The bill was passed on August 11 in response to the tragic death of 16-year-old Westfield-Brocton football player Damon Janes, who had collapsed on the field after sustaining a head injury from an illegal helmet-to-helmet tackle.
“Certified first-aids are a necessity for educators,” states Mr. Victor Van Vliet, currently entering his 22nd season of coaching York High School’s women’s varsity soccer team. “Once an athlete is injured, the athlete is taken out of play.” Coach Van Vliet re-iterates the importance for creating a standardization for the rehabilitation of student athletes that have sustained a head injury, citing the comprehensive Zurich Progressive Exertion Protocol, a 5-step program focused on progressively increasing an athlete’s rehabilitation as their concussion symptoms decline.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, concussions and traumatic brain injuries affect 1.7 million people every year, with children and adolescents among the most at-risk. While most people make a full recovery, for some, injuries can cause damage that lasts a lifetime or even leads to death.
According to a press release by Senator Young, prior to the improvements provided by this legislation, the landmark Concussion Management and Awareness Act (CMAA) was passed in 2011, putting New York at the forefront of this national public health issue.
In order to protect young people from the effects of a serious head injury, this new legislation further strengthens
the Concussion Management and Awareness Act (CMAA). Through the creation of a concussion management advisory
committee within the State Department of Health’s (DOH) Traumatic Brain Injury Services Coordinating Council (TBISCC), this act provides improved recognition, treatment, management, and public awareness of traumatic brain injuries.
The concussion management advisory committee created by the legislation will be composed of 12 experienced experts tasked with finding ways to raise public awareness and provide the public with more information on recognizing and managing concussions and mild traumatic brain injuries, ensuring State policies remain as up-to-date as possible.