Barry Jordan, M.D., M.P.H., assistant medical director of Burke Rehabilitation Hospital has been selected to be part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Concussion Task Force that will begin meeting in April to study the issues surrounding sports concussions in student athletes.
“It is an honor to be selected to be part of a group of people dedicated to protecting our young athletes from this serious trauma,” said Dr. Jordan, who is also director of Burke’s Brain Injury Rehabilitation program.
Over the last eight years, the NCAA’s Injury Surveillance Program found that the rate of concussions for the NCAA overall is 1.9 concussions per 1,000 game-related exposures when injuries can occur. This has remained steady even as efforts have been made to better recognize and treat this injury. During the 2011 NCAA football season, 2.5 concussions were reported for every 1,000 periods of athletic activity.
"We need to get a better idea of the epidemiology of the situation and see what we're dealing with," Dr. Jordan said. And that is exactly what the task force will attempt to do. According to NCAA Chief Medical Officer Brian Hainline, M.D., the goal of the dozen physicians and scientists on the task force is to try to make sense out of everything—to come to a consensus about what is known, unknown and how to move forward. The task force will also look at concussions from what is causative versus correlative, and determine a management plan. The results will then be submitted to the NCAA Board that will evaluate the findings and determine the next course of action.
The NCAA says this process will take place over the next few years and that there is no timeline for the completion of the study.
In addition to the NCAA Task Force, Dr. Jordan has also been invited to join the Pop Warner Football Medical Advisory Committee. The committee is led by physicians with expertise in neuro-medicine and sports safety. It focuses on the prevention, proper identification and treatment of concussions; and increasing awareness regarding hydration, proper nutrition, and health and safety issues, especially for those involved in football and cheerleading.
The committee was formed in 2010 by Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides youth football and cheer and dance programs for about 425,000 participants aged 5 to 16 years old, in 42 states and several countries around the world, to ensure Pop Warner remains proactive on all medical issues that affect youth sports.
“As a former Pop Warner Football player, I am delighted to be part of the committee and look forward to helping keep our young athletes playing and, most importantly, playing safely,” Dr. Jordan said.
Dr. Jordan is committed to the safety of athletes at all levels. Along with the NCAA and Pop Warner, Dr. Jordan serves as the chief medical officer of the New York State Athletic Commission, team physician for U.S.A. Boxing, and a member of both the National Football League (NFL) Players Association Mackey-White Traumatic Brain Injury Committee and the NFL Neuro-Cognitive Disability Committee.