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Meeting with group discussion strategy

Session 1

10:00 am to 12:30 pm EST, Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Fireside chat: A retrospective on concussions over the years

  • Dr. Charles Tator, MD, PhD, University of Toronto and Toronto Western Hospital
  • Debra Gassewitz, Sport Information Resource Centre (SIRC)

    *There are no slides available for this presentation

The impact of mental health on concussion management

  • Magdalena Wojtowicz, PhD, CPsych, York University

Driving change spotlight: The importance of assessing concussion recovery using thinking and moving at the same time!

  • Lauren Sergio, PhD, York University

Sport sector update: The Blue Card: A concussion management process for community rugby

  • Ryan Jones, Rugby Canada
  • Mike Jorgensen, University of Toronto

Sport sector update: Learnings and impact of NCCP Making Head Way in Sport

  • Adam Sollitt, Coaching Association of Canada
  • Marie-Pier Charest, PhD, Coaching Association of Canada

Driving change spotlight: A multi-level understanding of concussion reporting and removal from play in youth Sport

  • Alison Doherty, PhD, Western University
  • Kaleigh Pennock, PhD, Western University

Session 2

Wednesday, March 1, 2023, 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm EST

Research update: Population-specific considerations in pediatric concussion

  • Nick Reed, PhD, MScOT, OT Reg. (Ont), University of Toronto
  • Dr. Roger Zemek, MD, University of Ottawa and Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario

When is an athlete psychologically ready to return to sport following a concussion?

  • Jacqueline van Ierssel, PT, PhD, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute

Driving change spotlight: Demographic considerations for concussion management

  • Amanda Black, CAT(C), PhD, University of Calgary

Sport sector update: Rule changes in action: How Taekwondo Canada is leading the way

  • Dave Harris, Taekwondo Canada

Sports and recreation concussion surveillance: data sources, trends, and challenges

  • Sarah Zutrauen, Public Health Agency of Canada
  • Steven McFaull, Public Health Agency of Canada

Driving change spotlight: Impacts of concussion on the vision system

  • Kristine Dalton, PhD, OD, University of Waterloo

Looking Ahead: Critical next steps for sport organizations

  • Stephanie Cowle, Parachute
  • Kathryn Schneider, PT, PhD, University of Calgary

Speaker Biographies

Adam Sollitt

While leading the research and auditing program for the International Ice Hockey Federation, Adam had the opportunity to work with and visit National Sport Organizations in over 60 nations around the world, including gathering information on their risk and safety policies, procedures, and operations. Since returning to Canada full time, Adam has been a representative on the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Sport Council’s workgroup on concussions in sport for the past 7 years, first as a representative of the government of Alberta, and later as a national multi-sport organization representative with the Coaching Association of Canada.  Adam is as a full-time coaching consultant with the Coaching Association of Canada and oversees the concussion portfolio.


Alison Doherty, PhD

Alison Doherty, PhD, is a Professor of Sport Management in the School of Kinesiology, Faculty of Health Sciences at Western University in London, Ontario. Her research focuses broadly on the capacity and management of nonprofit and community-based organizations for safe and inclusive sport and physical activity. She is currently leading or involved in projects advancing insight to gender equity in sport leadership, integration of newly arrived migrants in and through organized sport, and management of concussion in youth sport. Her extensive research portfolio has been supported by funding from SSHRC, Sport Canada, Ontario Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Recreation, Mitacs, and the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Alison has consulted and shared her research with local, provincial, and national sport organizations, with a focus on translating key findings and discussing implications for effective practice. She is the Lead of the Sport and Social Impact Research Group (SSIRG) at Western, a board member of Canada’s Sport Information Resource Centre (SIRC), and a member of the Canadian Women & Sport Impact Research Committee. Her knowledge generation and translation activities are enhanced by an extensive network of collaborators around the world. Alison is a former Canadian Champion and National Team heptathlete, and a long-time track and field coach with Western.


