Kiwanis Legacy Fund Gifting Leading Edge Concussion Support For Local Youth

In October 2017, Kelowna General Hospital received the largest gift in its 109 year history serving this community: a $4 million endowment from the Kiwanis Clubs of Kelowna. The proceeds from the KGH Foundation Kiwanis Legacy Fund would be specifically dedicated to supporting local programs for children and youth in healthcare.

This past spring, the first community grant from the fund was awarded to BrainTrust Canada – a $20,000 grant to support BrainTrust’s “Concussion Recovery for BC Children and Youth” initiative. The project will facilitate immediate access to medically supervised, acute concussion care for up to fifty local children and youth who might not otherwise be able to benefit from this service due to financial barriers.

Concussion is a serious brain injury that requires specific treatment for full recovery. Over the past two decades, more has been learned about the devastating effects of under-treated concussions in children and youth. Proper concussion care is the best way to mitigate the likelihood of long-term consequences. One of the chief considerations concerning youth is the appropriate timeline to return to activity. Until they are fully healed, children should be closely monitored and their activities managed carefully. Medical clearance on the return to normal activities is essential.

The BrainTrust concussion clinic is unique. It’s the only medically supervised program in Canada that also incorporates individual case management, helping children and youth from the day of injury up to 30 days after their concussion.

In the central Okanagan, there are approximately 41,000 children and youth age 5 to 25: 66% of males and 52% of females play organized sports. Evidence suggests that approximately 1 in 6 will sustain a concussion during their sporting season.

Unfortunately, their program is not currently covered under MSP. The Kiwanis Legacy Fund grant will allow BrainTrust’s brain injury specialists to provide immediate, critical concussion care to youth and families who cannot financially afford the services. “With the funds provided by the Kiwanis Legacy Fund grant, BrainTrust will be able to break down financial barriers keeping some children from receiving the care they need to recover from their injuries.” says Mona Hennenfent, CEO of BrainTrust Canada. “The impact of this gift is incredibly significant.”

BrainTrust also proposes that results from the research gathered from this initiative will provide important validation to their youth concussion recovery model. With this validation in hand, BrainTrust aims to continue to advocate for increases to youth concussion care funding through MSP.

In the central Okanagan, there are approximately 41,000 children and youth age 5 to 25: 66% of males and 52% of females play organized sports. Evidence suggests that approximately 1 in 6 will sustain a concussion during their sporting season.