About Us

Our Mission

To minimize risk for sports-related concussion in children and youth participating in organized athletic events in the state of Georgia.

Our History

In November of 2011 Dr. Julie Haarbauer-Krupa founded  an action group as part of the Children and Youth Committee of the Brain and Spinal Injury Trust Fund Commission to discuss the growing concern about concussions, particularly in youth sports. In 2011, the group expanded in scope and formed the Georgia Concussion Coalition (GCC), an independent entity focused on concussion prevention, education and management. The GCC expanded quickly to over 80 members, representing districts all across the state of Georgia.

The Georgia Concussion Coalition became very involved in championing the need for Return to Play legislation in Georgia and was instrumental in getting HB284 signed into law in April of 2013.  In 2014 the Coalition strategically joined forces with the Brain Injury Association of Georgia to further expand the organization’s capacity and reach. Today the Georgia Concussion Coalition functions as a program of the Brain Injury Association of Georgia that focuses specifically on concussion awareness and prevention and helping stakeholders throughout Georgia put into practice what Georgia’s Return to Play Law now requires.

We are here to help athletic organizations across the state formulate sound policies, best practices and prevention programs. As more concussions are being recognized, diagnosed and treated because of greater awareness, we are here to connect parents and athletes to the resources they need to get the best care and treatment available. As schools strive to help students get back to the classroom after a concussion, we are here to help educators formulate sound Return to Learn programs too. GCC also works with healthcare professionals across the state to keep clinicians current on the latest concussion management practices and protocols.

GCC is comprised of diverse group stakeholders, including physicians, athletic trainers, researchers, educators, nurses, parents, caregivers, coaches, and athletic and non-athletic organizations.  We invite you to share your thoughts and ideas with us as to how we can be of greater service in your community and help us identify needs and gaps you see across the state that will help us to evolve and expand our work in concussion awareness and prevention.

Our Leadership

The Advisory Board of the Coalition helps to oversee and guide the focus and big picture for the organization. Members of our Advisory Board include:

Jeff Hopp, ATC, LAT  – Head Athletic Trainer, Marietta High School – Chairman

David W. Wright, MD, FACEP – Associate Professor & Director of Emergency Neurosciences – Emory University School of Medicine

Michelle LaPlaca, PhD – Associate Professor – Coulter Dept. of Biomedical Engineering – Georgia Tech & Emory University

Kaveh Khajavi, MD – Director of Neurosurgery – Shepherd Center

Marat L. Reyzelman, MD – Neurologist – Marietta Surgical Center

Kenneth Mautner, MD, PM&R – The Emory Clinic

Stephanie Lotti – Director, Member & Practice Services – Georgia Dental Association

Adam W. Shunk, PhD, HSSP, NCSP – Neuropsychologist – The Concussion Institute at Gwinnett Medical Center-Duluth

Jeremy Hertza, PhD – Neuropsychologist & Executive Director – NeuroBehavioral Associates, LLC

Marla Shapiro, PhD – Neuropsychologist – Independent Neuropsychology Consultants

The day-to-day work of the Coalition is managed by Paige Havens, Director of Programming & Development for the Brain Injury Association of Georgia.

If you are a community stakeholder that would like to learn more about getting involved in the Georgia Concussion Coalition, contact us now.