Amanda Black, PhD

Amanda Black is an assistant professor at the University of Calgary and a certified athletic therapist. Her concussion research spans the spectrum of prevention with projects examining the epidemiology, diagnostic tools, education to help manage concussion, changing concussion management behaviours, and tools to track recovery. Throughout her research training, she has worked as a certified athletic therapist on the field and in the clinic. She also worked as a non-physician expert in the acute sport concussion clinic. Amanda is a member of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, O’Brien Institute for Public Health, and the Hotchkiss Brain Institute.


Dr. Charles Tator

Dr. Charles Tator trained in Neurosurgery and Neuropathology and was Chair of Neurosurgery, at the University of Toronto. He headed Neurosurgery at the Toronto Western Hospital, and was a founder of two injury prevention organizations, ThinkFirst, Canada, a national brain and spinal cord injury prevention foundation which merged in 2012 to form Parachute Canada, a national injury prevention agency. He held two research chairs at the University of Toronto, and is an Officer of the Order of Canada, and an inductee of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame and the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. Currently, he is a Scientist in the Krembil Brain Institute and Director of the Canadian Concussion Centre at Toronto Western Hospital. He has received awards from the Canadian Paraplegic Association, Canadian Brain Injury Coalition, USA Hockey, Hockey Canada and the American Spinal Injuries Association. His book on Catastrophic Injuries in Sports and Recreation was published by the University of Toronto Press in 2008, and his Practice Primer on Concussions appeared in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in 2013. He is the author of 423 publications in peer review journals. He is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Neurotrauma, Journal of Concussion and the Neuroscientist.


Dave Harris

Dave Harris has been in the sports and entertainment industry for over 25 years with experience in the Ontario Hockey League, Global Spectrum, Ontario Lottery and Gaming and the Oakville Soccer Club.

Harris was named the Executive Director of Taekwondo Canada in June of 2020, overseeing all aspects of the organization including the direct relationship between the Board of Directors and Membership, upholding the Association’s Strategic Plan and maintaining and building positive relationships with key stakeholders including Sport Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee and Own the Podium. From a day to day perspective, Harris oversees all facets of Taekwondo Canada’s operations including Communications, Finance, High Performance and Event Management.

During Harris’ tenure, he has, along with his team, developed a number of new initiatives including the organization’s “Fight Like a Girl” program which encourages the development of women in taekwondo and gender equity programs. Most recently Harris, in partnership with Parachute, spearheaded the development of a new Taekwondo Canada Concussion Policy which provides education and protocols for athletes, coaches and officials at the club, provincial and national levels.


Jacqueline van Ierssel, PhD

Jacqueline van Ierssel is a registered Physiotherapist and Postdoctoral Fellow at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute. Her program of research focuses on functional recovery and improving clinical decision-making regarding return to sport following concussion. Her postdoctoral research is supported by a national peer-reviewed award to develop a more sensitive balance measure than the current standard. For her doctoral research, she developed a concussion-specific measure of functional capacity that was nominated for the Governor General’s Gold Medal Award for the best doctoral thesis.

Dr. van Ierssel has 20 years of clinical and field care experience working with recreational to Olympic level athletes recovering from concussion. She is the founder of R2P Concussion Management. She is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Manual and Manipulative Therapy (2003), and completed her Diploma of Sports Physiotherapy (2007) and competency-based certification program in Vestibular Rehabilitation (Emory University (2015). She has been a clinical instructor at the University of Toronto, Department of Physical Therapy and the University of Ottawa, School of Rehabilitation Sciences. She serves as the Knowledge Translation Representative for Sport Physiotherapy Canada (National), was the past chair of Sport Physiotherapy Canada (Ontario Section), and is an expert panelist on the Living Guideline for Pediatric Concussion Care. She has presented on concussion at numerous conferences, scientific meetings, on broadcast interviews, and has won clinical teaching awards.


Kaleigh Pennock, PhD

Kaleigh Pennock is a postdoctoral researcher at Western University. Broadly, her research examines how constructions of risk and responsibility shape experiences in sport. Kaleigh completed her PhD at the University of Toronto, where her dissertation focused on sport-related concussion under-reporting by adolescent athletes. At Western, her research examines the interrelated roles of various stakeholders in youth sport concussion awareness and removal, and collective strategies for knowledge mobilization to improve concussion management. In addition to her research at Western, Kaleigh is the lab coordinator for the Indigeneity, Diaspora, Equity, and Anti-Racism in Sport (IDEAS) Research Lab at the University of Toronto. Kaleigh is a former competitive ringette player and helps advance sport and physical activity opportunities for girls through her work with Fast and Female.


