Center for Concussion Education and Research at Chestnut Hill College
Mission: To enhance the safety of athletes participating at all levels of play through education, research and the development of innovative educational programs.
The Center for Concussion Education and Research was founded in 2015. The first project led by William Ernst, Psy.D. and Meredith Kneavel, Ph.D. was the development of the Peer Concussion Education Program, which was funded by a $75,000.00 grant from the NCAA-DoD Mind Matters Educational Programs Challenge. The Mind Matters Challenge called for the development of educational programs designed to change the culture surrounding concussion so that all concussions are reported instead of being hid from peers, coaches and commanders.
The grant to develop the PCEP was one of six awarded to organizations from across the United States. After completing the PCEP and its online manual, the PCEP was the only concussion education program selected by a joint NCAA-DoD panel to receive additional funding ($207,350.00), which was awarded to Meredith Kneavel, Ph.D. and William Ernst, Psy.D (Co-Principal Investigators) and Kevin McCarthy, Ph.D. (Secondary Investigator) to conduct a multi-site randomized controlled trial of the program. Ten colleges/universities, 60 sports teams and approximately 1,600 student-athletes participated in the multi-site study, which provided evidence supporting the PCEP’s effectiveness. Please see the Research page for more information.
The PCEP has been implemented at CHC during the past 4 years. During the 2019-2020 academic year, 18 peer concussion educators (2 per team) were trained to provide the PCEP to 9 CHC Athletic Teams, which resulted in about 300 student-athletes participating in the program.
Current or planned Center Initiatives include the development of versions of the PCEP to be used with high school and youth athletes as well as military service personnel. Research studies examining international perspectives on concussion awareness, education and reporting as well as concussion knowledge and attitudes of parents and coaches in the United States are either planned or underway.