CACTIS  Foundation - Informatics/Imagenomics/Innovation Concussions 2020
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Dana Day Phoenix
Dana Day, an audiologist, assesses the oculomotor functions of a soccer player with the Phoenix Rush club. The test, known as videonystagmography or VNG, is part of the advanced technology CACTIS provides at the Banner Concussion Center.
Neha Amin LaCorte
Dr. Neha Amin LaCorte, an optometrist on the CACTIS team, performs an eye exam for a young soccer player. The Banner Concussion Center’s optometry and audiology services help to make the center among the most advanced and comprehensive in the country.
Charlie Shearer
Dr. 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.

Youth Soccer Players to Receive Baseline Testing for Concussions on Saturday

The Banner Concussion Center is conducting leading-edge baseline testing on 18 girl soccer players this Saturday morning in advance of the September start of the 2013-14 youth season.

The tests will guide medical professionals in future evaluations and assist them in making Return to Play (RTP) decisions for Arizona Youth Soccer Association players should they sustain a head injury. In addition, the event will bring awareness of the importance of preventing concussions in youth sports.

The Banner Concussion Center, which opened in April 2013, recently formed a partnership with The CACTIS Foundation ("CACTIS") to provide optometry and audiology services, expanding the center's multidisciplinary capabilities, which are among the most advanced and comprehensive in the country. Patients receive integrated evaluations and therapy for concussion-related oculomotor (vision) and vestibular problems at the Banner Concussion Center rather than having to visit multiple health care facilities and offices.

In addition, the Banner Concussion Center and Arizona Youth Soccer Association have formed a partnership to educate athletes and their parents about concussion prevention. The Banner Concussion Center and the soccer association are developing comprehensive policies to ensure the young athletes' safety and provide guidance on appropriate return to activities after a head injury.

On Saturday, Phoenix Rush Soccer Club players (6th graders) from north Phoenix and Scottsdale will undergo:

  • Immediate Post-­‐Concussion Assessment Testing (ImPACT®) - A computerized neurocognitive assessment about the athlete's normal function that measures attention, memory, reaction time and information processing speed.
  • Banner Concussion Center Neurovestibular Functional Balance Test - A computerized forceplate that measures the athlete's balance under a variety of conditions challenging specific balance systems in the body.
  • Vision Motor Enhancement Training (VMET) – A visual screen displaying sports activities that measures coordination and eye movement.
  • Vision Screening Exam and Visual Integration Testing

WHAT: 18 girl soccer players to undergo baseline concussion testing before season begins

WHEN: 11 a.m. to noon on Saturday, August 17

WHERE: Banner Concussion Center, 1320 N. 10th Street, Suite B, in Phoenix (South of McDowell Road and east of 7th Street)

VISUAL ELEMENTS, INTERVIEWS: The soccer players will be in uniform. Cameras are welcome during the testing. Parents and Banner Concussion Center staff will be on hand. Dr. Steven M. Erickson, the medical director of the Banner Concussion Center; Dr. Hirsch Handmaker, chairman of The CACTIS Foundation; and Shelly Massingale, director of the Banner Concussion Center; will be available for interviews.

Prior to Saturday, soccer players and representatives of the Banner Concussion Center, The CACTIS Foundation and Arizona Youth Soccer Association are available for interviews.

"Conducting pre-season baseline testing while athletes are healthy is incredibly important to help health care professionals provide the best possible assessment when a concussion is suspected," said Dr. Hirsch Handmaker, chairman of CACTIS Foundation. "We recommend all athletes take the short time out of their pre-season training schedule to participate in this important process."

"Educating parents, coaches and athletes to recognize the signs of concussions and the appropriate steps that health care providers should take in the prevention, diagnosis and management of concussions is one of the most important issues in sports medicine today," said Dr. Steven M. Erickson, the medical director of the Banner Concussion Center and board certified Sports Medicine Specialist.

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. Learn more about the Banner Concussion Center. To make an appointment for baseline testing call (602) 839-7285.


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 (CME) and other programs for patients and healthcare professionals. CACTIS is currently developing programs in the fields of oncology, molecular imaging, orthopaedics, sports medicine and concussions, with significant attention to addressing the healthcare delivery disparities of underserved communities. For more information, visit or contact us at (866) 882-4484 or


Arizona Youth Soccer Association (AYSA) is a 501c(3) non-profit association. AYSA is the official youth soccer association of the United States Soccer Federation and United States Youth Soccer. AYSA represents 78 Member Leagues and Clubs comprising membership of more than 36,900 registered players, coaches, referees and league administrators. Servicing the entire state, AYSA provides rewarding recreational and competitive opportunities for Players of all ages, genders and skill levels. For more information, please visit:

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