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Third Annual Concussion Summit Looks To ‘The Science of Staying Safe’
BIRMINGHAM – Children’s of Alabama will host its third annual Concussion Summit Friday, April 15 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., in its Bradley Lecture Center (Children’s Harbor Building, 1600 6th Ave. S., Birmingham, 35223). This year’s conference theme is “The Science of Staying Safe.”

Hosted by UAB Sports Medicine at Children’s and the Wise Up! Initiative, the day-long conference will be open to the public and will include presentations targeting coaches, athletic directors and trainers, school leaders and nurses, and parents.

Registration is $25 and includes lunch. Free parking will be available in the Children’s Park Place Deck at 16th Street South and Fifth Avenue South. Online registration is available at For more information or to request a printed registration form, call 205-638-6916. Continuing education opportunities will be available.

This year’s keynote speaker is Robert Stern, Ph.D., professor of neurology, neurosurgery, and anatomy and neurobiology at Boston University School of Medicine, where he also serves as director of the clinical core for the BU Alzheimer’s Disease Center and director of clinical research for the BU Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) Center. CTE is a degenerative brain disease linked to repeated head hits in contact sports.

Last year, Stern and other researchers from BU, the Cleveland Clinic, Banner Alzheimer’s Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston were awarded a $16 million grant from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH/NINDS). The seven-year grant will aid researchers in finding a way to diagnose CTE while victims are still alive.

“There are so many critical unanswered questions about CTE. We are optimistic that this project will lead to many of these answers, by developing accurate methods of detecting and diagnosing CTE during life, and by examining genetic and other risk factors for this disease,” Stern said in a statement.

Other topics to be addressed include the role of genetics and active rehabilitation in brain injury recovery, women and concussion, and when to refer student-athletes to the Children’s Concussion Clinic. In addition, a former NFL players’ panel will discuss the new tackling approach of “taking the head out of the game.” Panelists include Kevin Drake, former UAB quarterback and wide receiver and program director of the Wise Up! Initiative; Chris Goode, former University of Alabama defensive back; and Stan White, former Auburn University quarterback.

Since 1911, Children’s of Alabama has provided specialized medical care for ill and injured children, offering inpatient and outpatient services throughout central Alabama. Ranked among the best pediatric medical centers in the nation by US News & World Report, Children’s provided care for youngsters from every county in Alabama, 41 other states and eight foreign countries last year, representing more than 677,000 outpatient visits and more than 15,000 inpatient admissions. With more than 2 million square feet, Children’s is the third largest pediatric medical facility in the U.S. More information is available at