Tallahassee Orthopedic Clinic Hires Preeminent Expert in Concussion Management
New Regional Concussion Center to Help Assess, Treat and Manage Injuries
Tallahassee, Fla. –Concussions can occur in any sport or physical activity and there is much concern these days about how to prevent, identify and properly treat these head injuries in athletes at risk. In response to this growing concern, Tallahassee Orthopedic Clinic (TOC) has recruited Dr. Scott Burkhart, a neuropsychologist, to join its staff as the Clinical Director for its new Regional Concussion Center.
Florida State University has also named Dr. Burkhart as team neuropsychologist for the Seminoles. Dr. Burkhart will provide FSU athletic teams with cutting-edge concussion assessment, treatment and management. This is another step in the 35-year history that TOC has enjoyed -- working with FSU athletics as official team physicians and athletic trainers.
“TOC has offered excellent concussion management services for area athletes since 2009,” said Dr. Hector Mejia, sport medicine specialist at TOC. “However, Dr. Burkhart brings state-of-the-art expertise and training which will help us coordinate a comprehensive approach to helping athletes, their families and their coaches. “
This past summer, Dr. Burkhart completed a two-year Concussion Fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Sports Concussion Program under Dr. Micky Collins. Dr. Collins, along with Dr. Mark Lovell and Dr. Joseph Maroon, developed ImPACT testing at the University of Pittsburgh. It is the first, most widely-used and most scientifically validated computerized concussion evaluation system. All the major professional sports teams, more than 7,400 high schools, more than 1,000 colleges and universities, and more than 900 clinical centers around the country use ImPACT.
Working with personnel and coaches at each school, TOC athletic trainers have conducted 8,676 ImPACT baseline and post-injury tests in 41 different schools in 19 counties in North Florida and South Georgia. In Leon County alone, TOC has conducted 3,035 ImPACT tests with athletes and coaches in each Tallahassee high school.
Parents, coaches, athletic trainers and medical providers are all concerned about the critical issue: avoiding premature return to play.
“The key is for athletes to get a baseline test every two years, so that if a concussion is suspected, the baseline ImPACT test will serve as a comparison to make gradual return to play and academic decisions,” said Dr. Burkhart.
Approximately 10 percent of student athletes in contact supports will suffer a concussion during their season.
“These injuries are not limited to football,” said Dr. Burkhart. “It is important to remember it can occur in boys, girls, men and women playing soccer, baseball, softball, hockey, motocross and cheerleading.”
- Along with baseline neurocognitive assessments, Dr. Burkhart will also offer:
- Medical evaluation an diagnosis by a clinician fellowship trained in concussion
- Individualized treatment plans and follow-up care
- Maintaining a secure database of baseline and post-injury test results
- Education programs and on-going support for parents, coaches, athletic trainers, and school personnel
- Medical assistance with return-to-play decisions
- Seminars for parent and family member groups
Dr. Burkhart will be working alongside Jenni Puhr, MHA, ATC, who is a Certified Athletic Trainer and highly experienced with ImPACT testing and concussion protocols. To learn more about the TOC Regional Concussion Center, call TOC at 850-877-8174.
About the Tallahassee Orthopedic Clinic and its Foundation
For over 35 years, TOC has provided the highest quality orthopedic and sports medicine care in North Florida and South Georgia. TOC staff include 22 physicians with more than 200 employees, including PA’s, ARNP’s, RN’s, Certified Athletic Trainers, Certified Orthotics and an extensive support team of medical and technical assistants. TOC provides a comprehensive Sports Medicine Program, a Regional Concussion Center, MRI services, an Orthotics and Prosthetics Division, Physical Therapy and an Outpatient Surgery Center.
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