It’s a long way from Boston to Denver — 5 Questions with David Howell

David Howell, alongside one of many of the research posters he has produced

When I now think of my friend, David Howell, I have this beautiful John Denver song in my head:

It’s a long way from LA to Denver
It’s a long time to hang in the sky
It’s a long way home to Starwood in Aspen
A sweet Rocky Mountain paradise
Oh, my sweet Rocky Mountain paradise

Granted, David just moved to Denver from Boston, not LA, but I can’t separate the melody from his journey, and the visions I have of him hanging out in the Rockies…..

David Howell PhD, ATC–and the team of researchers with whom he most recently worked at Children’s Hospital, Boston–has been one of the more prolific authors for CJSM in the last several years.  This summer, he moved to Children’s Hospital, Colorado, where he continues the pioneering research into kids’ sports safety that has been the hallmark of his career.

As lead author of two recently published CJSM studies, he was a natural interview for this, our most recent blog post and contribution to the recurring “5 Questions with CJSM” column.

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1) CJSM just published your new study, “Near Point of Convergence and Gait Deficits in Adolescents after Sport-Related Concussion.”  What would you state are the most important, new contributions to the literature your team made with this study?  And are there specific take-home points that the practicing clinician can use in their assessment of concussed teenagers?

DH: The idea of combining visual and gait-based measures in patients with a concussion was a result of an interdisciplinary collaboration. I was fortunate to work alongside colleagues from optometry/ophthalmology (Aparna Raghuram PhD, OD, and Ankoor Shah, MD, PhD) and sports medicine (William Meehan, MD and Michael O’Brien, MD) on this study. Based on our discussions, we were interested in the value and association of instrumented gait measures and vergence measures, since both have documented value for use within concussion evaluations. Additionally, both tests were relatively easy to administer within the sport concussion clinic at Boston Children’s Hospital. Read more of this post

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5 Questions with Phatho Zondi, SASMA President

Dr. Phathokuhle Zondi, outgoing President of the South African Sports Medicine Association

For one of this blog’s recurring ‘columns,’ I’m pleased to have as our guest today Phathokuhle Zondi, a sports medicine physician, the CEO of the Sports Science Institute of South Africa, and the current president of the South African Sports Medicine Association (SASMA).

I have known Phatho for two years now, and consider her a close friend as well as an esteemed colleague in the world of sports medicine.  I met her when, two years ago, I was able to attend the biennial convocation of SASMA, held in Johannesburg in 2015. She was at the time the president-elect of SASMA.  Fast forward two years, and she is completing her term, with a body of work that is culminating with the 2017 convocation.

I wanted to catch up with her on the eve of this conference to get ‘up to speed’ on the sports medicine (and sports) scene in South Africa.  In the midst of her busy life, Phatho graciously obliged.

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1. CJSM: The South African Sports Medicine Association (SASMA) is having its biennial convocation this October in Cape Town. I was privileged to attend the 2015 meeting in Johannesburg.  What are some of the highlights of the upcoming 2017 meeting?

PZ: We’re thrilled about the Congress this year and are confident that we will continue to raise the bar as we do every year. Some highlights include:

  • Pre- Congress Workshops – physiotherapy, Exercise is Medicine and Fieldside Emergency Care.
  • More than 15 confirmed International speakers
  • Clinical themes including
    • Paediatric Sports Medicine
    • Paralympic Medicine
    • The Female Athlete
    • Sports Specific Sessions
    • Load & Injury Management
  • Hands on Muskuloskeletal sonar course

2. CJSM: You have been the President of SASMA for the past two years, and your term is coming to an end in October. What have been some of the more memorable experiences you’ve enjoyed during your service?  What do you see as some of the challenges SASMA faces in the next two+ years?

Some major players on the S African sports medicine scene (L to R), Jon Patricios, Ross Tucker, Wayne Viljoen, Phatho Zondi

PZ: Getting to know and better understand the wider SEM community in South Africa has been particularly valuable in my journey – having deeper interactions at a Governance level with allied health professionals has improved my appreciation of the multidisciplinary team. A definite highlight has also been the various engagements I have had with students and rising stars in our field.   In the next few years, SASMA will need to formalize some of the structures within the organization in order to ensue that we continue support and meaningfully serve a growing membership.

