NCAA-Department of Defense Mind Matters Educational Challenge


On July 15, the NCAA and Department of Defense (DOD) announced the selection of MomsTeam Institute of Youth Sports Safety as a recipient of a Mind Matters Challenge grant for our application, Creating a Safe Concussion Reporting Environment: A Multi-Media Approach.

Announced as a joint NCAA-DOD initiative in November 2014, the Mind Matters Challenge focuses on two important areas related to concussion: Changing Attitudes about Concussions in Young and Emerging Adults (a research challenge); and Educational Programs Targeting Young and Emerging Adults (an educational programs challenge).

MomsTEAM Institute and Executive Director Brooke de Lench were one of just six winners (of a possible ten) selected in Phase One of the Educational Programs Challenge, for which it was awarded a $25,000 cash prize for its proposal to create a multi-media concussion education intervention designed to create an environment in which student-athletes are not penalized, ostracized, or criticized for honestly reporting their own concussion symptoms as well as those of teammates but are actually encouraged to do so.

In Phase Two, which began in August 2015, the Institute is being awarded an additional $75,000 to work with the NCAA and DOD to design a prototype educational program to increase understanding of the critical importance of honest and early self-reporting by student-athletes of concussion symptoms in the diagnosis and management of concussions.

"We are truly honored to have been selected to participate in this prestigious program," said de Lench, and are especially gratified that the selection was made by such a stellar panel of judges, including, among others, Christopher Nowinski, founding Executive Director of the Concussion Legacy Institute (formerly the Sports Legacy Institute), Jim Whitehead, Executive Vice President of the American College of Sports Medicine, and Kelly Sarmiento of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Heads Up Program.*

*Sarmiento has since agreed to join the Instititute's Board of Advisors