The International Summit on Female Concussion and TBI

Exploring the Gender Differences in Injury, Symptoms and Recovery to Develop a Better Model of Care

Co-Hosted by PINKconcussions and Georgetown University Medical Center

At Georgetown University, Washington, DC

Saturday and Sunday, February 27-28, 2016

International experts will review and discuss sex and gender-based research from Pediatrics to Geriatrics.

Head Injury across the Female Life Cycle:

  • Sports
  • Domestic Violence
  • Military Service

With Support by

Endorsed by

Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016

  • 8 am to 5 pm    SUMMIT Presentations of Research plus Poster Session Lunch
  • 5:30 to 7:30      RECEPTION Cocktails/Apps with Press and Athletes Panel plus Awards

Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016 for Faculty (Participants can apply to fill remaining open seats in work groups)

  • 8 am – 1 pm      WORK SESSION Brunch and Summary Article Work Sessions

Early bird pricing until Dec. 31, 2015


Available until 1/19/16, there is a special group rate at Washington Marriott Georgetown  for 135 USD per night


For more information about submitting an research abstract for poster

Planning Committee

  • Mrs. Dorothy Bedford (PINK Board Member)
  • Dr. Chris Giza (UCLA) Planning Committee
  • Dr. Stephen Ray Mitchell (Dean of Georgetown School of Medicine) Planning Committee
  • Dr. David Milzman (Georgetown) Planning Committee
  • Dr. Mark Burns (Georgetown) Planning Committee
  • EndFragmentMr. Steve Stenersen (President US Lacrosse, PINK Board Member)
  • Ms. Katherine Snedaker (PINK Executive Director)

Faculty – Presenting Research and/or Developing Summit Paper (Some participation is dependent on funding)

  • Dr. Anthony Alessi (UConn) Sport Concussions in Boxing and MMA
  • Dr. Kristy Arbogast (CHOP) TBA
  • Ms. Christine Baugh (Harvard University) Moderator
  • Dr. Shannon Bauman (Concussion North)
  • Dr. Jeff Bazarian (Rochester) Menstrual Phase as Predictor of Outcome After Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in Women
  • Dr. Donna Broshek (U of Virginia) Moderator
  • Dr. Tracy Covassin (Mich State) The Role of Age and Sex in Symptoms, Neurocognitive Performance, and Postural Stability in Athletes After Concussion
  • Dr. Thomas Dompier (Datalys Center)
  • Dr. Ruben Echemendia (State College) Moderator
  • Dr. Carolyn Emery (Calgary) Cannot attend but will help with summit paper development/edits
  • Ms. Maria E. Garay and Dr. Robb Knechtel (Sojourner Center) Domestic Violence and TBI
  • Dr. Gerry Gioia (Children’s National) Pediatric Concussion
  • Dr. Chris Giza (UCLA) Planning Committee
  • Dr. Odette Harris (DVBIC) Female Soldiers, Concussions and TBI
  • Dr. Margot Putukian (Princeton) Sport Concussions
  • Dr. Brian Hainline (NCAA Chief Medical Officer) Welcome Remarks from NCAA
  • Dr. Mark Herceg (Commissioner of Mental Health Westchester County) TBA
  • Mr. Tim Kelly (Head Athletic Trainer/Associate Athletic Director, United States Military Academy) Concussion Recovery in Male v Female Cadets
  • Dr. Harry Kerasidis (Calvert Memorial Hospital) Sports Concussion Research
  • Dr. Zach Kerr (Datalys Center) Female RIO Data + Sex differences in sports-related concussion in NCAA Student-athletes, The incidence of concussion sustained by females in youth, high school, and collegiate lacrosse
  • Dr. Alexander Lin (Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical) Clinical Spectroscopy of Traumatic Brain Injury: Implications for the Female Brain
  • Dr. Rosemarie Scolaro Moser (Sports Concussion Center of New Jersey) Gender Differences in Symptom Reporting /Older Females
  • Mr. Chris Nowinski (Concussion Legacy Foundation) Progress Report on Female CTE Research and Cliff Robbins (BU CTE)
  • Dr. Tom McAllister, Mike McCrea or Steve Broglio (NCAA-DOD Research) College Athletes
  • Dr. Karen McAvoy (Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children) Return to School
  • Dr. Catherine McGill (Children’s National) Moderator of Girls and Contact Sports Panel
  • Dr. Summer Ott (UT Medical School at Houston) Moderator
  • Dr. Elizabeth Pieroth (NorthShore University HealthSystem) Moderator
  • Dr. Mayumi Prins (UCLA) Social interaction after Repeat TBI in the adolescent female rats
  • Dr. Jessica Schwartz (National Spokeswoman American Physical Therapy Association) The Power of Storytelling in Concussion Education
  • Dr. Tad Seifert (Norton Healthcare, U of K College of Medicine) Non-Impact-Related Headaches
  • Dr. Tom Trojian (Drexel) Sport Concussion Research
  • Dr. David Wang (Quinnipiac) Sport Concussions in Ice Skaters
  • Dr. Diane Wiese-Bjornstal (UMN) Psychology of Sport Concussions

Press Panel: How Female Athletes’ Concussion Reflected in the Media and the Role of the Press in Changing Culture

  • Mr. Stanley Kay (Sports Illustrated)
  • Mr. Timothy Bella (Al Jazeera America)
  • Mr. Tom Macleod (Sky Sports)
  • Mr. TJ Quinn (ESPN)
  • Ms. Bonnie Ford (ESPN)
  • Mr. Stefan Fatsis (SLATE)
  • Mr. Patrick Hruby (VICE Sports)

