JOHNS CREEK, Ga. -- Serious concussions are rare, and there is a new partnership starting in Johns Creek which aims to keep them that way. The non-profit Sports Care Connect has teamed up with State Bank and Trust Company to offer parents free concussion screenings as a part of their membership in the North Metro Football League. The program is aimed at helping underprivileged parents who may not have health insurance, but covered parents can use it too. It was announced to cheers at the league's Jamboree Saturday morning at Johns Creek High School.
"There are a lot of kids that they don't have medical care, and for those who do, medical care is still expensive," said Sports Care Connect's Davis Butler. "We don't want them to think about it at all, if their kid has a suspected concussion they'll just immediately take their kids to the doctor."
Butler is hoping the success of the program for elementary-aged football players in Johns Creek will help them spread out to less privileged areas. They'll be looking for other corporate sponsors to fund such an expansion.
The program goes beyond the free screenings and into educational programs for parents and their players. That's why the Sports Concussion Institute had neurologist Dr. Jeffrey English available to speak to parents Saturday.
He said most coaches already take preventative measures to keep the more serious concussions rare. But he said parents still need to be alert and careful to make sure one of those rare cases doesn't affect their child.
"Kids want to play, they don't want to come off the field and some parents don't want them to come off the field," said Dr. English, who works at Piedmont Hospital. "And it's important to understand there are potential long term problems if you're not taken off the field and evaluated appropriately."