A football, football helmut, and a model of a brain.


School of Health Professions Heads in the Right Direction

February 22, 2018

You think it’s just a bump on the head, and often it is, but what about the millions of cases that aren’t?

In recent years, NYIT has positioned itself at the forefront of concussion evaluation and treatment. The Center for Sports Medicine was established in 2015 to offer comprehensive concussion evaluation, management, and treatment services to athletes. And now NYIT School of Health Professions has partnered with ThinkFirst National Injury Prevention Foundation’s Northwell Health chapter to educate local communities on how to avoid head and neck injuries. ThinkFirst’s mission is to prevent brain, spinal cord, and other traumatic injuries by providing onsite and online training.

“At first we thought about starting our own chapter, but then it made more sense to collaborate,” said Christina Finn, NYIT assistant professor of Occupational Therapy, who spearheaded the partnership.

The collaboration allows the chapter to offer more educational sessions to the communities in Long Island and Queens. The first presentation took place at Great Neck Middle School on January 30. Finn and Hallie Zwibel, D.O., assistant professor in NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine and director of the Center for Sports Medicine, spoke to seventh and eighth graders about what a concussion is and how to prevent an injury.

Initially, the program at Northwell Health focused on school-age children, but through the partnership with NYIT, the chapter now includes adolescents, young adults, and seniors in its educational training. “Now there is more manpower, and we can add more events to the program to include all ages,” explained Finn.

Finn developed five initiatives with Northwell Health to target the different age groups:

  • Injury prevention in grade school children
  • Injury prevention in high school students
  • Injury prevention in college students
  • Senior fall prevention
  • Parent education for injury prevention in toddlers and infants

Speaker events and training sessions will be held around Long Island using Northwell Health’s equipment, including driving simulators, which will be used in sessions with high school and college-age students to demonstrate the dangers of driving while impaired.

The program has gotten off to a positive start. “Students were very active in the discussion,” said Finn. “[They] reflected an understanding of what a concussion is and the importance of injury prevention.”

The next session will be held at NYIT-Long Island on April 5. Mocktails and Shocktails, which will focus on drinking and driving, is open to the NYIT community.

For more information about the partnership and other events, contact Christina Finn.