This summer, we opened a new Concussion Center, a feature of our partnership with Semmes Murphey known as the Brain and Spine Network.
The Concussion Center is open to children, adolescents and adults, but its primary focus right now is on protecting children who play sports. The dangers of concussions have been widely reported, and we have seen athletes suffer tremendously because of untreated concussions that may have started early in their lives.
Kids between the ages of 5 and 18 suffer 4 million recreation concussions a year in this country, and an astonishing 80% go untreated. 53% of high school athletes have had a concussion before the ninth grade; 36% of college athletes have had multiple concussions.
Our neurosciences service leaders and Semmes Murphey physicians found there was no multidisciplinary approach to concussion care, where physicians from different specialties could come together to treat patients. We saw an opportunity to offer this level of care, which is very important in our communities, where a large number of kids play sports.
Thanks to the team’s hard work – and generous funding from our Baptist Memorial Health Care Foundation – we have a Concussion Center where we can offer our children comprehensive treatment for this serious brain injury. We’re educating schools, club teams and physicians about the center. We even sponsored the Memphis Commercial Appeal’s Sports Awards, which honors top athletic accomplishments in Memphis high school sports. Future plans include expanding concussion services into other hospitals throughout our system.
As a health care leader and a sports dad, I urge you to click here to learn more about the Concussion Center if your child plays sports. We hope this new center will help our kids stay healthy while playing the sports they love.