The Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation, UPMC Sports Medicine and the Community College of Allegheny County again are teaming up to offer free baseline concussion testing for youth hockey players in the Pittsburgh region.
Last year, in its first year of operation, this one-of-a-kind program – “HEADS UP Pittsburgh” – provided free baseline concussion tests for more than 2,300 local youngsters in fewer than 60 days
“As we enter our second year, the goal of ‘HEADS UP Pittsburgh’ is to enhance the safety of local youth hockey through concussion education and awareness among players and their families,” said Dave Soltesz, president of the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation. “The response in our first year from players, coaches, parents, and family members was remarkable, and we believe we can increase our reach by testing and educating more players and families this year.”
The free testing will be held on Saturdays from May 19 through June 16 at the UPMC Center for Sports Medicine on the South Side, CCAC and various locations in the Pittsburgh area. It will be available to youth hockey players from the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League (PIHL) and the Pittsburgh Amateur Hockey League (PAHL), as well as others registered locally through USA Hockey programs. Players will be emailed a reminder to use their USA Hockey Code from their organizations. This will enable them to pre-register for testing at www.upmc.com/hockeytesting.
While players are being tested, their parents will meet with UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program staff to learn about “HEADS UP Pittsburgh.”
Participants must be at least 10 years old on the date of testing, and must be concussion-free for 30 days prior to the baseline. The entire process will take about one hour. Participants will receive a copy of their baseline results through a secure email system within two weeks of taking the test. Certified athletic trainers from the UPMC Sports Concussion Program will supervise the testing and educational process.
Players ages 10-12 are advised to get a baseline result every year. Players ages 13 and older should take one every other year. We strongly recommend registering early for baseline testing.