3. CJSM: Recently you moved from Pretoria to Cape Town to become the CEO of the Sports Science Institute of South Africa (SSISA). This was quite a career change for you.  What’s a typical day in the life of a CEO? Read more of this post

5 Questions with Dr. Matthew Gammons, AMSSM President

Dr. Matt Gammons, outgoing AMSSM president. Photo courtesy http://www.rrmc.org

May — we’ve already arrived in May.

One-third of the way through 2017; I can’t believe it.

But it’s really here, and with this new month comes one of the premier fixtures of the annual American sports medicine calendar:  the AMSSM 26th Annual Meeting, to be held in San Diego.

The meeting each year represents, among so many other things, a time for the organization to come together and witness the changing of the guard:  the end of the term for one president, and the beginning for another.

This year AMSSM will be sending off Dr. Matt Gammons, who has served admirably since the Dallas meeting in 2016.  We caught up with him just before he was taking off from his home in the Green Mountains of Vermont to head to the sunny shores of the Pacific to ask him how his year went, suss out his Tweeting skills, and learn what it’s like to be lost in Chile.

Read on!

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1. CJSM: How did your year as AMSSM president go? What were the high points? Did you face any significant challenges this year?

Matt Gammons (MG): Overall the year was great. I really like the way we run our executive committee. I had 2 years to learn the ropes from the presidents before me (Drs. Chris Madden and Jon Divine) before taking over. Their leadership and wisdom made me feel more comfortable moving into the president position. In addition our staff is wonderful. They make the process much more streamlined, and they were my real lifeline. There is no way I could have done this job without them.

While our organization has many things to be proud of I think getting the Collaborative Research Network up and going along with hiring our research director, Stephanie Kliethermes, is fantastic.  Moving forward this will allow our organization to do some amazing work in the field of sports medicine.  Organizationally, the biggest challenge we have is our growing size. Read more of this post

Echocardiography as a screen to prevent SCD in athletes — 5 Questions with CJSM

 

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Dr. Gian Corrado performing screening cardiac ultrasound

For our first “5 Questions with CJSM” of 2017, we have a special guest:  Dr. Gianmichel Corrado, of Boston Children’s Hospital and Northeastern University.

Dr. Gian Corrado  is a doubly special guest for me: he is the lead author of a ‘published-ahead-of-print’ CJSM study and is someone who trained me in sports medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital.

I have fond memories of working alongside him, the head team physician for Northeastern University in Boston, as we cared for hockey and football athletes.  And I remember the work he was just beginning to do in his now-blossoming area of research.

The new study reports the findings of a novel ‘take’ on a controversial aspect of sports medicine: how might we screen for underlying disorders that predispose our athletes to sudden cardiac death (SCD)?

By the way, don’t let Dr. Gian Corrado’s name fool you — this is not that Dr. Corrado, (Domenico Corrado), who also has published on screening for SCD; but both Drs. Corrado share a similar concern: the primary prevention of this catastrophic event.

Dr. Gian Corrado’s approach is to use ‘screening echocardiography in front-line providers,’ and his findings can be found here:  ‘Early Screening for Cardiovascular Abnormalities with Pre-Participation Echocardiography:  Feasibility Study.’

Dr. Corrado has this to say about his important work:

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1. CJSM: What was the principal outcome measure you were looking at in this study? What were the secondary outcome measures?

GC: Central in the debate as to how to best identify athletes at risk for sudden death (SD) is cost-effectiveness.  The American Heart Association continues to recommend a history and physical (H&P) as the sole method for screening young athletes for the cardiac conditions that can cause SD.  The H&P has been shown to be a poor test to apply to the above dilemma as it misses athletes whom have potentially deadly cardiac conditions and falsely identifies those that do not.  Many feel that, given this reality, an electrocardiogram (ECG) screening program should be implemented.  This approach has been shown to have significant limitations as it too yields high false positive rates.  The Northeastern Group has suggested and demonstrated that with advances in portable ultrasound frontline providers (FLP) can obtain limited echocardiographic images pertinent to the structural conditions that dominate in culpability with SD. Read more of this post

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