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Krost Symposium 2015

October 7 2015 - October 8 2015

Krost Symposium 2015

Grey Matters: Discerning the Impacts of Head Injury

2015 Krost Symposium "Grey Matters: Discerning the Impacts of Head Injury," focuses on raising awareness and understanding of brain injury as guest speakers discuss prevention and education regarding sports-related head trauma, cognitive rehabilitation, and the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In addition to awareness, the symposium will review strategies in preventing, treating, and rehabilitating brain injury, and critically examine the effects that brain injury and these interventions have specifically in the athletics and armed forces communities both now and as society moves into the future.

The Krost Symposium is an annual academic event that is free and open to the public.

Some form of brain injury currently affects millions of Americans annually. Recently, many advancements have been made both in the ways that the medical community thinks about the effects that subconcussive and concussive forces to the head have on short term and long term health, as well as in the different approaches that can be used to prevent, treat, and rehabilitate these injuries both acutely and over the life span. Two specific populations where brain injury and recovery is currently of both critical importance and interest are athletics (specifically football) and our U.S. armed forces. Given the importance of football and the military to the social climate in central Texas and TLU, a further discussion of these advancements and their impacts is warranted.

For more information, contact Krost Committee Chairman Tim Kent.

Schedule of Events

Schedule is subject to change.

Tuesday, October 6, 8:00 - 9:30 p.m. (pre-event) on the Library Lawn

Pre-event Film Screening

Head Games: The Global Concussion Crisis directed by Steve James

Head Games: The Global Concussion Crisis will act as a primer and kick off to this year’s Krost Symposium. This film is inspired by the book of the same title written by Krost 2015 speaker Christopher Nowinski. Watch the trailer.

Wednesday, October 7, 7:30 - 9:00 p.m. in Jackson Auditorium

Giesber Keynote Address

Robert Cantu, M.D. and Chris Nowinski – Co-Founders of the Concussion Legacy Foundation

Thursday, October 8, 8:30 - 9:30 a.m. in Jackson Auditorium

"Brain, Mind, and Soul: Reintegrating after Military Deployment”

Drew Helmer, M.D. – Director of the War Related Illness and Injury Study Center, U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs

Thursday, October 8, 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. in Jackson Auditorium

“Short and Long term management of TBI-related Symptoms”

Kim Gorgens, Ph.D. – Director of Continuing Education and Professional Development, University of Denver Graduate School of Professional Psychology

Thursday, October 8, 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. in Jackson Auditorium

Panel session discussing personal and clinical experience with head injury from the military, athletics and neurological perspectives


Dr. Mark Cousins – Director of Compliance, University Interscholastic League

Harold Thibodeaux, RN, CCM – TBI Recovery Support Specialist, San Antonio Military Medical Center

Monica Matocha, ATC – Lecturer, Texas State University Athletic Training Program

Joel Hicks – Former Medic, USAF; 2015 TLU graduate with TBI


Robert Cantu, M.D.

Co-founder of the Concussion Legacy Foundation

Dr. Robert Cantu serves as chief of neurosurgery service, department of surgery chairman, and director of sports medicine at Emerson Hospital in Concord, Mass. He has authored more than 350 scientific publications, including 22 books on neurosurgery and sports medicine, and has served as associate editor and on the editorial boards of multiple sports medicine publications. Dr. Cantu published the first ever return-to-play guidelines for sports concussions in 1986 and devised the first grading system for concussions, providing medical professionals with concussion management guidelines where none existed before. As medical director of the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research, Dr. Cantu collected data that has resulted in sports safety improvements; most notably football rule changes concerning tackling and blocking, the establishment of football helmet standards, improved on-the-field medical care, and coaching techniques. He also serves as a clinical professor of neurosurgery at Boston University School of Medicine, adjunct professor of exercise and sport science at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, co-director of the Neurological Sports Injury Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and neurosurgical consultant to the Boston College Eagles football team and Boston Cannons professional lacrosse team. He has appeared on 60 Minutes, NFL Today, ABC World News Tonight, ESPN’s Outside the Lines, and HBO’s Real Sports.

Chris Nowinski

Co-founder of the Concussion Legacy Foundation

Chris Nowinski is co-founder and executive director of the Concussion Legacy Foundation (formerly Sports Legacy Institute), a nonprofit organization dedicated to solving the sports concussion crisis. He also serves as a co-director of the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy (CSTE) at Boston University School of Medicine. A former Harvard football player and WWE professional wrestler, Nowinski was forced to retire after he suffered a series of concussions in 2003. Diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome, he began a quest to better understand this condition. It wasn’t until he visited renowned neurosurgeon Robert Cantu that he was first exposed to medical research that revealed how concussions and brain trauma were misunderstood in the sports world. Realizing the lack of awareness among athletes, coaches, and even medical professionals—that ultimately only cost him his career and threatened the health and well being of athletes of all ages—led him to write the critically acclaimed book, Head Games: Football’s Concussion Crisis. Through his continued advocacy and investigative work, he has raised this issue into the national spotlight. To continue this groundbreaking research, he co-founded the Sports Legacy Institute with Dr. Cantu in 2008. As of 2012, the CSTE has studied the brains of over 140 athletes postmortem and has redefined our understanding of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, proving the disease extends into college and youth football, hockey, and other sports. His team’s research has been featured in almost every major newspaper and television network. His May 2007 profile on HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel won the Emmy for Sports Journalism. A second HBO Real Sports episode aired in January 2010, a third in August 2010 and a fourth in November 2012. In 2012, Nowinski received the United States Sports Academy Distinguished Service Award. Nowinski also serves on the Ivy League Multi-Sports Concussion Committee, the National Football League Players Association Mackey/White TBI Research Committee, and on the board of directors for the Brain Injury Association of America.

Drew Helmer, M.D.

Drew Helmer, MD, MS, is an expert in post-deployment health, the impact of combat deployment on the health and well-being of military service members.

Dr. Helmer obtained his medical degree at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and his Masters of Science in Health Policy and Management at the Columbia University School of Public Health. Trained as a general internist, from 2001-2007, Dr. Helmer was the medical director at the War Related Illness & Injury Study Center (WRIISC- pronounced “risk”) and a VA Health Services Research & Development Career Development Awardee while at VA-NJ Health Care System. From 2007-2011, Dr. Helmer worked at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston, TX, where he was the lead clinician for Post-Deployment Health in Houston and for the South Central Veterans Integrated Service Network, Associate Director of Research for PrimeCare, and Assistant Director of the Neurorehabilitation: Neurons to Networks VA Rehabilitation Research and Development Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center of Excellence. He has been the Director of the WRIISC at the VA-New Jersey Health Care System since December 2011.

In addition to caring for Veterans and educating providers about post-deployment health, Dr. Helmer studies healthcare utilization and outcomes important to deployed Veterans including chronic pain, exposure concerns, depression and suicidal ideation, mild traumatic brain injury, and sexual health concerns. He has published more than 40 peer-reviewed articles on these topics. His book “Sex after Service: A guide for military service members, veterans and the people who love them” was nominated for book of the year in 2014 by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT).

Kim Gorgens

Dr. Kim Gorgens is a full-time clinical associate professor in the Graduate School of Professional Psychology at the University of Denver. She manages a portfolio of TBI-related research, serves in national advisory capacities and has lectured extensively in this area, including a TED Talk on youth sports concussion, several NPR spots and an interview on CNN with Anderson Cooper. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in clinical neuropsychology and is board certified in rehabilitation psychology.

October 7, 2015 12:00 AM Central Krost Symposium 2015

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