International Concussion Society Year in Review 2019

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Celebrating another year of concussion education and awareness

This year, the International Concussion Society celebrated several milestones in its work to elevate the conversation about concussion, providing reliable information about one of the most common, yet least understood, forms of traumatic brain injury. In our Year in Review, here’s what we accomplished in 2019, and what it means for the Society:

Partnering with Mayo Clinic’s Concussion Check 

This year, the Mayo Clinic released Concussion Check, a standardized, three-step protocol that can be used by people who don’t have medical training to identify the signs and symptoms of concussion. The protocol, which includes the King-Devick Test in association with Mayo Clinic, empowers adults to make informed decisions about removing young athletes from play when a trained medical professional is not available. 

“Less than 50% of U.S. high schools have athletic trainers,” says Jennifer Wethe, PhD, ABPP-CN, of the Mayo Clinic Arizona Concussion Program. “Even if you have an athletic trainer, how many places can they be at once? Some practices are held off school grounds and most teams have away games––who’s watching the players then? Concussion Check helps protect young athletes at every practice and every game.” 

The simple protocol is intended to help quickly remove concussed young athletes from play and prevent further, more serious injuries that may have long-term consequences. ICS facilitated future implementation of Concussion Check by demonstrating its value in an athlete’s chance of rapid recovery and return to play

Sports Guide Launch

This year, ICS published The International Concussion Society’s Guide to Youth Football to help parents understand the risks and how to address concussion when it occurs in youth football players. The guide includes concussion statistics, sideline concussion protocol via the Mayo Clinic Concussion Check, and FAQs. This resource is the first installment in a library of youth sports guides, with soccer, basketball and hockey to follow. This will empower parents and coaches with concussion information and strategies specific to their sport. 

New Channels of Information

ICS continues to spread the news of its research, partnerships and innovations in the field of concussion research via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This year on our site we also debuted Concussion in the News, which covers timely stories and reports from the field. Some of the topics covered in our first round-ups include questions about return-to-play and how one NFL player’s concussion prompted the league to conduct protocol reviews. By staying up-to-date on the most current conversations around concussion, readers will be better-informed about the rising public profile of concussion and have relevant information when discussing traumatic head injury. 

Growing our Board of Directors 

The ICS board of directors added new members this year. From physicians to sports enthusiasts, professional athletes to business experts and more, the board of directors and scientific advisory board involve individuals from a broad spectrum of backgrounds to ensure that we fully deliver our message to vast networks of people.

This year’s additions include:

    • Tregg Duerson, a nationally recognized champion for mental health advocacy, suicide prevention, and sports safety among athletes 
    • Jim Marino, former president and CEO of Alberto-Culver
    • Richard McPartlin, MD, practitioner of internal medicine for over 40 years
    • John Siff, president and CEO of Prairie Realty Advisors, Inc.
    • Phil Terry, founder and CEO of the peer leadership community Collaborative Gain

Each board member has their own personal connection to concussion, but all share the same passion for educating doctors, researchers, athletes, coaches and parents on the topic. 

“I think it’s important to shine a light on concussion, which is under-reported, under-diagnosed, and mistreated, and leaves what appears to be millions of people with lifelong problems,” says Terry. 

An Online Rebrand

In our mission to easily connect people to the concussion information they need, we debuted a sleek, redesigned website this year. The new site houses our Resource Library, Concussion Check videos, and Concussion in the News features. Our new site is cleaner and more user-friendly, which is especially helpful for parents and coaches looking for more information about concussion. 

“We want to ensure that people are getting the best information out there from centers that are leading innovators in concussion investigation and management,” says ICS President John Leddy, MD, FACSM, FACP, of the University at Buffalo Concussion Management Clinic. “Our goal is that a doctor in a community that does not have a concussion center can go to and access resources that would help him or her effectively treat patients.”

With 2020 approaching fast, make sure to keep visiting’s News page for all of the newest concussion information.