October 23, 2014

AAP honors Gregory’s efforts for concussion legislation in Tennessee

Andrew Gregory, M.D.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recognized Andrew Gregory, M.D., associate professor of Pediatrics and Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, with a Special Achievement Award for leadership in passing concussion-related legislation.

Gregory and colleagues at Vanderbilt Sports Concussion Center advocated for legislation establishing return to play guidelines and concussion training for coaches.

Senate Bill No. 882/House Bill 867 was approved by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam on April 12, 2013, and went into effect Jan. 1, 2014.

“This took us three years to get something passed that we were happy with and (that) satisfied all interested parties. I am proud to say that we have a law in Tennessee that protects young athletes participating in both school and community sports.   This could not have been accomplished without the hard work from the staffs of both the Tennessee Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (TNAAP) and Tennessee Medical Association,” Gregory said.

The new law requires that all coaches, parents and athletes complete annual education for recognizing signs and symptoms of concussions. It also establishes a policy for the immediate removal from practice or game of any athlete showing signs or symptoms consistent with concussion, and requires that any player who has been removed may not return to play until an appropriate health care provider has cleared them to do so.

Gregory received the award at the TNAAP’s Excellence in Pediatrics Reception and Annual Awards, which honors pediatricians and community members who have made exceptional contributions to children’s health advocacy in Tennessee.