The Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation and UPMC Sports Medicine are once again teaming up to offer the Heads UP Pittsburgh program, an innovative concussion awareness and baseline testing initiative for young athletes throughout Western Pennsylvania.
Testing for Heads UP Pittsburgh will begin on June 29 and end during the week of July 31. Free neurocognitive baseline testing will be available on a first-come, first-served basis for 2,000 athletes ages 10+ with all participants also receiving a neck strengthening kit. As the health and safety of all parties is top priority, the pediatric test (ages 5-9) will not be available this year due to COVID-19 as it requires the examiner and athlete to be in close proximity to one another.
Registration is now open, and interested parents/guardians are advised to register early as available dates and locations book very quickly. Please be aware of the Testing Safety Requirements when registering and note that UPMC is taking measures to help participants feel safe in each facility. Staff and patients will be screened for known COVID-19 symptoms, visitors are limited, masks are required, and testing locations are regularly cleaned and sanitized. To register, visit www.upmc.com/baselinetesting.
The Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation and UPMC Sports Medicine are celebrating the tenth year of Heads UP Pittsburgh. Since 2011, Heads UP has baseline tested over 20,000 young people across 31 different sports and provided concussion education awareness to over 50,000 parents, coaches, referees and teachers. The program has expanded each year to serve more youth and include a wider spectrum of sports. Today, the program tests athletes in every major sport, cheerleading, dance, and many other physical activities.
This year, Heads UP testing will be offered at four sites:
- UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex – Cranberry, PA
- UPMC Rooney Sports Complex – Pittsburgh, PA
- UPMC Hamot Sterling Square – Erie, PA
- UPMC Jameson Hospital – New Castle, PA
The entire Heads UP testing process takes approximately one hour. Parents/guardians will meet with UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program staff to learn about Heads UP Pittsburgh. Licensed athletic trainers from UPMC Sports Medicine will supervise the program and testing. On the day of testing, participants must not be suffering from any symptoms of a concussion, nor have a suspected injury at the time of establishing their baseline.
For more information about the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation, please visit: www.pittsburghpenguinsfoundation.org