Chairman Miller Tackles Youth Sports Concussions Head-on

Education and Labor Committee Members Highlighted for Endorsing PABI Plan

NEW YORK – The Sarah Jane Brain Foundation announced Dr. Gerard Gioia will be one of the featured witnesses during the U.S House Education and Labor Committee hearing on Thursday morning titled, “The Impact of Concussions on High School Athletes”. The Sarah Jane Brain Foundation also acknowledged the leadership of Chairman George Miller in holding this critical hearing and the Members of the Committee who are already co-sponsors of H. Con. Res. 198.

Dr. Gerry Gioia said, “The complications in preventing, identifying and treating concussions with high school athletes are vast. While “mild” traumatic brain injuries (mTBI) are the most common presentations representing more than 80% of the brain injuries sustained in children and young adults, they are often unrecognized and therefore poorly treated. The term “mild TBI” can be misleading since there is nothing mild about any brain injury.” Dr. Gioia is the National Lead Director for “mild TBI” Category of Care within the National Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury Plan developed by Dr. Gioia and his colleagues on the International Advisory Board of the Sarah Jane Brain Foundation. He is the Chief of Division of Pediatric Neuropsychology and Director of the Safe Concussions Outcome, Recovery & Education (SCORE) Program at Children’s National Medical Center.

“As a father of a child with an acquired brain injury, I am truly grateful for Chairman Miller’s leadership in conducting this hearing and highlighting the current fragmented system of care for the millions of families who have a child or young adult with a brain injury,” said Patrick Donohue. “We are also so appreciative to have so many Members of the Education and Labor Committee endorsing the National Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury Plan through their co-sponsorship of H. Con. Res. 198.” Patrick Donohue is the father of 4-year-old Sarah Jane Donohue who was violently shaken when she was just 5 days old, breaking four ribs, both collarbones and causing a severe brain injury. He is also the founder of The Sarah Jane Brain Foundation.

Congressman Rush Holt (NJ-12) said, “With millions of brain injuries occurring each year to our nation’s youth, and many to our youth athletes, the work we are doing today to examine the consequences of concussions on high school athletes is very important to the overall goal of implementing the National Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury Plan (PABI Plan).

“Addressing Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury (PABI) is an important issue for our nation’s health and for ensuring that our students are able to meet their full potential,” Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-3) said. “I am pleased that the Education and Labor Committee is holding a hearing to begin to examine the role schools can play in helping to prevent, detect and treat brain injuries in student athletes, and as a co-sponsor of H. Con. Res. 198, I understand the need to support better care for those who suffer from PABI.”

“I co-sponsored H. Con. Res. 198 because we must improve treatment for those whose lives are severely impacted by Pediatric Acquired Brain Injuries (PABI),” said Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter. “These injuries have a devastating impact on too many children and young adults. Concussions are a specific form of PABI and, unfortunately, they are quite prevalent in our school sports. I applaud the Committee for holding this hearing today.”

There are over 100 co-sponsors of H. Con. Res. 198 from 40 states in which Congress –

1) Recognizes that PABI is the leading cause of death and disability for American children from birth to 25 years of age
2) Endorses the National Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury Plan as the method to prevent PABI and treat these millions of children and young adults while supporting their families
3) Encourages all Federal, State and local governments to implement the PABI Plan

(Emphasis added and for the full exact text of H. Con. Res. 198 as well as the complete list of co-sponsors please visit:

The following Members of the Education and Labor Committee are already co-sponsors of H. Con. Res. 198:
* Michael Castle (DE-at-large)
* Yvette Clarke (NY-11)
* Joe Courtney (CT-2)
* Marcia Fudge (OH-11)
* Raul Grijalva (AZ-7)
* Mazie Hirono (HI-2)
* Rush Holt (NJ-12)
* Dale Kildee (MI-5)
* Dave Loebsack (IA-2)
* Donald Payne (NJ-10)
* Robert Scott (VA-3)
* Carol Shea-Porter (NH-1)
* Dina Titus (NV-3)
* David Wu (OR-1)

In addition to Dr. Gerry Gioia, the following witnesses will be testifying:
* Linda Kohn, Ph.D., Director, Health Care Issues, U.S. Government Accountability Office
* Michael Monacelli, Athletic Director and Head Football Coach, Caledonia-Mumford Central High School, Caledonia, New York
* Michelle Pelton, Former High School Athlete, Swansea, MA

The hearing will take place at the House Education and Labor Committee Hearing Room at 2175 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C. on Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 9:00 a.m.

The hearing will be webcast live from the Education and Labor Committee

For more information about The Sarah Jane Brain Foundation as well to read the entire National Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury Plan (PABI Plan) please visit