Dick's Sporting Goods to help fund concussion tests

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Dick's Sporting Goods is teaming with the locally developed ImPACT test program to provide concussion counseling and a free baseline test for up to 1 million middle and high school athletes.

ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) is a computerized 20-minute test which, when compared to a baseline test, can determine whether and to what degree an athlete has been impaired by a concussion.

It was created in the 1990s by UPMC neurosurgeon Joseph Maroon for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and expanded and computerized by Mark Lovell and Micky Collins, neuropsychologists who direct UPMC's sports medicine concussion program.

ImPACT has been adopted by most professional and college sports teams. Through the PACE (Protecting Athletes through Concussion Education) program it announced today, Dick's hopes to expand the test's use to middle schools.

PACE "brings together concussion education with state-of-the-art testing," Dick's CEO Edward Stack said in a statement.

To fund the program, Dick's will donate $1 dollar to PACE for every pair of athletic shoes its sells, and an additional dollar for each consumer who posts about PACE on the company's Facebook page.

Former Steeler great Jerome Bettis will serve as the national spokesman for PACE, Mr. Stack said.

Jack Kelly: jkelly@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1476


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