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Chris Nowinski to receive First Annual Conquering Concussions "Hero" Award from The CACTIS Foundation

PHOENIX, AZ, January 19, 2012 – The CACTIS Foundation announced today that Chris Nowinski will receive the First Annual Conquering Concussions "Hero" Award, for his pioneering efforts in raising awareness and exploring the issue of minimal Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI), especially in young athletes.

Nowinski is the co‐founder and president of the Sports Legacy Institute, a non‐profit organization dedicated to solve the sports concussion crisis. A former Harvard football player and WWE professional wrestler, Nowinski was forced to retire from a series of concussions in 2003. His challenging recovery from post‐concussion syndrome led him to write the book Head Games: Football's Concussion Crisis, published in 2006, in an effort to educate parents, coaches, and children about this previously hidden public health issue.

"Chris has worked tirelessly to bring awareness to an issue threatening the health and well‐being of all athletes," said Dr. Hirsch Handmaker, Chairman and CEO of The CACTIS Foundation. "His high‐profile campaign to educate athletes, ATCs, coaches and other medical professionals about this serious condition not only will save lives but helps raise this topic to the national consciousness and is changing how traumatic brain injuries are monitored and managed."

The Conquering Concussion's "Hero" Award will be presented at a banquet to be held on Friday night, March 16, 2012 to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale. The banquet will kick off the Second Annual "Current Topics in Sports Medicine" symposium at the Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The all day course features 4 hours on Saturday morning, March 17, 2012, devoted to fast breaking concussion‐related topics, including testing, education, research, legislation and management of the athlete with mTBI. The afternoon presents lectures on the Throwing Shoulder, Hip Injuries in Athletes, and the scientific evidence for Platelet Rich Platelet Therapy (PRP). Dr. Lewis Yocum of the Kerlan‐Jobe Orthopaedics Clinic again will be the Guest Moderator for all sessions.

The Conquering Concussions program is being championed by The CACTIS Foundation to bring the long‐term consequences of repetitive head injury from contact sports and military service to light, with a major emphasis on education programs for 6‐14 year old athletes ‐ the most vulnerable population ‐ on a national and grass roots level.

CACTIS is collaborating with Barrow Neurological Institute (BNI), Phoenix, Arizona in extending the Brainbook e‐learning program to an age‐appropriate Junior Brainbook for younger athletes, and is piloting this program with the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale.

Expanding this program to target those most vulnerable for complications from concussions will be undertaken by The CACTIS Foundation and the original developers to apply what has been learned from enrollment in Brainbook by over 80,000 Arizona high school athletes (out of 100,00) through the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

A rollout on a national basis for this much‐needed program will be based on the thoughtful and considerate donations of generous sponsors. Corporate and individual sponsors and donors eager to support this worthwhile effort can contact The CACTIS Foundation at (480) 383-8402 or

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