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2012 Press Releases
Morton Plant Mease Sports Medicine Program’s ImPACT Concussion Test Screens 1,000th Student Athlete
CLEARWATER, Fla., (Nov. 28, 2012)– Morton Plant Mease’s sports medicine program for student athletes has reached a milestone, screening 1,000 student athletes in Pinellas County, Florida, with ImPACT, (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) an objective measurement tool used for concussion screenings.

ImPACT is a neurocognitive test that measures visual and verbal memory, reaction time, visual motor time, and impulse control. The baseline test is compared to a follow up test after a concussion occurs to determine if there are any changes in the brain, whether or not the student athlete needs to be sidelined for a period of time, and when an athlete can return to play. It is the same neurocognitive program used by the NFL, NHL, MLB, and several college programs.

“The number of sports-related concussions are highest among high-school-aged athletes and can lead to challenges with learning and scholastic performance, said Ted Farrar, MD, Morton Plant Mease family and sports medicine physician. “It is important to manage concussions carefully. ImPACT provides objective data to physicians to determine the severity of the concussion and how to manage the recovery more effectively.”

The Florida Legislature recently passed a law to protect the safety of youth athletes from risk of concussions and head injuries. It requires youth athletes to be taken out of sporting events or practices under certain conditions that cause risk of head injuries and requires written medical clearance to return to play.

Concussions are brain injuries that disrupt normal brain functions caused by a bump, jolt or blow to the head or body. They can happen not only from playing football, but also from other sports including soccer, wrestling and cheerleading. Some signs of a concussion include headaches, nausea, balance problems, concentration or memory problems, confusion, and blurry vision.

Morton Plant Mease’s comprehensive concussion management program involves certified athletic trainers, primary care physicians, neurologists, neuropsychologists, neuroradiologists, and certified vestibular physical therapists. The program’s goal is to increase safety awareness among coaches, student athletes, and parents, and to provide educational materials and follow up evaluations to determine return-to-play timelines for student athletes. With the support of the Morton Plant Mease Foundation, the program’s goal is to screen 2,000 student athletes.

Morton Plant Mease has provided certified athletic trainers at 10 north Pinellas County, Florida high schools for more than 10 years to be onsite at sporting practices and events as part of a partnership with the Pinellas County School District.

About Morton Plant Mease
Nationally recognized for health care excellence, Morton Plant Mease Health Care is dedicated to providing community owned health care services that set the standard for high-quality, compassionate care. Morton Plant Mease Health Care is comprised of the following hospitals – Morton Plant, Clearwater; Mease Dunedin, Dunedin; Mease Countryside, Safety Harbor and Morton Plant North Bay, New Port Richey.

About BayCare Health System
BayCare Health System is a leading community-based health system in the Tampa Bay area. Composed of a network of 10 not-for-profit hospitals, outpatient facilities and services such as imaging, lab, behavioral health and home health care, BayCare provides expert medical care throughout a patient’s lifetime. With more than 200 access points conveniently located throughout Tampa Bay, BayCare connects patients to a complete range of preventive, diagnostic and treatment services for any health care need.

BayCare’s family of hospitals are: Mease Countryside, Mease Dunedin, Morton Plant, Morton Plant North Bay, St. Anthony’s, St. Joseph’s, St. Joseph’s Children’s, St. Joseph’s Hospital-North, St. Joseph’s Women’s, and South Florida Baptist. For more information, visit BayCare on the Web at

Contact: Lisa Creswell
(727) 420-9769 Phone
(727) 402-5975 Pager