FEBRUARY 2020 THE RIDER /11
The Maryland Horsemen’s Health System joins forces with HeadCheck Health
Revolutionizing jockey concussion safety and medical care with new electronic injury tracking system
MARYLAND (December 10, 2019) - MedStar Health, in conjunction with Delaware Jockeys Health and Welfare Fund (DJHWF), and Maryland Thor- oughbred Horsemen’s Association (MTHA), today announced a new part- nership with software company Head- Check Health to launch an industry-specific electronic injury tracking system with a focus on opti- mizing concussion safety and medical care at racetracks. Horse racing is one of the most
dangerous sports for athletic injury with concussions accounting for about 8 to 15 percent of equestrian-related in- juries, according to a 2017 Paulick Re- port article. To improve the level of care jockeys receive, the sports medi- cine team at MedStar Health used their experience with professional sports teams to create the Horsemen’s Health System. This service included the de- velopment and implementation of a sport-specific concussion protocol and return-to-ride protocol for any jockey that sustains a suspected concussion. “We originally reached out to
HeadCheck looking for a way to share baseline tests between Delaware and Maryland racetracks in a HIPAA com- pliant way,” said Robert Colton, Ad- ministrator of the Delaware Jockeys Health and Welfare Fund (DJHWF). “Since then, we’ve realized that Head- Check can be a solution to some of the safety challenges in our industry for many years.” With the expertise and guidance
of MedStar Health, MTHA, DJHWF, and others, HeadCheck Health created a new robust, dynamic, electronic in- jury tracking system focused on ad- dressing the unique challenges of implementing and mandating concus- sion protocols at independent race- tracks. HeadCheck is a secure HIPAA
compliant system that will help im- prove track management by allowing clear and immediate communication of suspected injuries and jockey status. This program will help ensure nothing slips through the cracks and all jockeys receive appropriate care before return- ing to ride. In the case of a suspected concussion, track staff can now easily report the incident and collect impor- tant information to help medical profes- sionals to make a better evidence-based diagnosis. Racetracks will have high- level access to monitor the progress of each injured jockey. The system can be effectively adapted to the specific re- sources at each racetrack. “We’re very excited to be working
with some of the most experienced and knowledgeable minds in the industry to develop a system specific to horse rac- ing,” said Eric VanderHelm, Project Lead for HeadCheck Health. “We’ll continue to quickly iterate and update the system based on feedback and data analysis to make sure jockeys can re- ceive the care they deserve.” The pilot program was launched
on November 22, 2019 at Laurel Park under the direction of Dr. Kelly Ryan, sports medicine physician for MedStar Health and Medical Director for the Horsemen’s Health System at Mary- land Racetracks, with the goal of na- tionwide rollout to follow. To learn more, visit headcheck-
m/hhp or contact Eric Vander- Helm
mor (604) 373-0035.
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About Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association The Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s As-
sociation is the officially authorized organization that represents, assists, and promotes the interests of Maryland’s Thoroughbred owners and trainers. Membership in the MTHA is automatically ex- tended to all licensed Maryland owners and train-
About HeadCheck Health, Inc. HeadCheck Health bridges gaps in concus-
sion care through simple, powerful technology. Or- ganizations like the Canadian Football League, Trek Factory Racing, the Canadian Junior Hockey League, Eastern Washington University, and Vol- leyball Canada rely on HeadCheck to improve communication, advance athlete recovery, and op- timize care. Visit headcheckhealth.co
m for more.
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