UGAA Sports Medicine To Host Conference & Symposium

May 28, 2012

ATHENS, Ga. --- The University of Georgia Athletic Association's Sports Medicine Department will host a conference on Emergency Care in Sports (ECS) at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education this Wednesday-Friday. Within the conference, a free healthcare symposium will be held discussing the management of sport-related concussions.

“Although most sports injuries are relatively minor, life threatening injuries are unpredictable and can occur without warning,” said Ron Courson, Assistant AD for Sports Medicine for the UGA Athletic Association. “Due to a relatively low incidence rate of catastrophic injuries, those tasked with overseeing organized athletics often develop a false sense of security. All personnel involved with the organization or sponsorship of athletic activities share a professional responsibility to provide for the emergency care of an injured athlete”

The ECS Conference will open Wednesday with sessions covering emergency situations as well as action and crisis management plans for those instances. Thursday's schedule includes presentations covering spine, cardiac and heat exertional situations. On Friday, the conference will concentrate on various trauma situations, including an AirMed helicopter landing demonstration on the UGA football practice fields.

"Proper management of emergencies is critical and should be handled by trained personnel," Courson said. "Emergencies can occur during any physical activity or at any level of participation, and heightened awareness associated with the nature of the incident and its management is critical.”

In association with the conference, a free symposium on sport-related concussions will be conducted in the Mahler Auditorium at the Georgia Center on Wednesday, May 30 at 8 p.m.

The symposium will feature the airing of the CNN Dr. Sunjay Gupta Reports "Big Hits, Broken Dream" followed by a panel discussion. Courson will moderate the discussion, which will feature the following noted healthcare providers in the area of sport concussion: Kim Walpert, MD, neurosurgeon, UGA; Fred Reifsteck, MD, head team physician, UGA; Mike Ferrara, PhD, ATC, director, sports concussion research laboratory; and Angela Yi, PhD, clinical neuropsychologist, Shepherd Center.

"We are excited about offering the concussion management seminar as a free educational resource for anyone in the local health care community," Courson said. "This is a hot topic in sports medicine today and we have an excellent panel of presenters. It should be a great opportunity to share current information in this area and exchange new ideas in concussion management."

The symposium is approved for continuing medical education (CME) for physicians and board of certification continuing education units (BOC CEU) for certified athletic trainers in attendance and is being sponsored by the Georgia Neurological Surgery and Comprehensive Spine; the University of Georgia; Athens Regional Medical Center; and St. Mary's Healthcare System.

For more information on the conference or symposium, email

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