BU joins nationwide concussion study

For Immediate Release:  March 16, 2016

BLOOMSBURG — Bloomsburg University will begin baseline concussion screening of student-athletes this summer after being selected earlier this month to join the NCAA-Department of Defense Concussion Assessment, Research and Education (C.A.R.E.) Consortium. The research will be led by Joseph Hazzard, director of the Institute for Concussion Research and Service and BU’s clinical athletic training education program.

The study, now in its third year, includes 30 schools nationwide.

All student-athletes at each participating school receive a comprehensive preseason evaluation for concussion and are monitored in the event of an injury. Data collected at each school is evaluated by a team of researchers led by Steven Broglio, director of the University of Michigan’s NeuroTrauma Research Laboratory; Michael McCrea, director of brain injury research at the Medical College of Wisconsin; and Tom McAllister, chair of the Indiana University School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry.

The researchers have collected more than 25 million data points from 16,000 student athletes at the 21 schools already participating, including the University of Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, Princeton University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the U.S. military academies. After adding the nine new testing sites, researchers estimate more than 25,000 student athletes will take part over the course of the three-year study.

“We are honored to be selected to participate in this innovative study,” said Michael McFarland, BU’s athletic director and co-investigator. “The entire Bloomsburg University athletic department is excited about this opportunity to research, study and improve return-to-play protocols for student athletes.”

Dr. Brian Hainline, NCAA chief medical officer, said, “The important expansion of the C.A.R.E. Consortium to include a diversity of Division I, Division II, Division III and historically black college and university participants further solidifies this study as a groundbreaking initiative. It is a remarkable collaborative and inclusive effort.”

George Salvaterra, BU assistant athletic trainer and co-investigator, said, “This project will not only collect valuable data, but also serve the health care needs of our Bloomsburg University student athletes. We are pleased to represent BU and the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference in the nation’s largest concussion research project.”

In addition to BU, new participants are: University of Chicago, University of Miami (Florida), University of North Georgia, University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, Wake Forest University, Wilmington College (Ohio) and Winston-Salem State University.

This research is part of the landmark $30 million NCAA-U.S. Department of Defense Grand Alliance, which is funding the most comprehensive study of concussion and head impact exposure ever conducted. The alliance also supports an educational grand challenge aimed at changing important concussion safety behaviors and the culture of concussion reporting and management. Participating schools receive a portion of that funding to cover the cost of carrying out the research.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 10,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.