4-Time Gold Medalist, Hayley Wickenheiser joins HighMark Health - Puts Her Words into Action Regarding Understanding & Treating Head Injury

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Sept. 28, 2016 /CNW/ - Hayley Wickenheiser, 4-time Olympic Gold Medalist and Order of Canada recipient announced today that she has joined the Professional Advisory Board for HighMark Health, a Canadian organization that is providing leadership and innovative technologies to assist with diagnosis and treatment of concussions.

"The past several years, it has become very clear to me - and to many in the sporting circle - that concussions are more than just rattling your cage, they actually rattle your brain and cause long-term damage when not diagnosed or treated properly," says Wickenheiser.

Wickenheiser has been vocal in her concerns about the culture of sport, and its tendency to dismiss the long-term effects of concussion, particularly as she has seen the most tragic effects within her own circle of friends and fellow athletes. "By teaming up with HighMark Health, I will contribute an athlete perspective in regards to the research and treatment of concussions and traumatic head injury," Wickenheiser continues.

Wickenheiser goes on, "The HighMark Health team are true professionals who represent the evolution of Sports Medicine. As pioneers in Collision and Sports Medicine, they are developing new approaches to diagnose and treat concussions. As an athlete, I know that there is a culture in sport, where athletes don't want to talk about injuries of any kind, let alone head injuries. I am so proud to join this advisory board, because I believe that by creating awareness and talking about the consequences of head injuries we can push for a culture change in sport."

Dr. Sanjeev Sharma, MD, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman for HighMark Health says, "We are very pleased to welcome Hayley, a Canadian legend, to the HighMark Health Professional Advisory Board. Hayley embodies the spirit of courage, creativity and compassion; values that resonate highly with HighMark. Her interest in medicine coupled with her unique insight into the culture of sports injury (specifically head injuries) make her a valuable member of our organization."

"Her tremendous international experience provides a powerful perspective regarding injury inside the locker room. Specifically, how athletes approach and deal with head injuries after the lights and cameras are gone, and the stadiums are empty. That insight will be extremely helpful as we strive to not only provide leadership with respect to concussion diagnosis and treatment, but also to raise awareness, begin dialogues, and serve as change agents.

Together we look forward to creating new paradigms for the way head injuries are diagnosed and managed, thus improving the quality of life for our patients and our community," continues Dr. Sharma.


Four-time Olympic Gold Medalist, Hayley Wickenheiser is regarded as one of the best female hockey players in the world.

In non-Olympic years, Hayley kept her skills sharp by playing with the University of Calgary Dinos and graduating in 2013 with a BSc Degree in Kinesiology. In 2015, she completed her Masters in Medical Sciences.

Hayley has been honoured with an appointment to The Order of Canada and a space on Canada's Walk of Fame. In 2014 she was elected to International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Athletes Commission.

Wickenheiser has also been named to various lists including Sports Illustrated's Toughest Athletes, Globe and Mail's Power 50 and QMI Agency's top 10 Greatest Female Athletes of The History of Sports.

Hayley's passion for sport is paralleled by her drive to give back to the community, particularly to organizations with a commitment to youth such as JumpStart, Right to Play, KidSport, cancer-related causes and many causes related to youth and autism.


ABOUT HighMark Health

HighMark Health holds a unique position in the milieu of healthcare clinics focused on injury, in that it brings a breadth of medical expertise as well as an unparalleled capability in its clinicians as team members who leverage their expertise specific to the diagnosis and treatment in the area of Collision Medicine.

Collision Medicine at HighMark Health approaches every diagnosis with a synergistic set of different clinical perspectives and then uses multidisciplinary teams in targeted interventions that optimize patient results.

In addition, the HighMark Health culture is steeped heavily in the use of medical technology to improve diagnostics, deliver more effective therapy, and to empower patients to harness their own innate ability to heal.


SOURCE HighMark Health

Image with caption: "Hayley Wickenheiser - 4-Time Gold Medalist. (CNW Group/HighMark Health)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160928_C7683_PHOTO_EN_784189.jpg

For further information: To arrange an interview with Hayley Wickenheiser or Dr. Sharma, contact: Ceilidh Price, Ditto Communications, cprice@dittocomm.com or 403-462-7895 (text or call)

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