CACTIS  Foundation - Informatics/Imagenomics/Innovation Concussions 2019
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Cactis Foundation partners with Banner Concussion Center to prevent Soccer Injuries

Charlie ShearerDr. Charlie Shearer, an optometry consultant with CACTIS, tests the near/far accommodation capabilities of a young soccer player. Several of Dr. Shearer’s inventions and techniques are in daily use at the Banner Concussion Center.

After the summer headlines about the consequences of concussions in football, the Banner Concussion Center and a Scottsdale nonprofit are addressing the challenge head on as girls soccer kicks into its busy season.

The frequency of concussions in girls playing high school soccer is 68 percent higher than for boys and it’s nearly triple the boys rate in high school basketball, according to research by scientists at Ohio State University, Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and the NCAA. Even worse, mild Traumatic Brain Injury, commonly referred to as concussions, often goes unrecognized or ignored.

It’s a reality that the Banner Concussion Center and CACTIS Foundation take seriously. In addition to soccer, the CACTIS Foundation, a nonprofit focused on reducing the consequences of concussions, is also addressing head injuries in football, wrestling, hockey, lacrosse, basketball, cheerleading and baseball, including umpiring.

The CACTIS Foundation is collaborating with the Banner Concussion Center to provide advanced optometry and audiology services, expanding the center’s multidisciplinary capabilities and making the facility among the most comprehensive centers “under one roof” in the country.

“CACTIS is proud to bring the services of highly qualified optometrists and an audiologist to the Banner Concussion Center. These specialists bring extensive experience in assessing and treating concussion patients, elevating integrated patient care,” said Hirsch Handmaker, M.D., chairman and CEO of CACTIS.

Dr. Charlie Shearer, a consulting optometrist at the center and Midwestern University’s Arizona College of Optometry, is widely known for his research and development programs, and several of his inventions are in daily use at the Banner Concussion Center. Dr. Neha Amin LaCorte, another optometrist on the CACTIS team, has consulted with the Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center in Phoenix, treating Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffering from war-related mTBI through her Phoenix practice.

Dr. Dana Day is recognized as one of the leading audiologists in the U.S. performing videonystagmography assessments in concussion patients. Dr. Day, who also practices at feature of contemporary concussion assessment and management, at the Banner Concussion Center.

Rather than having to visit multiple health care facilities, Banner Concussion Center patients receive integrated BrainStamp (baseline) evaluations and therapy for concussion-related oculomotor (vision) and vestibular (balance) problems.

Dr. Steven Erickson, the center’s medical director, is board certified in sports medicine and internal medicine. He has been involved in concussion medical care for the past decade.

Shelly Massingale, the center’s senior clinical manager, has 18 years of experience in treating vestibular and balance disorders, common with the diagnosis of concussion.

“So much attention has been directed to concussions in football, the risks of head injury in girls soccer and other youth sports tend to be overlooked. CACTIS and the Banner Concussion Center are pioneering a new frontier in bringing awareness and education to preventing concussions and actively managing them when they do occur,” said Massingale, who is also a soccer mom. Massingale and Dr. Erickson recently announced a partnership with the Arizona Youth Soccer Association.

This fall, the Banner Concussion Center and CACTIS are launching a campaign to assist athletes, coaches, parents and athletic trainers to determine when youth athletes may safely play sports again, known as Return to Play decisions.

CACTIS also collaborates with the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale to educate their staff, parents and kids about the risks of improper management of concussions. CACTIS encourages the youth to participate in sports, but to use proper technique and report head injuries as soon as they occur to facilitate favorable outcomes.

As part of its outreach with the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale, CACTIS sponsors an annual “Hero” Award honoring nationally recognized figures concerned about the consequences of concussions in young athletes.

About CACTIS

The Central Arizona Center for Therapeutic and Imaging Services Foundation (“CACTIS”), a 501(c)3 organization, is a community-based institution focused on advancing the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease. It supports research-oriented preclinical and early phase clinical trials, Continuing Medical Education and other programs for patients and healthcare professionals.

CACTIS is currently developing programs in the fields of oncology, molecular imaging, orthopedics, and sports medicine and concussions, with significant attention to addressing the healthcare delivery disparities of underserved communities. For more information, visit www.cactis.org or contact us at 866-882-4484 or info@cactisfoundation.org.

Banner Concussion Center approach

The Banner Concussion Center’s comprehensive approach to concussion care includes its concussion awareness and education program as well as balance, cognitive and vision testing. The clinical team is made up of specialists experienced in the diagnosis and management of concussion, including a readily accessible panel of subspecialists with experience in caring for patients with post-concussion syndrome and other concussion complications. In addition, a multidisciplinary research team collaborates to investigate all facets of mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI), commonly known as concussions.

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Contact us about support of CACTIS events:
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