Dr. Robert C. Cantu Concussion Center Receives Million Dollar Grant from Oak Foundation


The Dr. Robert C. Cantu Concussion Center at Emerson Hospital has been awarded a $1,025,000 grant from Oak Foundation, with its main administrative office in Geneva Switzerland, to improve the outcomes of children and teens who suffer a concussion.  The three-year grant was awarded to the Concussion Center based on Dr. Cantu’s extensive knowledge of concussion diagnoses and treatment, and the Center’s role as a leader in caring for those suffering with concussions across the generations.

“Millions of children and teens get concussions while playing sports or participating in normal life activities,” said Millie Brobston, Programme Officer, Oak Foundation. “We are very pleased to provide the opportunity for Dr. Cantu and Emerson Hospital’s Concussion Center to further help children who have debilitating effects from concussions return to their regular lives as soon as possible.”

Christine Schuster, President and CEO of Emerson Hospital said, “We are honored to have been awarded the grant from Oak Foundation. We opened the Dr. Cantu Concussion Center and adjacent Center for Rehabilitative and Sports Therapies just one year ago with the goal of accurately diagnosing and treating patients who have head injuries and concussions in the best way possible. Since the opening, our expert team has helped thousands of children and teenagers regain their ability to play sports and live active lives after suffering head injuries. The generous grant will enable us to research the most effective care for these patients using the latest methods and technologies.”

The grant money will be used to meet three goals.  The first is to improve patient accessibility to timely concussion diagnosis and management.  This will be achieved through the hiring of additional clinicians to reduce patient wait time, allow more flexible scheduling and treat patients with mood and behavioral changes as a result of head trauma.

The second is to advance clinical research on the role of rehabilitation to identify the right combination of therapies to help expedite patients’ complete recovery. This will be done in collaboration with Emerson’s Center for Rehabilitative and Sports Therapies. Some of the research will entail the use of the Vasper compression/cooling exercise machine which may expedite recovery.  It will also study the use of MyoWorx electronic stimulation to determine if it helps patients’ recovery from concussions.

The last objective is to educate children, teens, parents, school nurses and coaches from economically-diverse areas about concussions and perform baseline concussion testing on students from low-income areas who may not have access to pre-concussion testing. Baseline concussion testing consists of cognitive, balance and visual tests to determine a person’s brain function in an uninjured state.  The tests have proven to be a critical aid to determine recommendations for recovery when a person suffers a concussion.

“I am humbled to receive the generous grant from Oak Foundation to enable our team to treat more children and perform important research on ways they can recover faster and more fully from concussions,” said Dr. Robert Cantu, Director of the Dr. Robert C. Cantu Concussion Center at Emerson Hospital. “Concussions and head trauma are often extremely debilitating, resulting in many missed days of school, sports and regular living for children and teens. We look forward to being at the forefront of concussion care and research and helping many patients in the greater community regain their health.”

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Emerson Hospital is a multi-site health system headquartered in Concord, Mass., with additional facilities in Sudbury, Groton and Westford. The 179-bed hospital provides advanced medical services to more than 300,000 individuals in 25 towns. To learn more, visit  www.emersonhosp.org.  

Oak Foundation commits its resources to address issues of global, social and environmental concern, particularly those that have a major impact on the lives of the disadvantaged. With offices in Europe, Africa, India and North America, Oak makes grants to organizations in approximately 40 countries worldwide.