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Heads Up Mississippi

Heads Up MississippiIn 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 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 Sports Concussion law.

In Mississippi, 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 trainers and nurses will report into a statewide concussion surveillance system.

Workgroups 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

Activities included: