Francis X. Conidi, MD, DO, MS
Florida Center For Headache and Neurology; NHL Team Neurologist of The Florida Panthers
Dr. Conidi is a graduate of BostonUniversity, Boston University School of Medicine and Southeastern University College of Medicine. He completed his internship at Tuft’s University’s St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, his residency at Boston University School of Medicine’s Boston City and University Hospitals and received additional training in headache and neurology through the Harvard affiliated Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s Hospitals.
He is currently the Director of the FloridaCenter for Headache and Sports Neurology, a tertiary headache center which specializes in the treatment Sports Related neurological disorders with an emphasis on sports related mild traumatic brain injury as well as refractory headache patients and patients with facial pain. He is the team neurologist for the NHL’s Florida Panthers and a member of their medical team. As well as consulting neurologist for the Miami Dolphins and NY Mets (major and minor league teams). He holds an academic appointment as Assistant Clinical Professor of Neurology at Florida State University School of Medicine and is a member the American Academy of Neurology Sports Neurology Executive Committee.
In addition to his duties as Executive Director of The Seeing Stars Foundation, he serves on the advisory board for a number of pharmaceutical companies, is a member of multiple neurological societies and actively directs and participates in clinical trials.
John Kuluz, MD
Director of Traumatic Brain Injury and Neuro-Rehab at Nicklaus Children's Hospital
Dr. Kuluz is a nationally recognized expert in the care of children with brain injuries, having published extensively on the subject and served as a principal investigator for more than a dozen studies related to spinal cord injury, stroke and ischemic and traumatic brain injury. He received his medical degree at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine, completed his residency at the University of Florida School of Medicine/Shands Teaching Hospital and concluded a fellowship in pediatric critical care at Moffit-Long Hospital, University of California, San Francisco. While at the University of Miami School of Medicine/Jackson Memorial Medical Center he served as an associate professor of pediatrics, attending physician in the Pediatric ICU specializing in neurocritical care, Director of the Pediatric Critical Care Research Laboratory and Medical Director of Pediatric Rehabilitation. Dr. Kuluz also serves on the editorial board of the journal Pediatric Critical Care Medicine and is a founding member of the Pediatric Neurocritical Care Research Group.
Former NFL Player: San Francisco 49ers; Founder of The Visger Group: Traumatic Brain Injury Consulting
George Visger's football career began at age 11 with the 1970 West Stockton Bear Cubs Pee Wee Pop Warner team in Stockton, CA. He suffered his first “diagnosed” concussion during his 3rd year of Pop Warner when knocked unconscious and hospitalized. He went on to play at A.A. Stagg High, compiling a record of 20-1-1, including an undefeated, #3 in CA senior season in 1975, earning All-American Top 100 honors and a scholarship to the University of Colorado, where he majored in Fisheries Biology and played in the 1977 Orange Bowl. As a 3 year starter at Defensive Tackle, George suffering several undiagnosed concussions, and earned the Regiment Award and Honorable Mention All-Big 8 in 1979.
George was a 6th round pick of the NY Jets in 1980, and played for the 49ers in 1980 and 1981. While playing the Cowboys in 1980 he was concussed, administered smelling salts and kept in the game. During the following 81 Super Bowl season he developed hydrocephalus at age 22 and underwent 3 emergency VP shunt brain surgeries in 8 months and was given last rites.
In 1986 he returned to school and survived 5 emergency brain surgeries and several gran mal seizures during an 8 - month period, while taking Chemistry, Pre-Calculus and Physics courses. Despite developing dyslexia and major short-term memory deficits, he earned a Class B General Contractor's license in 1987 and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Conservation in 1990, and began work as a wildlife biologist. In 1993 he survived a 9th brain surgery yet went on to teach biology, environmental studies and chemistry at the high school level before launching Visger & Associates Inc. Environmental Consulting in 2003, and The Visger Group, Traumatic Brain Injury Consulting in 2010 (www.thevisgergroup.org).
George coordinates directly with Dr. Rich Ellenbogen, co-chair of the NFL Head, Neck and Spine Injury Group to reduce brain injuries in football. The Visger Rules – Recommended Changes to NFL Rules, were featured in Sports Digest (Dec, 2010), and many of his rules have been implemented to date. George consults with Senator Ted Gaines and Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, Dr. Bennett Omalu, Dr. Barry Sears, and conducts Brain Injury Recovery seminars, Coaches Concussion Clinics and motivational speeches throughout the country.
