Major forum on youth sports concussions set for May 8

May 8, 2014 04:12 PM

Courtesy of Lisa Paradis
Lisa Paradis, director of the Brookline Recreation Department, is a fonder of the New England Youth Concussion Forum.

By Briana Jennings, Globe Correspondent

Athletic Directors, trainers, coaches, doctors, recreation administrators, educators, and others interested in the latest concussion research and return-to-play procedures will come together at the first New England Youth Concussion Forum, to be held Thursday, May 8, at Gillette Stadium.

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Robert Cantu, a nationally recognized expert of sports-related concussions. Cantu is chairman of the Department of Surgery, chief of neurosurgery service, and director of sports medicine at Emerson Hospital in Concord. He is also a clinical professor of neurosurgery at Boston University School of Medicine.

The forum will also include break-out sessions with other medical and sports industry professionals.

Lisa Paradis, director of the Brookline Recreation Department and a founder of the New England Youth Concussion Forum, said, “We created this initiative as a way to help professionals compound a lot of the pre-existing research and findings on concussions and return-to-play policies. There was a wealth of information out there and people doing different things, and we needed a way to streamline that information.”

This forum is a part of Paradis’ three-pronged approach to tackling brain injury prevention in youth sports. Last spring, Paradis developed a mandate for coaches and volunteers to complete baseline concussion screening training before they could obtain field permits for organized youth sports.

Paradis is a member of the Family Advisory Board at the Boston University Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center, which studies the effects of repetitive brain trauma in athletes. Paradis’ father Sheldon was a BU football player and his was the first donated brain donated to the center for study.

Paradis and Dr. Cantu also both testified at the State House in September to extend Massachusetts’s legislation that mandates return-to-play protocols for high school students. They hope to extend protocols to include private schools and youth athletics.

The New England Youth Concussion Forum is supported by the collaborative efforts of many sponsors and supporters in the local athletic, medical, and recreational communities. Contributing sponsors include the Brookline Recreation Department, The Sports Legacy Institute, Gillette Stadium, ImPACT, The Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention, Nexerciser, Vermont Systems, and the Massachusetts Recreation and Parks Association.

The cost of registration is $85 for the day. Registration guarantees admission to the grounds, lunch, exclusive tours of stadium facilities, your choice of breakout sessions in the executive suites, and admission to all other lectures and discussions.

For more information, go to

This article is being published under an arrangement between the Boston Globe and Emerson College.

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