dr. David Satcher, former U.S. Surgeon General and Director of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine, to tackle traumatic brain injury in young athletes in a two-year initiative called Protecting Athletes and Sports Safety (PASS).
Dr. Eliot Sorel, Clinical Professor of Global Health and Health Services and Management at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, will co-chair the council with Dr. Satcher.
The council's formation follows a successful conference on youth sports safety held in Washington D.C. in November 2013, which gathered more than 100 national leaders, including de Lench, to discuss brain development and wellness, media, and public policy. In addition, attendees heard the perspectives of Allison Kasacavage, 16, and Ian Heaton, 17, two students who suffered traumatic brain injuries while playing organized sports.
In its first year, the NCYSS will meet quarterly to review existing research, explore alternative solutions, and develop a strategic plan for the implementation of a national set of guidelines on youth sports safety.
The second year will include a best practices tour where the public will be provided with opportunities to learn about scientific and technological advancements, effective coaching and training techniques, and contribute feedback on methods that have led to a decline in injury in their respective communities.
In launching NYCSS, Dr. Satcher, a Mental Health Advisor to the National Football League, noted that "for several years now, we at the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine have been working with former NFL players who have suffered concussions throughout their careers and have problems or concerns related to that experience. The creation of the National Council on Youth Sports Safety represents an opportunity to protect children by preventing those traumatic experiences while encouraging them to be physically active. It brings together parents, coaches, policymakers, and other key individuals to work together toward the goal of prevention, and we enthusiastically look forward to this work."
Sorel, a former President of the World Association for Social Psychiatry, recognizes the need for a multi-disciplinary approach. "Youth sports are an essential ingredient of normative health and development as well as enhancing educational motivation," says Sorel. "We advocate an integrated primary care, mental health, public health and educational approach as the most promising path to effective outcomes, given the complexity of youth sports injuries."
Besides MomsTEAM's de Lench, experts named to the panel include NCAA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brian Hainline, GENYOUth Foundation Chief Executive Officer and media consultant Alexis Glick, Chief Executive Officer of Safe Kids Worldwide Kate Carr, and two former professional football players: Mark Kelso of the Buffalo Bills and Buddy Curry of the Atlanta Falcons.
The council will host its first meeting in Atlanta in February 2014. Following that meeting, Dr. Satcher, Ms. Glick, and Ms. Carr will join CNN Chief Medical Correspondent and neurosurgeon, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, for a candid conversation on youth sports safety hosted by The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation.
Here's the full listing of National Council on Youth Sports Safety members:
Kristy B. Arbogast, PhD, Engineering Director, Center for Injury Research and Prevention at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and University of Pennsylvania
Kate Carr, President and Chief Executive Officer, Safe Kids Worldwide
Jack Crowe, Coach, Coach Safely
Buddy Curry, Kids and Pros, Inc. and Former Atlanta Falcon
Brooke de Lench, Executive Director, MomsTEAM Institute and MomsTEAM
Loretta DiPietro, PhD, Department Chair, Department of Exercise Science, George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services
Ruben J. Echemendia, PhD, President, Sports Neuropsychology Society
Gerard A. Gioia, PhD, Professor and Chief, Neuropsychology, George Washington University School of Medicine and Children's National Medical Center
Alexis D. Glick, Chief Executive Officer, GENYOUth Foundation
Arlene Greenspan, DrPH, Associate Director for Science, National Center for Injury Prevention and Contol, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Brian Hainline, MD, Chief Medical Officer, National Collegiate Athletic Association
Mark Kelso, Consultant for Donor Relations, Saint Mary's High School and Former Buffalo Bill
Michael Oliver, Esq., Executive Director, NOCSAE
Shannon A. Shy, Esq., National Membership Director, American Youth Football
Gregory W. Stewart, MD, Associate Professor and Chief, Section of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Tulane Institute of Sports Medicine
Kevin Walter, MD, Associate Professor of Orthopaedics and Pediatrics, Medical College of Wisconsin
Reginald Louis Washington, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children
Jackson E. Winters, DDS, Academy for Sports Dentistry
Robert Zayas, Executive Director, New York State Public High School Athletic AssociationFor more information on Protecting Athletes and Sports Safety, visit www.youthsportssafety.org, or contact Ashlyn Shockley at 202-285-5570.