By Sarah Grace Battles–UTC will host a two-day conference beginning April 15 to raise awareness and highlight the issues surrounding the rise of sports related injuries.

The conference titled “The Sports Injury Epidemic” will host a variety of events to including panels of experts as well as presentations and has partnered with the National Athletics Trainers’ Association and Erlanger Hospital.

The conference website states that the conference is “open to athletic trainers, administrators, coaches, parents, physicians, and anyone who might be interested in the issues related to student-athlete health and welfare.” Some of the speakers include Brooke de Lench, founder of the organization, Dr. Brian Hainline, NCAA Chief Medical Officer, as well as Ron Courson, Associate A.D. for Sports Medicine at the University of Georgia.

Dr. Gary Wilkerson is the UTC Professor of Graduate Athletic Training and one of the main organizers of the conference. He said the conference’s panels, discussions and information, are meant “to educate attendees, especially parents of children participating in school athletics programs, that physicians and athletic trainers are dedicated to doing everything they can to keep their student athletes safe on and off the field.”

Brooke de Lench is giving two separate talks about the protection that should be considered for the safety of young athletes as well as parents’ concerns on the health and safety of athletes.

Dr. Brian Hainline is opening the conference with a talk about the vision for the future of athletic medicine as well as being a lead in the panel discussion for medical professionals only.

Ron Courson is also giving a talk on the best practices for sports medicine management.

Wilkerson said, “the purpose of this event is to create a dialogue with parents, coaches, administrators, and educators on this timely and sensitive issue. Injuries such as concussions, heat stroke, and ACL rupture are potentially catastrophic and disabling in young athletes if not recognized and managed properly.”

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