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Updated Apr 30, 2015 - 2:06 pm

NFL picks AIA partner to join committee

The NFL selected one of the nation’s experts in concussion prevention, treatment and education, Dr. Javier Cardenas, who chairs the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s sports medicine advisory committee, to join the NFL’s Head, Neck and Spine Committee.

Dr. Cardenas’ innovative work at the Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center has helped Arizona become one of the leaders in the concussion arena. In his new role with the NFL, Dr. Cardenas will advise the NFL of the best practices for concussion prevention and management as well as other brain and spinal cord injuries, according to a statement e-mailed by St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center.

Dr. Cardenas is the only physician on the NFL Head, Neck and Spine Committee from Arizona. He's been attending NFL games to provide neurological support for the physicians of NFL teams.

Dr. Cardenas worked with the AIA and the Barrow Neurological Institute to help develop Barrow Brainbook, the nation’s first mandated concussion education test high school athletes must pass before they can play. Dr. Cardenas and Barrow also developed Barrow Brainball, the first video game to teach children how to avoid collisions that can harm them.

“I am honored to have been selected by the (NFL) chairs of the Head, Neck and Spite Committee and am looking forward to assisting the league in furthering its role in the treatment, prevention and research of brain and spinal cord injuries, including concussions,” said Dr. Cardenas in the statement.  

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