KIJHL announces partnership with Neuropsychology Consultant
In a media release Wednesday, the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) announced its partnership with Dr. Michael Czarnota, the official Neuropsychology Consultant of the Canadian Hockey League.
Dr. Czarnota comes with an impressive resume working with the ECHL, USHL, the CHL and its three leagues and has a desire to work with as many hockey clubs as he can and Junior A is a focus.
“Junior A has good, active players who get hurt just as much as anybody else. I really think there’s an opportunity there for the care to improve and really bring that up to more modern standards,” said Dr. Czarnota, who has known and worked with Cory Cameron, the KIJHL Director of Health & Safety, since 2006.
“Cory was interested in trying to elevate the care for the athletes and it seemed like a natural fit to get back and work with him and hopefully make a big difference.”
The KIJHL said that Dr. Czarnota will begin in his role immediately and the league is taking steps at improving the concussion care it provides athletes will better align the league with the resources and services currently being used by many respected universities and organizations, including the National Football League, CHL and NHL.
He will begin by providing access to information and spreading it across different levels, including players, coaches, therapists and to parents as to what they can expect.
The partnership enables the KIJHL to utilize Dr. Czarnota as the exclusive consulting neuropsychologist.
- He will provide appropriate assistance, instruction, and guidance regarding contemporary concussion care, successful implementation and review of success.
- He will also serve as an additional clinical resource, as needed, for teams and the league if there are complex situations or slow recoveries. This may involve direct communication with league, appropriate team staff, local providers, or assisting with referrals for additional clinical evaluations by knowledgeable clinicians in suitable locations (proximity to team or home).
“I am grateful for the opportunity to work with the KIJHL and will certainly do my best to promote player health and safety,” he said.
“I am very excited to have this agreement in place to see the overall KIJHL Concussion Management be brought to a new level,” said Cameron.
“I look forward to working directly with Dr. Czarnota to develop a KIJHL specific Concussion Protocol, which will allow for details that may not currently exist in our protocols to be edited to fit our league operations specifically, and to allow league teams to see how having Dr. Czarnota involved will allow the KIJHL to continue to be a leader in the Health & Safety landscape with Junior hockey in British Columbia.”
About the KIJHL:
The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League is a Junior A, Tier II league with 20 teams, 19 member clubs in B.C.’s Interior and one in Washington State. Since its establishment more than 50 years ago, the KIJHL has developed hundreds of players who have moved onto college and professional hockey, including the National Hockey League. Among the KIJHL’s NHL alumni are Greg Adams (Nelson Leafs), Travis Green (Castlegar Rebels), Ray Ferraro (Trail Jr. Smoke Eaters), Shea Weber (Sicamous Eagles) and Derek Ryan (Spokane Braves).