Girls in Sports Panel: Their Experience and then Discussion on “The Need for Gender-specific Sports Guidelines and Protocols”

  • Ms. Samantha Rapoport (NFL) Football
  • Ms Josephine Pucci (Harvard Crimson Women’s Ice Hockey Team, United States Women’s National Ice Hockey Team)
  • Ms. Paige Decker (Yale Women’s Ice Hockey Team)
  • Ms. Emilie Bydwell (Rugby)
  • Soccer, Lacrosse  Speaker, Ski/Snowboarder, Equestrian, and MMA Fighter TBA



The purpose of this summit is to discuss the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of concussion in females based on current science and research of how females differ from males. From the consensus of faculty and select participants, work sessions will develop a paper with recommendations on what gender-specific clinical practices and safety protocols should be researched and/or implemented to best treat females with concussions.


While research shows females may have different injury rates, symptoms, and rates of recovery, the medical community does not yet have any gender-specific guidelines, protocols, or resources for females with concussions.

Research studies have shown females in general tend to:

  • Sustain more concussions than their male counterparts in sports with similar rules
  • Experience or report a higher number and severity of symptoms than males
  • Have longer duration of recovery than males


Females of all ages, races and social-economic status suffer concussions. The circumstances vary from the shaken infant who ceases to cry to the toddler who falls at the playground, the teen athlete who slams her head defending her goal, the college student who bangs her head while drinking at a party, the woman who is concussed from an act of domestic violence or a car accident, the soldier who is injured in the line of duty, to the grandmother who slips unsteady on her bathroom floor.


  • Review established science and current research on sex/gender-differences in concussions and other TBIs in females
  • Allow a cross-section of females to share their personal experiences with concussions and their medical care to illustrate the vital need for improvement by the medical community (In video format)
  • Develop a summary paper of summit presentations and develop a consensus of what changes in the clinical model could improve education, assessment, diagnosis and treatment for females with concussions or other TBIs
  • Establish a collection of sex/gender-based research paper abstracts to be incorporated into an online format to serve as a resource for the medical community
  • Identify gaps in current research and develop an agenda and funding sources for future research that addresses sex/gender


  • Establish an on-going group of medical professionals who are interested in female concussions and continuing to meet in the future to further this work
  • Develop an education training program (online and live) for doctors to become aware “female-friendly” management for concussion
  • Create female-focused education resources for ERs and other medical providers along with patients/families
  • Encourage outreach and build communities for women recovering from concussions
  • Inspire more gender-based concussion research in the future
  • Actively seek funding sources for gender-based research and educational programs


Every female with a concussion deserves a doctor who practices with gender-specific consideration for her symptoms, her acute care and her recovery plan. Her journey back to health can be helped by the correct diagnosis, gender-specific care, education, and by the proper support systems at home, school or work.


The call for abstracts for papers has closed but posters abstracts maybe submitted until 2/15.

  • The morning session will have a keynote speaker and the top 6 papers to be presented grouped by topics with a ten minute Q&A.
  • A bag lunch will be available at the site with open poster session and networking.
  • The afternoon sessions will be divided panels with shorter presentations followed by a Q&A
  • The Sunday’s session will gather faculty to develop a consensus statement for the summit and for further work. Participants can apply to fill open seats to fill each work group.


Medical providers, athletic trainers, and other professionals who treat females with concussion will attend as participants. Non-professionals (patients, parents, coaches) can attend at reduced cost but all presentations will be geared for medical professionals. We will have an online version of the conference with select presentations live-streamed designed for patients.




As the medical community is becoming aware of the gender differences in female, some clinicians are questioning the lack of any gender-specific guidelines, protocols. Others in the medical community are unaware of the gender differences or are unclear if women should be educated about these gender differences. Many medical providers are also unclear how best to help these females who suffer from post-concussion headaches beyond their expected recovery period, sometimes called “the miserable minority.’” Some of these slow-healing females are referred by general practitioners to concussion clinics and are suffering from non-concussion issues; then there are patients who are referred headache clinics where their concussion issues may not addressed.


World experts in research and medical care for females of all ages who suffer from concussion, other TBIs and non-impact related headache with research on sex/gender differences.

For all inquires, contact Katherine Snedaker       [email protected]        203-984-0860

TO SPONSOR Select sponsors are being sought to fund faculty’s travel expenses to the summit, a dinner for Friday night and Saturday night.

Event produced by Katherine Snedaker, PINKconcussions, INC

Highlights of 2014

Katherine appears on ESPN’s Outside The Lines on Guardian Caps Katherine presents poster on the Pink Concussion/Clemson Research to The American Academy of Neurology’s Sport Concussion Conference in Chicago



Highlights of 2013

Presentation to Institute Of Medicine Committee in DC

Katherine was asked to present in Washington, DC, at the Institute of Medicine (IOM)/National Research Council (NRC) workshop on sports-related concussions in youth on February 25, 2013. The committee was interested in hearing my experience about the concerns of parents with respect to sports-related concussions in youth, as well as the issues and challenges faced by the families of concussed players in the age range of 5 to 21 years. To see her deck, click here DC Presentation 2

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) and National Research Council (NRC) at the National Academies of Science has initiated a study on sports-related concussions in youth.They have convened an expert committee to review the available evidence on sports-related concussions in youth, including concussion risk factors, the effectiveness of protective devices and equipment, screening and diagnosis, treatment and management, and long-term consequences, among other topics. Additional information about the study, including the committee’s full statement of task and committee membership, is available at this link.

Click here for speaker or a concussion program for your team or school?