Brain Trust

Preventing traumatic brain injuries in our youth

Protecting student athletes from closed head injuries begins well before an athlete actually suffers a concussion. The Center Foundation initiates the following best practices to prevent concussions:

  • Athletes in high-risk sports take pre-season ImPACT tests every two years.
  • Athletic trainers and physicians educate teachers, coaches, and athletic directors to detect the signs and symptoms of a concussion.
  • The Center Foundation provides concussion awareness educational information on signs and symptoms to parents and students.
  • Athletic trainers continually educate athletes about the risks of concussions and the importance of reporting their signs and symptoms.

Learn more about our concussion prevention practices.

Train Your Brain

Prompted by an alarming increase of widely preventable head injuries in young people, The Center Foundation pioneered the “Train Your Brain” program. This elementary school outreach was developed to provide ongoing innovative, research-based curriculum to educate youth about the importance of helmet use and brain and spinal cord injury prevention. To date, we have reached over 2,000 students in schools locally and distribute over 1,200 helmets annually to those in need.

The Back Story:

Years ago, a young Bend boy was struck by a car while riding his bike without a helmet. He was rushed to the ER where one of The Center Foundation’s board members, a neurosurgeon, was on call. Tragically, and in spite of our board member’s best effort, the boy did not survive.

As a result, and with the intention of preventing further tragedies, The Center Foundation adopted programs to educate our grade school kids on the importance of protecting their brain and spinal cord by learning and using good safety skills.

Today, The Center Foundation offers educational presentations to youth organizations in Central Oregon, including: elementary schools, boy scouts, pre-schools, summer camps, and English as a second language class. The presentations include age-appropriate discussions of brain and spinal cord anatomy and injury prevention techniques such as street, car, and bike safety. These active and fun sessions conclude with a melon drop helmet demonstration.

Students are asked to bring their helmets for a fit and function assessment. If a child’s helmet is ill fitting or damaged, or if they do not have a helmet, a new helmet will be properly fit and provided by our team of helmet experts at no cost.

Helmet Safety Tips 

If you know of a child who is in need of a bike helmet, please contact Andrew Traut at atraut@centerfoundation.org or at 541-322-3719.

Did You Know?

We donate over 1200 helmets per year to youth in our community.