New Pittsburgh Brain Injury Association Announced

A new brain injury research organization has been created in the name of former Steelers head coach Chuck Noll, reports a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania news report. The foundation, announced by Steelers Team President Art Rooney II, will support research of brain injury and sports-related concussions.

Chuck Noll

Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is home to the NFL Steelers. The team was coached by Chuck Noll from 1969 to 1991. (Flickr / Creative Commons / David)

The Steelers organization will help launch The Chuck Noll Foundation for Brain Injury Research with a contribution of $1 million, according to a news release. The release stated that his commitment to his players led to developing the ImPACT test.

In August, the ImPACT test received FDA clearance, according to its website. The tool is called “the most widely-used and most scientifically-validated computerized neurocognitive concussion management tool available.”

The tool has its value, largely because of the number of people who have been given it. But it is no replacement for good clinical judgment by an medical doctor experienced in concussion. These types of quick assessment tools will miss a significant proportion of concussions and potentially return players too soon. Concussion which is a mild traumatic brain injury involves significant symptomatology that the ImPACT test is not sensitive to.

The foundation’s medical advisory board will contain three neurosurgeons, including Dr. Julian Bailes, Dr. Regis Haid, and Dr. Joseph Maroon.““The current practice for the evaluation for concussions and brain injuries in sports is due in large part to
the support and encouragement of Chuck Noll,” Dr. Maroon said in the press release.

If you have seen the movie Concussion with Will Smith, you might find this entire project deeply ironic. The Pittsburg Steelers were at center of the controversy when Bennett Omalu, M.D. first published his findings about CTE. Dr. Maroon is one of the villains of the film.

Merril Hoge, former Steelers and NFL player and ESPN commentator, will serve on the foundation’s Board of Directors. He retired from his eight-year professional football career after suffering two concussions while playing with the Chicago Bears in 1994.

Steelers co-owners Art Rooney II, Rob Citrone and Larry Paul will also serve on the Board of Directors of the foundation.

The Pittsburgh region also consists of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Sports Medicine Concussion Program, one of the most respected places in the world for the treatment of sports concussions.

“I cannot think of anyone more fitting for the Foundation to be named after than Chuck Noll,” Rooney II said in the news release. “His contribution to advancing the way sports-related injuries are diagnosed and treated is immeasurable.”

We can.


Gordon Johnson

Attorney Gordon Johnson is one of the nations leading brain injury advocates. He is Past-Chair of the TBILG, a national group of more than 150 brain injury advocates. He has spoken at numerous brain injury seminars and is the author of some of the most read brain injury web pages on the internet.

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