5th Matthew Gfeller Sport-Related Neurotrauma Symposium

March 8-9, 2019

Racing to the Finish

Dale Earnhardt Jr. keynotes symposium

DALE EARNHARDT JR. is an American professional stock car racing driver, champion team owner, businessman, and television analyst for NBC Sports Group. He began his racing career at seventeen years of age with his dad, Dale Earnhardt Sr. He won consecutive NASCAR Busch Series Championships in 1998 and 1999 and the Daytona 500 in 2004 and 2014. Earnhardt was named NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver for a record fifteen consecutive seasons.

In 2018, Earnhardt Jr. penned Racing to the Finish: My Story, with ESPN scribe Ryan McGee, detailing his battle with multiple concussions that affected his life, his livelihood and his future in the sport. The book earned critical acclaim and hit the Best-Seller lists from the New York Times, USAToday and the Wall Street Journal.

Dale lives in Mooresville, North Carolina, with his wife, Amy, and their daughter, Isla Rose.

Joining Dale Earnhardt Jr. on our stage will be his neuropsychologist, Dr. Micky Collins. Dr. Collins serves as director and a founding member of the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program. Dr. Collins and his UPMC program colleagues attract patients embodying youth, high-school, collegiate and pro athletes with concerns about safe return to play and clinical management and treatment of sports concussion. He has been the lead author or co-author on more than 110 peer-reviewed research articles, and has delivered more than 450 presentations at national and international scientific meetings. Dr. Collins currently has upward of $10 million in funding for his research efforts from entities including the NFL-GE Head Health Challenge, National Institute of Health, Major League Baseball, and the United States Army Special Operations Command. He is a co-founder of ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing), a widely used computerized sports-concussion evaluation system. A graduate of the University of Southern Maine with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and biology in 1991, Dr. Collins earned a master’s degree in psychology in 1995 and doctorate degree in clinical psychology in 1998 at Michigan State University.


Is there a future for football?

Academic Keynote Address: Dr. Allen Sills

Dr. Allen Sills was named the NFL’s Chief Medical Officer in March 2017. Dr. Sills has a primary appointment at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he serves as Professor of Neurological Surgery, Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation, and Founder and Co-Director of the Vanderbilt Sports Concussion Center. Throughout his distinguished career, Dr. Sills has worked with numerous professional and collegiate sports programs. In addition to providing care for players on NFL sidelines as an Unaffiliated Neurotrauma Consultant, he has served as a neurological consultant to the NCAA and the International Equestrian Foundation (FEI). He has also worked as consulting neurosurgeon for the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies, the NHL’s Nashville Predators, the US Equestrian Foundation and all Vanderbilt University, Belmont University and Mississippi State University athletic teams.

Dr. Sills is an active researcher who has published more than 150 scientific articles and presentations including more than 40 in the last five years on the topic of sports concussion. He is a member of the Concussion in Sport Group, which publishes international standards regarding concussion in sport. Dr. Sills is also a fellow of the American Board of Neurological Surgery and the American College of Surgeons and currently serves as Section Editor for Sports and Rehabilitation for the journal Neurosurgery.

Previously, Dr. Sills has served as Founder and Executive Director, Memphis Regional Brain Tumor Center; Director of the Neuroscience Institute at Methodist University Hospital, Memphis; Associate Professor, Department of Neurosurgery, College of Medicine at the University of Tennessee, Memphis and the Semmes-Murphey Clinic; and Chief, Division of Neurosurgery at the Memphis Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Dr. Sills graduated summa cum laude from Mississippi State University with a degree in engineering and received his medical degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, where he also completed his internship in General Surgery, his residency training in Neurological Surgery and an NIH-funded Neuro-Oncology Fellowship.

This symposium will provide athletic trainers and therapists, physicians, and other allied health care professionals with a comprehensive overview of sport-related neurotraumatic injuries, with an emphasis on sports-related mild traumatic brain injuries, concussions, and cervical spine injuries. The attendee will gain information relevant to the identification, evaluation, management, and rehabilitation of injured patients.

Learning Objectives
The information presented at this educational activity will:

  • Provide comprehensive, educational updates on concussion in youth sports
  • Provide assessment and management techniques for sport-related neurotraumatic injuries.
  • Identify methods to reduce the risks and consequences of sport-related neurotraumatic injuries in young athletes.

Sponsorship Statement
Jointly sponsored by the Matthew A. Gfeller Sport-Related Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center, the UNC Department of Exercise and Sport Science, and the UNC College of Arts & Sciences at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Disclosure Statement
In accordance with the Matthew Gfeller Center’s policies, everyone involved in planning or presenting this educational activity will be required to disclose any relevant financial relationships with commercial interests in the healthcare industry, and this information will be made available to participants at the start of the activity. In addition, speakers who incorporate information about off-label or investigational use of drugs or devices will be asked to disclose that information at the beginning of their presentation.

ADA statement
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is committed to equality of educational opportunity and does not discriminate against applicants, students, or employees on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran’s status, or sexual orientation. If you require reasonable accommodations for a disability in order to participate fully in this continuing education activity, please call 919-962-0409 or email cgoerger@email.unc.edu no later than February 1, 2019.


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