Gov. Northam signs off on concussion study legislation

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — Governor Ralph Northam approved legislation which will require state and local education officials to update guidelines related to concussions every two years.

Del. Dickie Bell (R-Staunton) introduced the bill to renew policies which educate and inform coaches, student-athletes and parents on how to respond to concussions on a biennial basis using the latest knowledge and research from experts.

The Board of Education will need to collaborate with a number of stakeholders — including the Virginia High School League, the Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia Athletic Trainers' Association.

A science advisory board formed by Brain Injury Connections of the Shenandoah Valley early last year recently discussed concussions.

"There's a lot of really good resources out there for parents," said Tamara Wagester, the nonprofit's executive director. "There's a lot of really good resources for the school system which this legislation will go out and encourage people to work with other stakeholders in the community."

BICSV provides services to people impacted by brain injuries.

"We have received calls from individuals who have concussion-related symptoms. It's always important for them to communicate with their parents and communicate with their teachers and it's also important for them to go see their health professionals," said Wagester.