CACTIS  Foundation - Informatics/Imagenomics/Innovation Concussions 2020
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Since 2017, the CACTIS Foundation and Maricopa County Attorney’s Office have partnered in a study based on concussions inflicted during domestic violence incidents. This groundbreaking collaboration brings together members of law enforcement, the medical community, and researchers to develop a greater understanding, identification, and treatment of concussions in the context of domestic violence.

The study includes data collection provided by the Mesa and Tempe Police Departments. Officers have been trained to use a small handheld device to measure oculomotor, or eye tracking, data of victims when they are called to intimate patner violence incidents. The measurement taken by the officers, along with subsequent medical exam information, and follow-up examination data will help identify abused individuals suspected of having a concussion. The initial identification will allow victims the opportunity to receive appropriate care, through a large network of collaborators and providers, and shelter at the Sojourner Center, when requested.

While the first goal of the study is to determine the frequency of concussions in this population, it also intends to go beyond this initial level of analysis and confirm and offer care and treatment to the victims. The second goal of the study is for research partners to use the data collected to not only assess the frequency of concussions in victims of domestic violence, but also analyze the outcomes leading to the development of “Best Practices” for improving the lives of these individuals and facilitate their successful Return to Society.

Study partners include the Sojourner Center, The CACTIS Foundation, HonorHealth, the University of Arizona-College of Medicine-Phoenix, Conquering Concussions LLC, and Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. The collaboration and analysis by these groups will lead to the creation of guidelines for law enforcement, prosecutors and the medical community.

Through these identified “Best Practices,” law enforcement will better recognize and address concussion in domestic violence cases. Prosecutors can develop enhanced apprehension and prosecution strategies for abusers who cause these injuries. Medical providers will be able to offer better care to patients by recognizing when they show signs and symptoms of concussion.

Additionally, evaluation of the first two years of data will help determine whether existing criminal statutes capture the criminal conduct involved in these types of injuries or if a new statute is needed.

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