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July 7, 2016 - USA Team Presents at Injury Prevention Conference

martino conference.jpgFrom left: Dr. Ashley Marass, assistant professor in the USA College of Nursing; Dr. Anthony Martino, professor and chair of neurosurgery at USA; and Mary Wilstrup, pediatric nurse at USA Children's & Women's Hospital.

Dr. Anthony Martino, professor and chair of neurosurgery at the University of South Alabama, Mary Wilstrup, a pediatric nurse at USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital and Dr. Ashley Marass, assistant professor in the USA College of Nursing, recently presented their research at the 2016 ThinkFirst Conference on Injury Prevention in Chicago.

Dr. Martino and his concussion team presented “CAP for Improved Concussion Reporting.” Developed by the team in 2014, the Concussion Awareness Program (CAP) aims to change concussion safety behaviors among athletes.

“Our goal is to not only increase knowledge, but also to change attitudes,” Dr. Marass said.

Dr. Marass said the team discussed the creation, implementation and funding of CAP during the presentation. “Most of the speakers at the conference were talking about community outreach programs, and many speakers who experienced a head or spine injury discussed their experience,” Dr. Marass said. “We wanted to show how CAP was different."

In 2014, the NCAA and the U.S. Department of Defense began accepting proposals for the Mind Matters Challenge, an educational challenge aimed at changing concussion safety behaviors. The USA team was chosen as one of the top six education challenge winners and was awarded a $25,000 cash prize and a $75,000 production budget to develop their project.

The entire CAP program is housed on a webpage, which can be accessed via computer, tablet or smart phone. The multi-tiered program includes education on concussions, a pre- and post- test, neurocognitive testing, on-field assessment and referral to a specialized concussion clinic. Unique account profiles exist for athletes, parents and coaches so content is tailored to each individual.

All athletic teams at USA will use CAP by Fall Semester 2016, and the program was implemented in all Mobile County high schools earlier this year. The team is currently working to expand to surrounding counties.

The 2016 ThinkFirst Conference on Injury Prevention caters to nurses, occupational and physical therapists, injury prevention specialists, educators and physicians who work with and are dedicated to prevent traumatic brain injuries (TBI) or spinal cord injuries.

Click here to learn more about CAP.

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