In 1987 he was inducted into the A.A. Stagg High Hall of Fame for civic service, the Stockton Sports Hall of Fame in 1999 and 2001, received a TBI Advocacy award from the California State Senate and was the California Brain Injury Association TBI Survivor Volunteer Of The Year in 2012, the Stagg High Sports Hall of Fame and jersey retired in 2012, the Moving Mountains TBI Advocate Of The Year award in 2014, and has been featured on CNN, NPR, ESPN Outside The Lines, KVIE, KOVR, in Readers Digest and numerous radio and TV stations in the U.S., London and Brazil. George is featured in Todd Trigsted's documentary Gridiron Gladiators – The History and Uncertain Future of American Football (player.vimeo.com/video/106647623), and is also featured in former Dallas Cowboy All-Pro Doug Cosbie and CBS producer Barry Obrien's docu-drama series Head First.
George has been published in Slate Magazine (1/12/15), U.S. News and World Report (2/10/13), co-authored the 2012 e-book OUT OF MY HEAD: My Life in and Out ofFootball with Irv Muchnick (http://amzn.to/znZui), and is in the final edits of a full length biography.
To book George or The Visger Group for speaking engagements contact:
Renee Schull of Integrated Play dba The Visger Group at: (269) 760-3857
Founder of SportsCAPP.com and PINKconcussions.com; Concussion Advocate and Educator
Katherine Snedaker LMSW received her Masters in Social Work from Fordham University. After both her sons suffered concussions, Katherine began to research the work of current concussion experts. In 2009, she founded SportsCAPP.com highlighting free resources for youth sports teams for concussion education and policy. As a social worker in two concussion clinics, Katherine worked with many young athletes and their families. In 2013, Katherine founded PINKconcussions, a non-profit to focus on female concussions across sport, abuse, accidents and military service. Katherine also partnered with Clemson University to conduct a study of female and male athletes' experience of concussion. Katherine also has produced conferences to train school nurses/staff in best practices to help students and lower risk of liability for the schools. She has presented on concussion at a number of medical conferences across the US. Katherine chairs the Technology Work Group for PASS (Protecting Athletes and Sports Safety) Initiative at National Council on Youth Sports Safety, Inc. Katherine is the leader of the successful Norwalk Concussion Project ‘C4” which is a citywide project to coordinate concussion care across the schools, parents, city parks & rec, youth sports and medical providers in hopes to provide healthier outcomes for kids and lower liability for organizations.
Lead by Katherine Snedaker, Norwalk was the first city in CT to enact concussion guidelines for organized youth sports programs which utilized Norwalk recreation facilities. The guidelines were created to close the loophole that exists in the current Connecticut Concussion Law which protects only public middle and high school athletes who play for their school-sponsored teams. Only one out of every 11 Norwalk Students is covered by the state law. The Norwalk Guidelines increased protections to 6 out of every 11 students when it was passed in April 2015, by the Norwalk Rec & Parks and the Norwalk Common Council.
Dr. Carl Cramer, EdD, LAT, ATC
Executive Board of the Athletic Trainers' Association of Florida; Associate Dean and Professor at Barry U.
Dr. Cramer has taught, researched and served in the field of athletic training for almost 40 years. He is considered an authority on athletic training academic program structure and content. He has served in many practice settings and event venues. These include professional, Olympic and NCAA post-season competitions. He has served the profession in many leadership capacities involving accreditation of entry-level athletic training education since 1997. He was ordained a Deacon for the Archdiocese of Miami in June, 2005 and assigned to St. Edward Parish in Pembroke Pines, FL. He also assists with Campus Ministry liturgical celebrations in Cor Jesu Chapel at Barry University. He resides in Miramar, FL with Vicki, his spouse of over 25 years, and has three children and three grandchildren. Dr. Cramer is currently researching changes in spirituality among college student-athletes and on the experiential development of mindfulness in sport, science and recreation. He is presently serving as a member of the Editorial Board for the International Council for Sport Science and Physical Education (ICSSPE) for which he recently edited an electronic bulletin entitled: Global Perspectives on Front Line Care for Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in Sport (MTBI)-Position Statements, Policies and Guidelines. He is also developing a sustainable coach education program and resource development plan for the APPESNO Multisport Camp in Milot, Haiti. Dr. Cramer presently serves on the Athletic Trainers’ Association of Florida (ATAF) Executive Board and is the Chair of the ATAF Committee on Professional Ethics.
Dr. Cramer earned his BA from Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1976, M.Ed. from the University of Wisconsin-Superior in 1982, and Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Kansas State University in 1990. He served on the sports medicine staff as assistant athletic trainer from 1982-1985 and director of sports medicine at KSU from 1985 until coming to join the Barry University community in 1990. He founded the first NATA approved undergraduate program in athletic training in the state of Kansas at KSU in 1989 and the first CAHEA/CAAHEP/ CAATE accredited undergraduate program in athletic training in Florida at Barry University in 1993.