Kathryn Schneider PT, PhD, DipManipPT

Kathryn Schneider is an Associate Professor and Clinician Scientist (Physiotherapist) at the Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre, Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Calgary. Her research focuses on the prevention, detection and treatment of sport-related concussion. Her work has identified a large treatment effect using multimodal physiotherapy and vestibular rehabilitation. She is a Clinical Specialist in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy, a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Manipulative Physiotherapists and has expertise and certification in vestibular rehabilitation. She was recognized by Avenue Magazine as “Top 40 Under 40” in 2012 and was the recipient of the Vestibular Disorders Association (VEDA) Champion of Vestibular Medicine Award in 2015. She has been involved as an Expert Panelist at the 4th and 5th International Consensus Conferences on Concussion in Sport and Scientific Committee member and led/is leading the methodology informing the 5th and 6th International Consensus Conferences on Concussion in Sport. Invited speaking highlights include the 4th, 5th and upcoming 6th International Consensus Conferences on Concussion in Sport, International Olympic Committee (IOC) medical meetings at the Sochi, Rio and PyeongChang Olympic games, and many additional International and National sport meetings. Her clinical practice focuses on the treatment of recreational to elite/professional athletes with ongoing symptoms following sport-related concussion. Over the past 8 years, she has worked with many local, provincial and national sport organizations and health care teams to develop and implement evidence-based concussion protocols and processes. She is a member of the Federal Government Working Group on Concussion in Sport and is the co-lead of the integrated Knowledge Translation and Patient and Stakeholder engagement committee of the Canadian Concussion Network.


Kristine Dalton, PhD

Kristine Dalton is an Associate Professor at the School of Optometry & Vision Science, an optometrist, and a leader in the field of sports vision and concussion rehabilitation. After establishing and directing the Vision & Motor Performance Lab in 2013, Kristine went onto found the Sports Vision Clinic at the University of Waterloo in 2014. Under her leadership, the Sports Vision Clinic expanded its services to include the Brain Injury Clinic in 2019. In her clinical work, Kristine provides performance vision enhancement and vision rehabilitation services for athletes and individuals with traumatic brain injury (concussion). Her research interests include sports performance, traumatic brain injury rehabilitation in able-bodied and Para sport, and Paralympic classification for athletes with vision impairment. Kristine is a member of the Concussion in Para Sport group, a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, and a Fellow of the British Contact Lens Association.


Lauren Sergio, PhD

Lauren Sergio is a Professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science at York University in Toronto. She holds a Tier 1 York Research Chair in Brain Health and Skilled Performance. She received her PhD, specializing in the neural control of movement, from McGill University in 1994, and pursued post-doctoral studies in neurophysiology at the Université de Montréal. Her research examines the effects of age, sex, neurological disease, head injury, and experience (elite versus non-elite athletes) on the brain’s control of complex movement. Dr. Sergio works with a wide range of adult populations, including NHL draft prospects and those with Alzheimer’s disease, using behavioural and brain imaging techniques. She is a member of the York University Sport Medicine team and an Affiliate Scientist at KITE Research, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute.


Magdalena Wojtowicz, PhD

Magdalena Wojtowicz is a Clinical Neuropsychologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at York University. She has an established research program examining how mental health and other psychological factors influence athlete performance and recovery following injury. She has worked in a clinical and research capacity with varsity and professional athletes, military service members, as well as the general population.



Marie-Pier Charest, PhD

Marie-Pier Charest, PhD is a Coaching Consultant at the Coaching Association of Canada (CAC), also in charge of the NCCP Advanced Coaching Diploma and Research. Before working for the CAC, Marie-Pier worked for about 10 years as a lecturer at the Université Laval, then she moved to Speed Skating Canada as a Regional Mentor and to the Institut National du Sport du Québec as the Director of Coach Training Department.


