On Wednesday, September 13, Dartmouth-Hitchcock hosted their Healthy Living Series Symposium: Concussions: Risks, Reality, and Reforms in Webster Hall’s Mara Auditorium.
WMUR Sports Anchor Jason King served as moderator for the panel discussion between experts in the field of concussions, injury prevention and athletics.
From the Dartmouth-Hitchcock preview for the event, panelists included: “Michael McCann, Legal Analyst for Sports Illustrated and journalist, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at UNH Law and Professor of Law at the UNH Law Sports and Entertainment Law Institute (SELI).
“Matt Chatham, Retired linebacker for the New England Patriots who contributed to three of the Patriots’ Super Bowl victories.
“Dr. Bill Storo, Pediatrician at Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock in Concord, specializing in concussion injuries and prevention.
“Drew Galbraith, Senior Associate Athletics Director and Executive Director of Dartmouth Peak Performance at Dartmouth College.
“Amy Hollingsworth, ATC, RN, NHLAT, Director, Safe Sports Network at the New Hampshire Musculoskeletal Institute.”
The symposium format allowed each panelist to speak and present their experience with concussions and their thoughts on the matter. Three-time Super Bowl champion Matt Chatham spoke about concussions stigmatising normal aspects of football.
“If you watch a football play, helmets hit on every single play,” Chatham said. He also highlighted the problems with “creat[ing] a new set of rules that vilify something that is normal and expected.”
Although football is often the first sport that comes to mind during a discussion about concussions, panelist, Michael McCann, stated “Concussions are not limited to football. We know they are occurring in soccer, in hockey, in rugby… Mixed martial arts and wrestling to name a few.”
Dr. Bill Storo, a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock in Concord, who specializes in concussion injuries and prevention, spoke about one of the underlying themes of the night: “There are many different aspects of concussions that many people don’t understand.”
Dr. Storo continued, dispelling a few commonly held misconceptions about concussions, explaining how playing through concussion-like symptoms can seriously hurt an athlete’s recovery and potentially their career.
“The problem with staying in the game is that your concussion symptoms will last about twice as long.”
The Healthy Living Series Symposium: Concussions: Risks, Reality, and Reforms, sponsored by Northeast Delta Dental, the Union Leader Corp and SNHU, was the beginning of a conversation meant to inform not only athletes and parents about the dangers of concussions, but also put these athletics-related concussions in perspective. Drew Galbraith, Senior Associate Athletics Director and Executive Director of Dartmouth Peak Performance at Dartmouth College said, “It’s hard because these are games that we love, but in the end they are games.”