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Jefferson Comprehensive Concussion Center Opens at the Philadelphia Navy Yard

11/13/13

(PHILADELPHIA)—Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Rothman Institute and Wills Eye Hospital have collaborated to establish the Jefferson Comprehensive Concussion Center (J.C.C.C.) at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. The J.C.C.C. will be among the very few concussion centers in the nation to provide clinical care in areas such as neuro-opthalmology, neuroradiology, psychiatry, and complex rehabilitation at one facility. In addition to providing clinical care, J.C.C.C. will serve as a center for scientific research into concussion.

Physicians can refer patients of all ages and patients can self-refer to the new center by calling 1 800-JEFF NOW. The J.C.C.C. is located in the Corporate Center of the Philadelphia Navy Yard just off of Route 1-95, has ample, free parking, and is convenient to the Philadelphia International Airport. The center expects to draw patients from the entire region.

R. Robert Franks, D.O., a pioneer in concussion care at the Rothman Institute; and Mijail Serruya, MD, PhD, a leading cognitive neurologist at Jefferson, will serve as Medical Co-Directors of the new center.

Dr. Franks worked on early plans for J.C.C.C. with Theodore Taraschi, PhD, Vice President of Research at Thomas Jefferson University. Said Dr. Franks: "Our vision was to bring together the leaders in sports and non-sports concussion management to treat patients with the best clinical pathways and return to activity protocols to provide for successful patient outcomes in one facility—comprising all of the subspecialties needed to treat concussion. The center's strength will be the collaboration of our three groups. We will be one of the few centers in the country to have sports medicine, neurology, neuropsychology, neuro-opthalmology, ophthalmology, neuroradiology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, psychiatry, physical, occupational and vestibular therapy in one facility to diagnose and treat mild, moderate or severe concussion with compassion and unparalleled expertise."

The effects of concussions on the eyes and vision are an important and emerging area of concern in the treatment of these injuries. "Concussion and brain injury patients often experience difficulty in tracking and focusing. That can lead to problems reading, driving, concentrating in school and using a computer. These patients need to be diagnosed, evaluated and then receive therapy," said Julia A. Haller, MD, ophthalmologist-in-chief at Wills Eye Hospital.

The J.C.C.C. expects to treat a wide range of patients who suffer from traumatic brain injury: accident victims, injured veterans, and athletes. Said Dr. Taraschi, "If your mother falls and hits her head on the pavement—this will be the place to treat her. If your husband, a returning veteran, has personality changes and double vision, you can bring him here for expert evaluation."

Dr. Serruya said, "Families will be able to take children, adolescents, and adults to the new Jefferson Concussion Center and get help with every aspect of diagnosis, treatment, and recovery all at one accessible location. This is the same concussion team that treats the Philadelphia Phillies and the Flyers."

According to the Traumatic Brain Injury Foundation, concussion is the most underreported, underdiagnosed and underestimated head injury. Concussion accounts for 90 percent of Traumatic Brain Injuries and the number of cases range in the millions every year. Nearly four million athletes of all ages suffer concussions every year. Recent research indicates that even mild concussions in childhood sports, inappropriately treated, are putting patients at risk for serious, long-term health problems.

Thomas Jefferson University Hospital was recently listed on the 2013-2014 Honor Roll of top hospitals listed by U. S. News and World Report; Jefferson's Orthopedics Department is rated among the top 10 in the nation according to U. S. News and World Report. Wills Eye Hospital was rated the number one eye hospital in the region and number two nationwide.

Jefferson, Rothman, and Wills Eye provide team physicians for the Philadelphia Eagles, the Philadelphia Phillies, Villanova University, St. Joseph's University and over 40 local high school and colleges.

Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals (TJUH) are dedicated to excellence in patient care and education. It is consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the nation's top hospitals.   It has over 950 licensed acute care beds with major programs in a wide range of clinical specialties. TJUH is one of the few hospitals in the U.S. that is both a Level 1 Trauma Center and a federally-designated regional spinal cord injury center. TJUH patient care facilities include:  Jefferson Hospital, Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience, and Methodist Hospital in South Philadelphia. Additional out-patient sites are located throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. TJUH is a part of Jefferson Health System and a partner of Thomas Jefferson University.

The Rothman Institute is a private orthopaedic practice dedicated to providing communities with high-quality, compassionate, and affordable musculoskeletal care that is grounded in evidenced-based medicine, the results of which will exceed expectations. Rothman Institute orthopaedists treat patients at 21 locations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. With experts in orthopaedic sub-specialties including spine, hip and knee, foot and ankle, shoulder and elbow, hand and wrist, sports medicine, physical medicine and rehabilitation and orthopaedic oncology, the Rothman Institute is internationally recognized for excellence in clinical treatment methods, research, education and technology.

Wills Eye Hospital was established in 1832 as the nation's first eye hospital and has grown into one of the world's premier eye care facilities. Their clinical expertise, state-of-the-art diagnostic testing and advanced surgical capabilities make Wills Eye a worldwide referral center where more than 250,000 patients are treated annually. Today, Wills Eye continues to shape the science and medicine of ophthalmology - thanks to talented, skilled physicians and staff who are dedicated to improving and preserving sight. Their 144,000 square foot facility houses inpatient beds, eight operating rooms and teaching and research facilities.

For more information, contact Katie Krauss, (215) 955-5507, Katharine.Krauss@jefferson.edu.