HGB sponsors Saturday showing of Concussion to promote awareness and importance of testing

Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital is sponsoring the matinee showing of the movie, Concussion, at Eaton Theatres, 4:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 16. Students will be able to attend the movie for free with their identification.  Student athletes are especially encouraged to attend with their parents to learn about the importance of concussion testing and to better understand the risks and symptoms for those who play contact sports including football, volleyball, soccer, competitive cheer, basketball, wrestling, baseball and softball.

Concussion is a biographical sports medical drama based on the 2009 GQ expose Game Brain. It’s the story of Dr. Bennet Omalu, a Nigerian forensic pathologist who fought against efforts by the National Football League to suppress his research on the brain damage suffered by professional football players.

“This movie is a great opportunity to learn more about concussions, and we will have information available at the theater about testing and the ImPACT program,” said Derek Sanders, certified athletic trainer at HGB and Charlotte Public Schools. “We hope to see several of our students attend to watch the movie for free and to learn more about the resources available to them.”

Concussion awareness and treatment has become an important health topic in recent years. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 170,000 kids and teens are treated in an emergency room each year for sports- or recreation-related traumatic brain injuries, including concussions.

In June 2015, Charlotte Public Schools began offering free concussion testing to its student athletes as part of the ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) program in partnership with EMPOWER, HGB rehabilitation services provided at AL!VE. ImPACT is the most widely used, scientifically validated, computerized concussion evaluation system. It helps assess an athlete’s cognitive status by comparing the baseline test to a post-concussion test when necessary.

“The ImPACT Program has been a critical resource to the girls’ basketball program,” said William Newhouse, Charlotte High School girls’ varsity basketball coach. “I have had three players experience concussion symptoms. It gives parents and coaches important information regarding what to look for and a clear regimen for returning student athletes to full participation.”

“Concussions, if not properly recognized and treated, can linger and have long-term effects such as memory problems, personality changes, lack of concentration, language impairments and more,” Sanders said.

One family whose daughter was injured during a basketball scrimmage in summer 2015 wrote: “ImPACT is a great tool for parents to be able to use when making decisions about what is best for their child if injured with a concussion. It took the guesswork out of when and how she could go back to participating in her sport. We are so thankful Charlotte Public Schools has implemented this program for their student athletes.”

Sanders and HGB Physical Therapist Jacob Brown are ImPACT certified. Additionally, HGB has an internal medicine physician on staff who is a credentialed ImPACT consultant for area athletes. Baseline testing for Charlotte student athletes will once again be provided in late spring. A free educational presentation will be offered prior to the testing at AL!VE from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday, April 13.

During the HGB-sponsored showing of Concussion at 4:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 16, students with identification will be able to attend for free. Adults will be charged full price. Eaton Theatres is located at 235 South Cochran Avenue in Charlotte.

Call the Charlotte High School Athletic Office at 517-541-5160 or EMPOWER at AL!VE at 517-541-5800, option 2, with questions regarding ImPACT testing.

AL!VE, an experience-based destination health park that opened in November 2011 by Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital, is located at 800 W. Lawrence Ave., in Charlotte, Mich. All are welcome at AL!VE – there are no entry fees or membership requirements. Visit www.myalive.com or call (517) 541-5800 for more information.

HGB has been the community’s choice for health care for more than 80 years, and is committed to working together in health to provide quality care and enhance the vitality of the community. Learn more about HGB at www.hgbhealth.com.