KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Obama Hosts Summit On Sports-Related Concussions

The president is overseeing a day-long White House meeting today with more than 200 medical researchers, athletes, coaches, league officials and others to raise awareness about this public health issue. Officials announced a commitment of $65 million in private funds to boost related clinical and scientific work.

The New York Times: Obama To Host Concussions Summit
President Obama on Thursday will seek to elevate a national conversation about the dangers of sports-related concussions, especially among children and other young athletes, by pushing for more medical research and more money spent on public awareness campaigns. The president will host a daylong summit at the White House that will include researchers, professional athletes, parents, coaches, league officials and sportscasters. Officials said the goal was to use the power of the presidency to accelerate progress on one of the most serious health issues to confront sports in a decade (Shear and Belson, 5/28).

The Wall Street Journal: White House To Focus On Sports Concussions At Summit
President Barack Obama on Thursday will host a sports summit as the White House looks to raise awareness of sports-related concussions among young athletes and start to fill in gaps in scientific research into brain injuries. Research has suggested a link between concussions and dementia, depression and other brain-related illnesses, sparking lawsuits and raising concerns for athletes. The National Football League last year reached a settlement with a group of 4,500 former players who sued it over concussion-related issues (Sparshott, 5/28).

The Washington Post: Obama To Host A White House Summit On Growing Concerns Over Sports Head Injuries
The threat of brain damage from America’s most popular sport has become a widespread cultural concern, with profound implications for professional sports, the health of athletes and worried parents across the country. Now Obama is taking the unusual step of joining the discussion, both as president and as an avid sports fan and sympathetic parent of two teenage daughters (Eilperin, 5/28).

Los Angeles Times: Private Donors Commit $65 Million To Studying Youth Concussions
Readying for a White House event Thursday focusing on youth sports and brain safety, officials announced a fresh commitment of $65 million in private funds to boost clinical and scientific work. In addition to $30 million from the NCAA and a new pledge of $25 million from the NFL for separate endeavors, a $10-million gift to UCLA from Hollywood executive and New York Giants co-owner Steve Tisch will help get a national tracking system for concussions off the ground (Healy, 5/28).

CBS News: Obama, Congress Aim to Tackle Sports-Related Concussions 
The White House on Thursday is bringing together more than 200 sports officials, parents, youth athletes and others to bring awareness to sports-related concussions, promote ways parents can keep their children safe, and shine a spotlight on the gaps in medical research on the matter. President Obama became interested in hosting the summit, the White House explained, after discussing the issue with his press secretary, Jay Carney (Condon, 5/29).

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