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Conversations Live: Sports-Related Concussions

Aired Thursday, October 10, 2013

The recent deaths of a high school and professional football player have left us with more questions than answers about concussive brain injuries. What can we do to protect players? Is the answer better helmets–or new tackling techniques? Is football worth the risks? On this edition of Conversations LIVE our guests will talk about the relationship between football and brain damage.


Ruben Echemendia,Ph.D.Ruben Echemendia, Ph.D.

President, Sports Neuropsychology Society
Fellow and Past President, National Academy of Neuropsychology

Ruben J. Echemendía, Ph.D., served as director of Penn State’s Psychological Clinic for 15 years before pursuing a full-time independent practice. During his tenure at Penn State, he founded the Clinical Neuropsychology Laboratory in the department of psychology, where he focused his research efforts on the diagnosis and management of cerebral concussion, and was the principal investigator for the grant-supported Cerebral Concussion Program. Echemendía has served as director of the National Hockey League’s Neuropsychological Testing Program and as neuropsychological consultant to the U.S. Soccer Federation and the U.S. national soccer teams, the Pittsburgh Penguins Hockey Club, and several minor league, college, and high school programs.

Wayne J. Sebastianelli, M.D.Wayne J. Sebastianelli, M.D.

Kalenak Professor in Orthopaedics
Director, Athletic Medicine, Penn State University

Dr. Wayne Sebastianelli began his medical career as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Orthopaedics at the University of Rochester, School of Medicine and Dentistry. He started his tenure-track position with Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in 1992 as Medical Director for Penn State Sports Medicine in State College, where he continues to cultivate the Sports Medicine program. He currently serves as Kalenak Professor in Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, Director of Athletic Medicine at Penn State University and as Chief of Staff for Mount Nittany Medical Center. His clinical and associated research interests include Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, knee ligament injuries, meniscal injuries, and arthroscopy.

Jim Gilmore, Producer/ReporterJim Gilmore

Producer/Reporter, FRONTLINE (WGBH/Boston)

Jim Gilmore is a longtime producer/reporter who has worked on several dozen FRONTLINE documentaries over the past two decades. Some of the programs he’s been involved with include: The Emmy and Polk Award-winning series, “Money, Power and Wall Street, the Peabody Award-winning “Cheney’s Law” (2007), Emmy Award-winning “The Lost Year in Iraq” (2006), Emmy Award-winning “The Torture Question” (2005), and “Bush’s War” (2008), a four-hour in-depth assessment of the war on terror. Most recently, Gilmore has been a co-producing the FRONTLINE investigative documentary, “League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis.”

Gilmore is a graduate of New York University’s Film School and before coming to FRONTLINE worked for several years with The BBC. He has also produced for The Discovery Channel and The History Channel.

Camdin CrouseCamdin Crouse

Graduate Student, Penn State College of Education
Former Player & Graduate Asst. QB Coach, RMU

Camdin Crouse was a graduate assistant with the Robert Morris University football team, serving as the quarterback coach after playing that position for the Colonials for four previous years under former NFL coach Joe Walton.

In May 2012, Crouse suffered significant left leg damage from an ATV accident that resulted in an amputation from the knee down.

Recently, Crouse was accepted to Penn State’s College of Education for the masters program in Rehabilitation Counseling. He has also joined the PSU Ability Athletics team and has been training for the Paralympics.

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