- New York: The NFL has hired Allen Sills to serve as the organization's first CMO. In his new role, Sills—a professor of neurological surgery, orthopedic surgery, and rehabilitation at Vanderbilt University Medical Center who has published extensively on sports concussions—will guide NFL's health and research efforts. Sills is slated to begin his new job in May, although he will continue to be active at Vanderbilt (AP/ESPN, 3/26).
- Tennessee: East Tennessee Children's Hospital has "hired" Farley, a 5-month-old golden retriever puppy who will serve as the hospital's first full-time comfort animal. The hospital received a grant from PetSmart Charities to get Farley, who will soon begin a six-week puppy training program. Farley will have to be at least one year old, complete another program, and be evaluated for temperament before she can interact with patients (Moyer, USA Today, 3/28).
- Virginia: Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) on Monday said he will amend his state budget proposal to give him the authority to pursue Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, just days after the GOP lawmakers in the House scrapped a vote on a plan to repeal and replace the health care law. McAuliffe has repeatedly sought to expand Virginia's Medicaid program but has faced opposition from Republican lawmakers. However, McAuliffe on Monday said, "It is clear that the ACA is now the law of the land and here to stay," adding, "There are no excuses anymore" not to expand Medicaid (Schneider, "Virginia Politics," Washington Post, 3/27).
Caring for concussion patients
According to the CDC, approximately 1.3 million people sustain a form of concussion each year, while many more go unreported. Recently, concussions have received a sharp increase in national exposure. Public attention is translating into active legislation mandating considerations in concussion care for students in almost forty states.
This research brief profiles four concussion management programs to deliver best in-class tips on how progressive providers are managing concussion care.