March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. The Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center (HIPRC) is working to increase awareness of youth concussions with the "Return to Learn" program for Washington state public high schools.
“We have 14 schools who have implemented our program across the state,” said Dr. Monica Vavilala, the director of HIPRC and a professor of anesthesiology and pain medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine. The program's implementation, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is increasing researchers' understanding of the frequency of youth concussions and the subsequent support that students need.
“In addition to there being a lot of concussions being reported, once the concussions are reported and a Return to Learn program is in place, there's a need to provide accommodations for those symptoms,” Vavilala said.
An initial version of the program provided resources to 13 additional public schools in Washington state, prior to the CDC's backing.