UPMC, Affidea Ireland, Bon Secours Health System & ImPACT Applications create 1st Nationwide Concussion Network

UPMC announced today that it is partnering in Ireland with Affidea Ireland, the Bon Secours Health System Ltd. and ImPACT Applications Inc. to create the first countrywide network for the diagnosis and treatment of concussion in people of all ages. The UPMC Concussion Network will include clinicians specially trained in the model of targeted, individualised concussion care practiced at the world-renowned UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Programme.

Micky Collins, Ph.D., executive and clinical director of the programme, with more than 17,000 patient visits a year, will oversee the network’s training and quality measures. The country’s leading diagnostics provider, Affidea, is providing the ImPACT® concussion test, while treatment services will be offered initially at Bon Secours and UPMC facilities.

“We have made tremendous progress at UPMC in the diagnosis, management and rehabilitation of concussion, which is treatable when managed properly. By working in Ireland with partners committed to the same high standards of care, we aim to help not only school-age and elite-level athletes in Ireland, but people from all walks of life affected by this injury,” said Collins, whose programme is a leading source for concussion research, with nearly 200 peer-reviewed studies.

The UPMC-led treatment approach will start with a comprehensive evaluation for patients, including ImPACT® baseline testing, available now at eight Affidea centres throughout Ireland. Administered more than 15 million times since 2002 and used by most professional sports leagues, colleges and schools in the U.S. and Canada, ImPACT includes a 20-minute baseline test that patients take on a computer to measure neurocognitive function such as brain processing, speed, memory and visual motor skills.

In the event of a suspected concussion, the patient repeats the test, and his or her post-injury data is compared to baseline test data to help determine the severity and effects of the injury, in addition to the course of treatment and rehabilitation.

Consultant physicians and physiotherapists at Bon Secours Health System, Ireland’s largest private hospital group, are being trained in UPMC’s concussion protocols and standards, and are offering evaluations and treatment at hospitals in Cork and Galway, complementing UPMC’s planned services at UPMC Whitfield in Waterford.

“Affidea already works hand in hand with many of the country’s major governing sporting bodies by providing them with a rapid, detailed and proficient diagnostic service,” said Barry Downes, Country Manager of Affidea. “For Affidea to offer this concussion testing service is just another declaration of our promise to care and look after our country’s athletes and patients.”

Added Michael Wahlster, chief executive officer of concussion software company ImPACT Applications: “This offering of baseline tests will be by far the largest effort to date in any European Union Country. UPMC, Affidea and Bons Secours have worked tirelessly and should be congratulated for addressing this public health issue in such a bold fashion.”

Niamh Lynch, M.D., consultant pediatrician for Bon Secours Health System, and Enda Devitt, M.D., general practitioner and Galway senior football team doctor, will supervise the clinical network in Ireland. Lynch has a special interest in neurology, and in 2016 established Ireland’s first concussion clinic for children. Devitt established the first concussion testing and management pathway within Galway Gaelic Athletic Association.

“Over the past two years, we have joined with UPMC to train clinicians in concussion management and to educate sporting organisations, players, coaches and parents,” said Bill Maher, chief executive officer of Bon Secours Health System. “The next step is to ensure countrywide access to effective, evidence-based concussion care, and there is no one better to lead this effort than UPMC.”

About Affidea

Affidea is Ireland’s leading independent provider of diagnostic imaging services including MRI, Ultrasound, X-ray, CT and DEXA scans. Affidea entered the Irish market in 2007 through the acquisition of MRI Ireland. Affidea Ireland operates ten state-of-the-art diagnostic centres – four in Dublin (Dundrum, Northwood, Meath Primary Care and a new flagship clinic in Tallaght); one in Cork city with ultrasound services in Mallow Primary Care Centre; and centres in Waterford, Kilkenny, Naas, Letterkenny and Northern MRI in Belfast. In addition, we work in partnership with hospitals to provide MRI services in Sligo General Hospital and the Ulster Independent Clinic in Belfast. In 2010, Affidea – formerly Euromedic Ireland – became the first diagnostic imaging centre worldwide to receive the Standard in Ambulatory Care from the Joint Commission International. The JCI is an international body that regulates quality in ambulatory care.

Additionally, this year Affidea ExpressCare officially launched as part of Affidea’s outpatient strategy to provide outstanding patient alternatives for minor injuries and minor illnesses, which should not need to take place in a traditional, highly pressurised hospital setting. Affidea ExpressCare provides patients with an alternative to busy Emergency Departments, combined with the added benefit of the full suite of Affidea diagnostic medical imaging, all within the same clinic. This significantly benefits the health system, freeing up capacity for those most in need of care. Affidea ExpressCare Clinics in The Elysian in Cork and Tallaght Cross East in Dublin are open to the public from 10am to 10pm, 365 days per year, with no appointment necessary. Affidea ExpressCare is committed to providing an efficient service, including seeing patients within a one-hour turnaround time, and children over one-year can attend.

About UPMC

A $16 billion world-renowned health care provider and insurer, Pittsburgh-based UPMC is inventing new models of patient-centered, cost-effective, accountable care. UPMC provides more than $900 million a year in benefits to its communities, including more care to the region’s most vulnerable citizens than any other health care institution. The largest nongovernmental employer in Pennsylvania, UPMC integrates 80,000 employees, more than 30 hospitals, 600 doctors’ offices and outpatient sites, and a 3.4 million-member Insurance Services Division, the largest medical insurer in western Pennsylvania. As UPMC works in close collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, U.S. News & World Reportconsistently ranks UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside on its annual Honor Roll of America’s Best Hospitals. UPMC Enterprises functions as the innovation and commercialization arm of UPMC, and UPMC International provides hands-on health care and management services with partners around the world. For more information, go to UPMC.com.

About ImPACT Applications Inc.

ImPACT Applications is the maker of ImPACT®, ImPACT Pediatric® and ImPACT Quick Test™, all CE approved medical devices that assist in the assessment and management of concussion. Since 2002, ImPACT Applications has pioneered the computerized assessment and management of concussions. More than 15 million individuals have been assessed and managed using the company’s medical devices, in over 20 languages worldwide. For more information, visit www.ConcussionManagement.com.

About Bon Secours Health System

As Ireland’s largest independent hospital group, Bon Secours Health System is renowned for the quality of its service provision coupled with a rich tradition in healthcare. Bon Secours Health System is a not for profit organisation and its mission is centred on providing compassionate, world-class medical treatment to all those it serves. Bon Secours Health System incorporates five modern acute hospitals in Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Tralee together with a Care Village in Cork and a Cavan Outreach Consultants Clinic. With over 3,000 staff, 926 beds, 450 leading consultants, the Hospital Group treats approximately 280,000 patients a year.

The Bon Secours Health System is internationally accredited by the Joint Commission International Accreditation Standards for Hospitals (JCI), the leading organisation in the International Accreditation of Hospitals for quality of care and patient safety. The Group is currently investing €150m in capital investment in all its hospitals as part of its ambitious 2020 Plan in an effort to enhance Advanced Medicine Exceptional Careacross all its hospital sites in Ireland. Visit www.bonsecours.ie.


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