April 26, 2011
The Honorable Rob Eissler
House Committee on Public Education
1100 Congress Avenue, E1.408
Austin, Texas 78701
Re: House Bill 677 by Lucio III
Dear Chairman Eissler:
The Texas Medical Association and Texas Pediatric Society wish to express our support for the most recent committee substitute for House Bill 677 by Representative Eddie Lucio, III. Physicians support athletics in schools as a vitally important means to help build active citizens and leaders for our state while also combating a childhood obesity epidemic our state faces. While we welcome efforts to assure school athletics are widely available, we are equally concerned about assuring school athletics are uniformly safe for all student-athletes in our state. We believe Committee Substitute 677can improve athletic safety by providing for new tools for follow-up on students suspected of having a concussion.
Key components of CSHB677 which TMA and TPS support include:
- A neurocognitive baseline assessment of each participant in an extracurricular athletic activity. As the science on these are rapidly evolving, we believe the specific test utilized should not be specified in legislation.
- Identification of appropriately licensed or certified health professionals for school athletics, and
- Minimum requirements for each student following a concussion and before resuming athletic activity.
The prompt removal of an athlete following a possible concussion is an essential component of a comprehensive concussion management program.
TMA and TPS would like again to thank Representative Lucio for his efforts to protect student-athletes. Physicians are committed to working with the UIL to adopt and implement the required rules for this legislation. We propose to continue to work with you to promote further improvements in state requirements as the science and knowledge of concussion management progresses. We also encourage consideration of state public awareness and education programs for all coaches, student-athletes and their families on the danger of concussions.
We appreciate the committee’s thoughtful consideration of CSHB 677.
Susan R. Bailey, MD, President
Texas Medical Association
James L. Lukefahr, MD
Texas Pediatric Society
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