Kalani HS football practice

The Hawaiʻi Concussion Awareness and Management Program (HCAMP), in the UH Mānoa College of Education (COE), was awarded $900,000 over three years by the Gary O. Galiher (GOG) Foundation for its proposal titled Enhancing Community Awareness and Implementation of Evidence-Based Prevention and Treatment Strategies for a Head-Safe Environment in Hawaii Youth Sports.

Funding will support the HuTT®808 program in partnership with Dr. Erik E Swartz, Vice Dean and Ruth S. Ammon Professor at the Adelphi University School of Health Sciences. Launched in 2019, HuTT®808 aims to reduce head impact exposure in Hawai‘i high school football players.

“HCAMP and the College of Education are so grateful for the support of the GOG foundation,” said Troy Furutani, HCAMP Program Manager. “It will allow us to broaden our concussion education and awareness reach throughout Hawaiʻi. We will be able to expand our support to various stakeholders and populations, especially in the youth and recreational leagues. This support will also allow us to provide resources to non-sports related concussions that occur from falls, motor vehicle accidents, and other types of accidents.”

Since the program began, more than 200 student-athletes from St. Louis School, PAC-5, Kalani High School, and Roosevelt High School have participated. Each athlete was fitted with a new Riddell helmet with head impact sensors, which were worn in practices and games to record head impacts sustained on the field.

Over the next three years, this renewed funding will enable the program to conduct high school and youth coaching clinics where prevention and management of concussions are emphasized; collaborate with other professionals and disciplines in improving the awareness and management of head injuries in Hawaiʻi; implement a concussion management program at the middle school level; continue support for helmetless tackling training curriculum for the high school and youth leagues; and increase research on the management and prevention of concussions in Hawaiʻi.

“We really appreciate the generous support from the GOG Foundation and are grateful to our HuTT®808 team,” Dean Nathan Murata said. “Working with Erik has been a tremendous benefit not only to HuTT but to the Department of Kinesiology. We will work hard to uphold Gary O. Galiher ‘s legacy with this continued funding.”

About the GOG Foundation

Set up by its founder, Attorney Gary O. Galiher, the GOG Foundation supports projects designed to improve Hawai‘i’s social, economic, and cultural well-being. One of the Foundation’s specific purposes is to bring awareness about the devastating effects of head injuries sustained in contact sports and how these could be prevented. Before Galiher’s untimely death in 2016, he had an outstanding legal career in Hawai‘i as a committed and passionate advocate of vulnerable clients. His Foundation sponsored an annual Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) conference in Honolulu where leaders from across the country in the fields of neurology and sports medicine presented the latest information on TBI and discussed strategies for making sports safer. The HuTT®808 project is the result of conversations began during Galiher’s last conference.

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