Michael Jorgenson

Michael Jorgensen is a PhD Candidate at the University of Toronto in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education. His research critically examines approaches to sport-related concussion prevention and management. Michael’s research is designed to improve our understanding of why athletes engage in risk-taking and protective behaviours and the impact of psychosocial factors and sport policy developments on athlete behaviour. Currently, Michael is working with Rugby Canada and Rugby Ontario as they implement, evaluate, and refine the Blue Card process – a novel risk management strategy designed to track concussion injuries and promote proper return-to-play.


Nick Reed, PhD

Nick Reed is an Associate Professor in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the University of Toronto, where he is the Director of the OAK Concussion Lab and holds a Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Pediatric Concussion. His work focuses on research, educational and clinical programming specific to youth and concussion. Internationally, Nick is an Executive Board Member for the International Pediatric Brain Injury Society. Clinically, Nick is an occupational therapist and co-founder and Lead of Knowledge Translation for 360 Concussion Care, a multidisciplinary concussion clinic.


Dr. Roger Zemek

Dr. Roger Zemek is a Pediatric Emergency physician, full Professor and Tier-1 Clinical Research Chair in Pediatric Concussion at the University of Ottawa and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). He is a Senior Scientist and Director of the Clinical Research Unit at the CHEO RI. He holds several national and international leadership positions including Chair of the Pediatric Emergency Research Canada (PERC) network, and he co-leads the international team for the Living Guideline for Pediatric Concussion Care. He is the co-founder and Scientific Director of 360 Concussion Care, a network of interdisciplinary concussion clinics. Dr. Zemek’s program of research has helped to advance the diagnosis, prognosis, and management of pediatric concussion.


Ryan Jones

Ryan Jones is the Rugby Development Manager for Rugby Canada. His role is to support the growth, development, and protection of rugby across the country and leads the Rugby Canada Blue Card concussion management program. Ryan has a degree in Recreation Management and Community Development from the University of Manitoba, and he is currently pursuing a masters degree with a focus on Positive Youth Development (PYD) in Sport at York University. Previously he worked with Rugby Manitoba and Rugby Ontario to support the growth and development of rugby within the provinces. Ryan is passionate about community sport and continuously works to remove barriers to participation for all who wish to participate.


Sarah Zutrauen

Sarah Zutrauen, MSc., is an epidemiologist with the Centre for Surveillance and Applied Research at the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). She supports injury surveillance through analyzing injury data from various data sources including hospitalizations, emergency department visits and survey data. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Health Sciences Honours degree (2018) and a Master of Science degree (2021) from Carleton University where she studied epidemiology and health policy, while conducting injury surveillance research. Sarah is a sport enthusiast, with a particular interest in soccer. She competed on the Carleton University varsity women’s soccer team for five years throughout her postsecondary studies, where she captained the team for three years, was recognized as a 5-time Academic All Canadian, an OUA All Star, and was a recipient of the Leadership Excellence in a CIS Varsity Sports Program award.


Stephanie Cowle

Stephanie Cowle has spent 14 years working in the area of injury and trauma prevention. Stephanie is the Director of Knowledge Translation at Parachute, a national charity focused on preventing serious and fatal injuries. Stephanie leads Parachute’s projects to improve concussion prevention, recognition and management across Canada. She has worked with more than 50 national sport bodies as well as government, health, and education stakeholders at national and provincial levels. She is a member of the Federal-Provincial/Territorial Work Group on Concussion in Sport and the Knowledge Translation Coordinator for the Canadian Concussion Network-Réseau Canadien des Commotions.


Steven McFaull

Mr. McFaull has worked for the Public Health Agency of Canada (formerly Health Canada) in Injury Surveillance for 24 years, where he is a Team Lead and Senior Injury Epidemiologist. His background is in biomechanics and statistics. His areas of interest include sports and recreation-related injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and falls. He also has been exploring text mining and automation of injury surveillance databases. Steve’s sports background includes wrestling, Japanese Jiu Jitsu and Hockey.