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Colby Ramps up Efforts to Track Student Concussions in Maine

PORTLAND, Maine - Health practitioners, athletic trainers and others involved with sports are learning more and more about concussions. Symptoms that would have been ignored not that long ago could now lead to an athlete being removed from a game or practice and monitored for days or weeks.   

Despite that, experts say there's little data about student concussions in Maine.  The six-year-old Maine Concussion Management Initiative based at Colby College is trying to change that with an outreach effort called the "Hit Program."   

MCMI's Hannah Willihan plans to travel to every high school in Maine this year to meet with athletic staffs and school nurses. She says part of the challenge is that knowledge about concussions is continually changing.  

"I'll have people tell me what I told you 15 minutes ago is already not true about concussions," Willihan says. "There's more information about it every day.  There's more research being done."

Not only is the "Hit Program" tracking sports injuries, but also those in which students might have been injured in other ways, such as falling off a ladder or being in a car accident.   

Maine Calling host Jennifer Rooks takes a closer look at the issue in this video piece, shot by MPBN videographer Brian Bechard.


Ed is a Maine native who spent his early childhood in Livermore Falls before moving to Farmington. He graduated from Mount Blue High School in 1970 before going to the University of Maine at Orono where he received his BA in speech in 1974 with a broadcast concentration. It was during that time that he first became involved with public broadcasting. He served as an intern for what was then called MPBN TV and also did volunteer work for MPBN Radio.