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Heads Up Mississippi

headup.jpgIn 2016, UMMC applied for an AHEAD (Accelerating Health Equity Advancing through Discovery) grant from the American Association of Medical Colleges. UMMC was one of the academic medical centers nationwide to be awarded a grant.

The AAMC recognized that the problems impacting (and identified by) communities, are more successfully studied and addressed in partnership with the community. The grant provides limited training and technical assistance to the six teams for systems development to address the identified community concern, as well as opportunities to collaborate with peer grantees. Community concerns selected for systems development were largely determined by community health needs assessments, community focus groups, and with input from community providers. 

The Heads Up Mississippi work grew out of an identified need. The project began only a year after Mississippi became the last state in the nation to adopt a Youth Sport Concussion law.

In Misssissippi, there is a need for:

  • athlete baseline testing;
  • active concussion prevention efforts;
  • consistency in clinical management;
  • a defined clinical care pathway from the ED to outpatient providers;
  • data to permit an approximation of concussion incidence;
  • inclusion of educational content on concussion in healthcare training programs.

The long-term goal for Heads Up Mississippi is to implement a collective impact strategy to develop an equitable (by sex and region) statewide contact-sport concussion prevention system for adolescent athletes (ages 12-18) in Mississippi.

Our key indicators of success include:

  • High school communities participation in sport-concussion prevention programming (defined as active education, activities and messaging to parents, athletes and coaches to promote a culture of safe sports behaviors; participation in baseline pre-season concussion testing; and dissemination of strategies to identify a concussion).
  • Licensed healthcare providers reporting positive attitudes, behaviors, behavioral intentions, and self-efficacy regarding concussion prevention, identification, and management
  • Residents in the state will be within driving distance to a telehealth hub or direct in-person access to a concussion clinic.
  • School-based athletic trainer and nurses will report into a statewide concussion surveillance system.

Current work groups are focused on:

  • Sport-concussion prevention programming for parents, athletes, coaches and others
  • Continuing education for licensed health providers regarding concussion prevention, identification, and management
  • Access to concussion management for all Mississippians (via direct care and telehealth)
  • Development of a statewide surveillance system for concussion

To join a current work group, email your interest area to  tdempsey@umc.edu.

Current activities include:

  • Heads UP Mississippi Concussion Management Conference