UPMC, Pitt Experts Participate in White House Summit

By: Chuck Finder

Micky Collins, Ph.D., clinical and executive director of the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program, and assistant research director Anthony Kontos, Ph.D., were among the few academics, researchers and clinicians who took part in the White House’s Healthy Kids and Safe Sports Concussion Summit last week.

“It was an honor for the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program to be invited to the White House for the summit,” Dr. Collins said. “There was some encouraging discussion about the subject — one that is very familiar to us in our program, and to people in Pittsburgh, around western Pennsylvania and across sports America. The focus was on sports being a good thing, let’s continue to make progress in treating and studying concussions in addition to working to improve safety in all sports.”

With Drs. Kontos and Collins helping to lead the way, the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC are in the midst of $6 million in research grants — from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense (DOD), and others — to continue their 15-plus-years emphasis on the study of concussions. Pitt and UPMC are among the nation’s leaders in published concussion research with more than 175 papers overall and roughly 25 annually over the past few years. The concussion clinic sees as many as 20,000 patient visits per year, including people from more than 20 states.

In his remarks, President Obama singled out several programs under way or on the books – and the Concussion Program is involved in many of them, such as the  American Psychological Association’s Web-based Concussions Toolkit, research relating to the DOD, and more.