Wake Forest Baptist to Co-host Sports Safety Event

July 25, 2011

Matthew Gfeller Sports Safety Spectacular scheduled for July 30

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – July 25, 2011 –Wake Forest Baptist Health will be teaming up with the Matthew Gfeller Foundation on Saturday, July 30, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m., to co-host the Matthew Gfeller Sports Safety Spectacular at BB&T Field. This all-day event is aimed at tackling the diagnosis and treatment of sports related traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in Forsyth County and will include NFL Hall of Famers and former NFL coaching legends Dan Reeves and Jim Mora.

An estimated 300,000 sport-related TBIs occur in the U.S. every year. The Gfeller Spectacular will bring together football players, parents, coaches and athletic trainers from all Forsyth County high schools to spend the day learning how to prevent, recognize and treat concussive football injuries, as well as introduce them to the new athletic trainer program for the upcoming year. 

“It is extremely important to educate our young community of the dangers in sports injuries,” said Heath C. Thornton, M.D., assistant professor of family and community medicine and orthopedics at Wake Forest Baptist. “We are very pleased with the new athletic trainer program that will provide better prevention for these types of injuries in our high schools.”

Starting this fall, all Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School sporting events will be staffed with a certified athletic trainer. It will be the trainers’ responsibility to make decisions on whether a player has suffered a concussion and to get him/her to a qualified physician for clearance to return to the field.

The Sports Safety Spectacular will feature educational “chalk talks” with TBI experts, as well as on-field tackling and blocking drills led by NFL Hall of Famers, Joe DeLamielleure, formerly of the Buffalo Bills, and Dave Butz, formerly of the Washington Redskins. Former NFL coaches Reeves and Mora are also scheduled to appear. Additionally, there will be baseline testing workshops, athletic trainer clinics and a marketplace area featuring sports safety equipment manufacturers. 

Wake Forest Baptist Health is a presenting sponsor of the Sports Safety Spectacular, with First Tennessee Bank, Rawlings Sporting Goods and Forsyth Medical Center.

BB&T Field is located at 499 Deacon Blvd., Winston-Salem, NC, 27105.

Media Relations

Lisa Davanzo: news@wakehealth.edu, 336-713-4587

Megan Lee: news@wakehealth.edu, 336-713-4587