Baseball Ontario and Centric Health-LifeMark team up to raise awareness of game-changing impacts of concussions

TORONTO, April 13, 2015 /CNW/ - April marks Baseball Ontario Concussion Awareness Month and as teams begin warming up for the start of a new baseball season, Centric Health-LifeMark Health is pleased to announce they have teamed up with Baseball Ontario as their official healthcare provider to help educate players, parents and officials about the risks and impacts of sports-related concussions.

"Baseball Ontario is taking a leadership role in increasing awareness of concussions in baseball with our coaches, players, umpires and parents," says David Huctwith, President of Baseball Ontario which represents approximately 59,000 players, 12,000 coaches and 5,000 umpires through 179 local baseball associations across the province. "We've seen the devastating impacts concussions have had on high-profile professional athletes and our goal is to sensitize our stakeholders to the fact that concussions do happen in youth baseball and must be properly managed when they occur."

"It is important that players, parents and coaches are educated and understand that these injuries are brain injuries. They have long-lasting effects. These are not muscle injuries when, sometimes, they can be wrapped up and played through," adds George Poulis, Head Athletic Trainer, Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club.

To support a safe and healthy start to the season, it is critical that all members of sports communities exercise preventative measures; know the signs and symptoms of concussion; and be proactive about treatment and recovery.

Prevent concussions before they occur - Preventative measures can be put in place by ensuring:

  • Players are wearing helmets, mouth guards and other protective equipment
  • The field is examined for uneven areas or holes
  • End posts are padded sufficiently
  • Minimizing the level of contacti

Know the signs and symptoms - A concussion is an invisible brain injury caused by a direct or indirect blow to the head. Concussions can go undetected by x-rays and CT scans, making them difficult to identify and effectively treat. Concussion symptoms can vary based on the severity of the injury, but common symptoms include:

  • Brief loss of consciousness after the sustained injury
  • Memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Nausea

"Concussions can impact all aspects of an individual's life – both on and off the field – and the effects may be serious or even fatal," says Peter Stymiest, Chief Operations Officer of Centric Health's Rehabilitation and Assessments Division which includes the LifeMark network of more than 100 clinic locations across Canada. "Our professionals are proud to partner with Baseball Ontario and other sports associations to help raise awareness and ensure timely and effective diagnosis and treatment."

Take a proactive approach to treatment and recovery – Baseline testing is a pre-season test of the brain functions (memory, learning and concentration skills) to detect any presence of concussion symptoms. Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT), is a clinically developed management tool used by Centric Health's LifeMark professionals as well as leagues such as the NFL, MLB, NHL and MLS to track the recovery of cognitive processes following a concussion.

"ImPACT is a strong proponent of partnerships that promote concussion awareness, education and management. We enthusiastically endorse this initiative between Baseball Ontario and LifeMark and Centric Health in support of Concussion Awareness Month," says Dr. Mark Lovell, Chief Scientific Officer at ImPACT Applications and creator of the ImPACT Test. 

As Baseball Ontario's official healthcare provider, select Centric Health-LifeMark clinics across the province are holding designated pre-season baseline testing days, open houses at clinics and concussion webinars throughout the month of April, for Baseball Ontario members.

About Baseball Ontario             

Baseball Ontario is the Provincial Sport Organization for baseball in Ontario. Incorporated in 1981, Baseball Ontario has 18 affiliated member associations that are made up of 179 local associations, with 59,000 players, 12,000 coaches and 5,000 umpires participating annually. Their mission is to provide the leadership to advance and promote baseball in Ontario.

About LifeMark Centric Health

LifeMark Centric Health has helped patients in wellness recovery since 1998. With over 2,800 dedicated employees and consultants across our network of clinics, we provide care to a growing number of patients coast to coast, from all walks of life. In 2011, Centric Health acquired LifeMark Health on a mission to expand the healthcare horizon in Canada.

About Centric Health Corporation

Centric Health is Canada's largest and most comprehensive national provider of healthcare services focused on producing leading patient outcomes and delivering quality, innovation and sustainable value to patients, clients and stakeholders. With more than 3,000 dedicated healthcare professionals, consultants and support staff serving patients and clients through an extensive platform of 500 locations across the country, Centric Health is uniquely positioned to meet growing healthcare needs in key markets. Centric Health is listed on the TSX under the symbol CHH. For further information, please visit www.centrichealth.ca

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SOURCE Centric Health Corporation

For further information: Renée Hourigan, Director of Communications, Centric Health, 416-619-9413, renee.hourigan@centrichealth.ca


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