WORLD-CLASS CONCUSSION CLINIC NOW PROVIDING SPECIALIZED CARE FOR CHILDREN, YOUTH: MINISTER SELBY
Children and youth in Manitoba will have access to some of the best care in the country in a specialized concussion clinic now open in Winnipeg, Health Minister Erin Selby said today.
“With school back in full swing, sports teams are hitting the field, court and ice. When our children are getting back into their activities, it can increase the risk of a concussion,” said Minister Selby. “For parents of a child who has suffered a concussion in the past, the biggest concern is if their child is ready to go back to school or sports. With access to some of the best doctors and research in Canada, our kids will get the care they need to safely get back to the sports and activities they love.”
The new clinic located at the MTS Iceplex started seeing patients earlier this month. The Children’s Hospital refers children and youth who have suffered a concussion and require ongoing care to the program. The program is expected to see up to 30 new pediatric patients under the age of 19 per week. Concussion experts work with the family to treat the concussion, develop a care plan and monitor recovery to determine when the child can safely return to school or activities.
“The primary goal of this program is to elevate the standard of care for all children and adolescents with concussion and traumatic brain injuries. These patients have unique needs and this program will allow those needs to be met by those physicians and health-care professionals with the highest levels of training in traumatic brain injury,” said Dr. Michael Ellis, a neurosurgeon who leads a team of experts at the clinic. “In addition to providing comprehensive multi-disciplinary care, all patients will be eligible to participate in research studies that will help us improve the diagnosis and management of concussion.”
Ellis trained under world concussion expert Dr. Charles Tator and previously worked at Toronto Western Hospital treating and researching pediatric sport-related concussions. Some of the program experts will also act as consultants to the Winnipeg Jets on concussion injuries.
This new space is part of a partnership with True North Foundation, the faculty of medicine at the University of Manitoba and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority to conduct innovative research into concussions including how they can most effectively be diagnosed and managed.
“In the past, it was a common thought that people with concussions would recover completely. Today we know this is not true,” said Dr. Wayne Hildahl, chief operating officer, Pan Am Clinic. “This clinic is unique in Canada and offers our youth the opportunity to receive leading-edge treatment for those who have suffered a concussion. With every new discovery, we can refine our approach to the care and management of concussions.”
Minister Selby noted the research findings will be applied to clinical work and have the potential to influence how concussions are cared for internationally.
In addition, web-based educational resources will soon be available for parents, coaches and teachers to help them:
identify when and where to seek care for concussions,
help children during their recovery, and
support children as they resume regular activities like school and sports.
“As part of this program, we help families learn about the best ways to seek care if their child gets a concussion,” said Arlene Wilgosh, chief executive officer, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. “It’s important for parents and health-care providers to work together to develop the best possible treatment plan to help a child heal and return to their schoolwork and activities as soon as possible.”
When a concussion is suspected, Manitobans should continue to seek treatment from their family doctor, pediatrician or emergency department first. These professionals will be able to refer pediatric patients to the Pan Am Concussion Program as needed.