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Concussion tests get more funding

By Callan Gray, cgray@wcyb.com
Published On: Oct 04 2013 05:02:28 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 05 2013 08:19:52 AM CDT

Tennessee High School will have more money to protect student athletes thanks to a grant from the Wellmont Foundation.

BRISTOL, Tenn. -

Tennessee High School will have more money to protect student athletes thanks to a grant from the Wellmont Foundation.

The Foundation will help the school pay for it's concussion testing.

Tennessee High School has started testing their athletes before they set foot on the field.

"Usually we'll measure cognitive function, reaction time, their memory and it just gives you a baseline from before they had the concussion," said Kelly Flanary, the athletic trainer.

Flanary administers the tests.

If an athlete gets hurt, they take the test again and the scores are compared, Flanary said.

"Basically what we're doing with our concussion policy is we're using our ImPACT program kind of as a supplement for what we are already doing," Flanary told us. 

The tests are important, he said, because when a player gets hit on the field they may not have symptoms.

The test shows the trainer how serious the injury actually is.

"What we wanted to do was create an atmosphere, or create a situation, where we have more data and more information to allow the professionals to treat young people and keep them off the field until they were 100 percent ready," said Paul Pendleton, the athletic director.

Pendleton told us  the football team was the first to be tested during preseason.

"It's a sport that has a lot of impact and there's no taking the contact out of the sport," he said.

The Wellmont Foundation grant will allow them to give the exam to more athletes, said Pendleton.

Wellmont said in a press release Friday, that the grant would give the school 500 baseline tests and 150 post-concussion tests.

"Anytime you're dealing with things there's financial issues," said Pendleton. "What it allows us as a high school is to focus in on those things and not worry about the financial impact of it."

Pendleton told us athletes take the test in a computer room.

The new funds could be used for better hardware so the tests could be administered in the athletic trainer's office.

The tests are given to both middle and high school athletes, Pendleton said.

Wellmont will announce the amount of grant money Tennessee High School received at Friday night's Tennessee High football game.