WESLEY CHAPEL - Dr. Jonathan Phillips is out to tackle concussions head on.
He specializes in sports medicine and founded the recently opened Concussion Center in the Wellness Center at Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that as many as 3.8 million recreation-related concussions occur each year.
The Sports Concussion Institute in Los Angeles further suggests that 5 to 10 percent of all athletes will experience a concussion in any given sport season.
Brain injuries are simply a fact of life in today's sports world, said Phillips, who is certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and Sports Medicine and serves as team physician for the Tampa Bay Storm.
In light of Florida Gov. Rick Scott's 2012 signing of the state's youth concussion law, which requires parents to sign a concussion-related form before their children can participate in school sports, Phillips recommends that young athletes take the ImPact evaluation test. The 25-minute computerized exam he administers can be used as a baseline for comparison should those youngsters suffer head injuries.
The test, Phillips explained, is simply meant to assess a person's memory and reaction time.
"Evidence shows it's a good tool to use and there aren't any other doctors in the area that I know of who are using it," he said.
Phillips noted the center accepts most insurance plans.
"It's important for parents and their kids to understand than even minor blows to the head can cause concussions," he said. "Even if the person doesn't lose consciousness or immediately show other signs of distress, he could have a brain injury."
Visit FHWesleyChapel.org or call the Concussion Center at (813) 929-5350 for more information.
Joyce McKenzie can be reached at JoyceCMcKenzie@gmail.com.