On July 12–13, 2019, the College of Education’s (COE) Hawai‘i Concussion Awareness & Management Program (HCAMP), together with the Center for Sports Medicine at The Queen’s Medical Center, held its 2019 Concussion Summit in the UHM Campus Center Ballroom. The 125 participants included athletic trainers, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, and physicians who were provided with the most up-to-date findings and techniques in concussion education and safety.

KRS concussion summit
Concussion Summit Activity

“This year’s summit marked our 10th anniversary, and it was our most diverse to date,” HCAMP Program Coordinator Ross Oshiro said. “We had our usual athletic trainers and physicians, but this year, we also had speech language pathologists from the DOE who help students ‘return to learn’ after a concussion.”

According to HCAMP, which is housed in the COE Department of Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Science, an average of 1,000 concussions were sustained annually by Hawai‘i’s high school athletes over the last ten years. Their research further found that an average high school athlete takes more than three weeks to recover from a concussion.

Esteemed practitioners and faculty from Hawai‘i, Oregon, Colorado, and Massachusetts provided research-based evidence and techniques to help manage a concussion from initial injury to recovery. Topics included best practices for schools and youth organizations to help keep students and members safe.

Professor Erik Swartz, chair of the Department of Physical Therapy and Kinesiology at UMASS Lowell, was among the presenters. Explaining the problem with increasing head impacts as an athlete gets older, Swartz introduced the helmetless tackling and blocking study he and HCAMP have begun in two of Hawai‘i’s high schools this football season. The program, HuTT®808, has been funded by the GOG Foundation to reduce head impact exposure in Hawai‘i high school football players.

Professor Erik Swartz with Nathan Murata
Professor Erik Swartz and Dean Nathan M. Murata

“This summit is the culmination of a decade of hard work and effort by HCAMP, its collaborators, and supporters,” Dean Nathan M. Murata said. “HCAMP continues to expand the horizons on concussion education, awareness, and recovery and more importantly produce important programs and projects, like HuTT808.”

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