Snowboarder Kevin Pearce is a featured speaker at a brain injury conference in South Burlington.
Every year, there are at least 1.7 million traumatic brain injuries in the U.S. Pearce, who was hurt while training for the Olympics, is helping bring attention to the efforts to prevent and treat TBIs. The conference will have several sessions dealing with topics like recovery after a TBI and learning about the PHAT program, which is designed to encourage people to wear helmets.
"Some people are never the same and some people can die. Many head injuries are preventable and can be prevented with simple use of a helmet. One of the things Kevin will underscore is the importance of a helmet in skiing and snowboarding. This year we've expanded the program to include all sorts of recreational activities," said Dr. Robert Williams, the medical director of the PHAT program for Fletcher Allen Health Care.
PHAT, which stands for Protect your Head at All Times, is now partnering with groups like Local Motion and the Vermont ATV Association to spread the word about helmet use.