The Western New York Public Health Alliance and the New York State Public Health Association collaborated to host the first symposium in a series on brain health with a focus on concussion management.

It was held at Holiday Valley Resort in Ellicottville and was open to the public. About 100 people representing all eight counties of Western New York attended, including many school coaches, trainers and nurses, along with county employees and other interested participants.

Among the speakers was Mark Kelso, a former safety with the Buffalo Bills who transitioned to a career coaching and training. His years of experience as a player and as a coach were shared with the audience with a special focus on concussions. Kelso talked about being one of the first NFL players to address concussion issues with helmet design changes and he brought examples of the helmets to demonstrate the changes made to protect the player from concussions.

In addition, Todd Nelson, assistant director of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association; Dr. Ryan Krzyzanowicz, a clinical associate professor and program director for the Master of Science in Athletic Training at the University of Buffalo and Dr. John Leddy, professor of Clinical Orthopedics and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences spoke at the event.

The second symposium on brain health will focus on dementia-related topics and will be held this fall. For more information, visit www.wnypha.org.

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