The Missouri Football Coaches Association believes that no resource is as important as the human resource. Our mission is to ensure the health, safety and development of young athletes in the state of Missouri. In an effort to preserve this most valuable resource the MFCA has established a charitable program called The FAST Initiative. The FAST acronym represents Football Ambassadors for Safety and Training. We are dedicated to the development of young individuals, and by creating The FAST Initiative we are able provide young people the tools necessary to develop as productive men and women. Our goal is to preserve, protect and pass on the character benefits and innovative decision making skills that are built through American football. We have launched this program in Missouri, but hope to build our programs to a level where they can be implemented nation wide.
According to the CDC, high school athletes account for an estimated 2 million injuries, 500,000 doctor visits and 30,000 hospitalizations annually. We feel an obligation to combat these rising numbers through sports health education, and hope to provide every program with modern tools engineered to enhance health and safety. Our programs include:
- The Healthe Athlete Project - In a combined effort with University of Kansas Medical Hospital and the Cerner Corporation we are implementing modern health tracking software in our member schools. Cerner is contributing a database called Healthe Athlete; this system gathers information on sports injuries through the school's athletic trainers. Healthe Athlete allows schools, parents, doctors and coaching staffs to have a comprehensive record of an athlete's health, helping us to communicate more effectively, creating a safer environment in youth sports. In addition to creating a comprehensive health record for every athlete using the system, Cerner has the capability to extract information on brain and spinal cord injuries that is entered by individual athletic trainers. This database will draw information from selected schools across the state, including all contact sports for both genders. Our goal is to develop a research program to identify the most dangerous aspects of youth sports and develop ways to safeguard against them. Our intention is to provide this information to brain trauma researchers, enabling us to better understand the effects of these injuries on our student athletes and aid in the development of training programs to decrease their occurrence.
- Concussion Assessment and Medical Professionals - We have the ability to provide schools with a package that allows them to admister a cognative baseline test to every student-athlete, no mater their gender or sport. Then when an incident arises where mild head trauma is suspected we include a durable copy of the SCAT2 exam which can be administerd on site. These test results can then be compared to the baseline results to help medical professionals determine return to play decisions. In instances where madical professionals are not on site we also include a simple-to-use "pocket" version of the SCAT2 exam. Not only football coaches, but school administration should be doing everything possible to stay in front of this safety issue. Many state legeslatures have already passed mandadted return-to-play proceedures. Does your school follow them? Contact us for an immediate response to this issue.
We believe that every high school athlete deserves to have a certified medical trainer available for consultation during practice and competition. Many schools are unable to find funding for this service and we want to create a program that will assist schools in meeting these needs. For a school to participate in the "Healthe Athlete Project" they must have a certified medical trainer on staff. The inability for schools to provide this service hinders the experience of youth sports for all the participants and creates liability situations for our coaches and schools. This aspect of our program will increase employment opportunities for certified athletic trainers, and connect students, parents, coaches and doctors making injury treatment a more uniform process.
- Show Me Strength Foundation - Through this foundation we aim to provide every coach with the most modern materials to help identify concussions during practice and games. We supply schools with cognitive baseline testing materials and supply coaches adequate sideline assessment tools, both products help in identifying head and neck injuries by those first responders. By providing these tools to coaches we believe we can make great strides in educating coaches, parents and players about the importance of early detection and proper treatment of these injuries.
Unfortunately, for some student athletes, these efforts come after a serious injury has already occurred. Donations are being made so the FAST Initiative can provide support to persons that are permanently injured during athletic competition. Your donations will directly fund the Show Me Strength Foundation, in an effort to ease the struggles of everyday life on those suffering from debilitating injuries. We hope to build this foundation to a point where injured individuals can be comforted by their association with the foundation and gather support and information from others in similar situations.
With your help we can learn more about these injuries and create a safer environment for youth in football. All our efforts rely entirely on donations. Please invest in the future of America's favorite game and donate to the MFCA, a not for profit organization.