Responding to the growing concern over the short and long-term effects of sports-related concussions, Wells Fargo’s Student Insurance Division, Kaiser Permanente, Mercy Neurological Institute, Sutter Health and UC Davis Health System have joined forces to establish the Sacramento Valley Concussion Care Consortium. The Consortium aims to improve identification and management of sports-related concussions and provide student-athletes with increased access to local medical professionals trained in the evaluation and management of concussions.
Last year, Wells Fargo introduced the Play it Safe Program which works with health care providers, schools and families to promote awareness and education on concussion care management. Partnering with teams and coaches, the program provides ImPACT baseline neurocognitive testing and excess insurance coverage to protect the health and financial well-being of young athletes and their families. “As the reporting of sports-related concussions increases, preventing and managing these injuries is critical to ensuring a safe return to school and play for athletes,” said John Breckenridge, senior vice president of Wells Fargo Student Insurance Services. “We’re excited to be part of this first-of-its-kind concussion care consortium and to have the partnership and expertise of these four high quality health providers who have come together to serve Sacramento’s young athletes.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates between 1.6 and 3.8 million sports and recreation-related concussions occur in the United States each year. The CDC says that ten percent of all college players and twenty percent of all high school players sustain concussions in any given season, with high school athletes three-times more likely to sustain a second concussion. “Because a concussion is an internal injury that nobody can see, it is easy to overlook the symptoms and perhaps even easier for coaches, parents or youths to have unrealistic expectations of the injured athlete,” said Dr. Catherine Broomand, director of Kaiser Permanente’s Youth Sports Concussion Program. “But concussions are serious. Even though many athletes who experience a concussion will recover within a few weeks, the injury can take months or longer to completely heal. What happens during that time is critical not only for the athlete’s health but for his or her future.”
Currently, two Sacramento youth programs and two high schools are participating in the Play it Safe program, including the Jesuit Junior Marauders and Granite Bay programs as well as Del Oro and C.K. McClatchy high schools. John F. Kennedy High School is the latest to adopt the program. “This partnership is a great example of what can be accomplished when caring adults focus on improving the lives of children,” said SCUSD Superintendent Jonathan Raymond. “We are honored to be included in the Play it Safe Program and Sacramento Valley Concussion Care Consortium and we are excited to see the many benefits that will result for our students.” Representatives from Wells Fargo Insurance, Kaiser Permanente, Mercy Neurological Institute, Sutter Health, UC Davis Health System and the Sacramento City Unified School District took part in today’s consortium announcement held at John F. Kennedy High School.