More providers now can clear injured athletes to play

Earlier this year, Oregon lawmakers amended Max’s Law, expanding the definition of “health professionals,” who can clear athletes with concussions to return to play. The new definition includes chiropractors, naturopaths, physical therapists and occupational therapists. The chief executive of Providence Health & Services, Doug Koekkoek, argued for including language that clarified that “a clinician should not provide medical release after a suspected concussion if it is not within the providers scope of practice.”

Also, the Oregon Medical Association, Oregon Association of Orthopedic Surgeons, and Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons of Oregon penned a joint statement declaring “it is important that a neutral party clears the student to play, rather than a person who is employed by the school or the athletes’ team, as such a person may be subject to outside pressures.”

That argument led to the omission of school athletic trainers from the list of medical professionals qualified to allow concussed students to return to play.

Ready, set, hike! The story of “Max’s Law”

Ready. Set. Hike: Nearly two decades ago, during a high school football game, a 17-year-old quarterback named Max Conradt lined up under center and began a snap count. Now, a namesake law protects student athletes from the kind of tragedy that unfolded for the Waldport, Oregon player.

Getting ahead of the numbers game  

Over the past six months, reporters working on a series about high school sports concussions in Oregon have made 235 requests for records — or rather, the same request 235 times. Oregon has one state law to govern how local jurisdictions handle public records. But the responses to this same request are wide and varied across the state.

By the numbers: Oregon high schools respond

We sought concussion records from 235 public high schools participating in sports organized by the Oregon School Activities Association. Here’s how they responded:

School
Status

Aloha High School
Records partially returned

Beaverton High School
Records partially returned

Benson Polytechnic High School
Records returned

Canby High School
Stalled

Centennial High School
Records returned

Century High School
Records partially returned

Clackamas High School
Records returned

Cleveland High School
Records returned

David Douglas High School
Records partially returned

Forest Grove High School
Records returned

Franklin High School
Records returned

Glencoe High School
Records partially returned

Grant High School
Records returned

Gresham High School
Records returned

Hillsboro High School
Records partially returned

Jefferson High School
Records returned

Lake Oswego Senior High School
Records partially returned

Lakeridge High School
Records partially returned

Liberty High School
Records partially returned

Lincoln High School
Records returned

Madison High School
Records returned

Milwaukie High School
Records returned

Newberg Senior High School
Records returned

Oregon City Senior High School
Stalled

Parkrose High School
Records partially returned

Putnam High School
Records returned

Reynolds High School
Stalled

Roosevelt High School
Records returned

Sam Barlow High School
Records returned

Sandy High School
Records returned

Sherwood High School
Holding for fees

Southridge High School
Records partially returned

St Helens High School
Stalled

Sunset High School
Records partially returned

Tigard High School
In progress

Tualatin High School
In progress

West Linn High School
Records returned

Westview High School
Records partially returned

Wilson High School
Records returned

Wilsonville High School
Holding for fees

Adrian High School
Records partially returned

Amity High School
No response

Ashland High School
Records partially returned

Astoria Senior High School
Stalled

Baker High School
Records returned

Bandon Senior High School
Records returned

Banks High School
No response

Bend Senior High School
In progress

Brookings-Harbor High School
Stalled

Burns High School
Records returned

Cascade Senior High School
Stalled

Central High School
In progress

Central Medford High School
In progress

Churchill High School
Stallled

Colton High School
Holding for fees

Condon High School
No response

Corvallis High School
In progress

Cottage Grove High School
No response

Crane Union High School
No response

Crater Renaissance Academy
Records partially returned

Crescent Valley High School
In progress

Creswell High School
No response

Crook County High School
No response

Culver High School
No response

Dallas High School
In progress

Dayton High School
No response

Douglas High School
No response

Eagle Point High School
Records partially returned

Elgin High School
No response

Elmira High School
No response

Estacada High School
No response

Falls City High School
No response

Gervais High School
No response

Gladstone High School
Holding for fees

Glendale Community Charter School
No response

Glide High School
No response

Gold Beach High School
No response

Henley High School
No response

Hermiston High School
Records partially returned

Hidden Valley High School
Stalled

Hood River Valley High School
In progress

Illinois Valley High School
Stalled

Jefferson High School
Records returned

John F Kennedy High School
Records partially returned

Junction City High School
No response

Klamath Union High School
No response

Knappa High School
No response

La Grande High School
Stalled

LaPine Senior High School
In progress

Madras High School
No response

Mazama High School
No response

McKay High School
In progress

McKenzie High School
No response

McLoughlin High School
No response

McMinnville High School
Records partially returned

McNary High School
In progress

Milwaukie Academy of the Arts
Records returned

Molalla High School
In progress

Monroe High School
In progress

Neah-Kah-Nie High School
No response

Newport High School
Records partially returned

Nixyaawii Community School
In progress

North Bend Senior High School
No response

North Douglas High School
No response

North Eugene High School
Stalled

North Marion High School
No response

North Medford High School
In progress

North Salem High School
In progress

North Valley High School
Stalled

Nyssa High School
No response

Oakland High School
Records returned

Oakridge High School
No response

Ontario High School
In progress

Pacific High School
No response

Pendleton High School
Records returned

Philomath High School
Records returned

Phoenix High School
In progress

Redmond High School
Records returned

Ridgeview High School
Records returned

Riverdale High School
Records returned

Roseburg High School
Records partially returned, record request partially denied

Scappoose High School
No response

Scio High School
No response

Seaside High School
Stalled

Sheldon High School
Stalled

Sheridan High School
Stalled

Siletz Valley Early College Academy
No response

Silverton High School
In progress

Sisters High School
No response

Siuslaw High School
No response

South Albany High School
Records partially returned

South Eugene High School
Stalled

South Medford High School
In progress

South Salem High School
In progress

South Umpqua High School
Records partially returned

Sprague High School
In progress

Springfield High School
No response

Stayton High School
In progress

Summit High School
In progress

Sutherlin High School
Stalled

Sweet Home High School
Records partially returned

The Dalles High School
Records partially returned

Thurston High School
No response

Tillamook High School
No response

Umatilla High School
No response

Vale High School
No response

Vernonia High School
No response

Waldport High School
Records partially returned

Warrenton High School
Records returned

West Albany High School
No response

West Salem High School
In progress

Weston-McEwen High School
No response

Willamette High School
Records partially returned

Willamina High School
No response

Yamhill Carlton High School
No response

Burnt River School
Records partially returned

Pine Eagle Charter School
No response

Alsea High School
No response

Kings Valley Charter School
No response

Jewell School
No response

Clatskanie Middle/High School
No response

Rainier Jr/Sr High School
No response

Coquille Junior Senior High
No response

Marshfield Senior High School
No response

Myrtle Point High School
No response

Oregon Coast Technology School
No response

Powers High School
No response

Camas Valley School
No response

Days Creek Charter School
Stalled

Elkton Charter School
No response

Reedsport Community Charter School
No response

Riddle High School
Records partially returned

Arlington Community Charter School
No response

Grant Union Junior/Senior High School
No response

Monument School
No response

Prairie City School
No response

Butte Falls Charter School
No response

Prospect Charter School
No response

Rogue River Junior/Senior High
No response

Bonanza Junior/Senior High School
No response

Chiloquin High School
No response

Gilchrist Junior/Senior High School
No response

Lakeview Senior High School
No response

North Lake School
No response

Paisley School
No response

Crow Middle/High School
No responseRecords partially returned

Mapleton Jr/Sr High School
No response

Mohawk High School
No response

Mountain View Academy
No response

Pleasant Hill High School
No response

Triangle Lake Charter School
Records partially returned

Eddyville Charter School
No response

Taft High School
Records partially returned

Toledo Junior/Senior High School
Records partially returned

Santiam Junior/Senior High School
No response

Harper Charter School
No response

Jordan Valley High School
No response

Oregon School for the Deaf
No response

St Paul High School
No response

Woodburn Academy of Art Science and Technology
Stalled

Heppner Junior/Senior High School
In progress

Ione Community Charter School
No response

Irrigon Junior/Senior High School
Records returned

Riverside Junior/Senior High School
Records returned

Perrydale School
No response

Sherman Junior/Senior High School
No response

Nestucca High School
No response

Echo School
No response

Pilot Rock High School
In progress

Stanfield Secondary School
Stalled

Ukiah School
Records partially returned

Cove Charter School
No response

Imbler Charter School
No response

Union High School
No response

Enterprise High School
No response

Joseph Charter School
No response

Wallowa High School
No response

Dufur School
No response

South Wasco County High School
No response

Mitchell School
No response

Spray School
No response

Sheridan Japanese School
No response

Corbett School
In progress

Dayville School
Stalled

Long Creek School
Records returned

Gaston Elementary School
No response

Huntington School
No response

Lost River High School
No response

Lowell Junior/Senior High School
No response

North Powder Charter School
No response

Yoncalla High School
No response

Helix School
Records partially returned

Payoffs and perils: Oregon nonprofit helps students, parents and coaches navigate the rewarding, risky world of high school sports

The Oregon School Activities Association oversees everything from track meets to choir championships in Oregon. OSAA Executive Director Peter Weber and Assistant Director Brad Garrett sat with Lee van der Voo, of InvestigateWest, and John Schrag, of Pamplin Media Group, to talk about Rattled, the news groups’ collaborative investigation into Oregon high school concussions.

A contested rebound. A fall onto the basketball court. And Sami Howard’s life changed forever

Sami Howard’s last concussion, captured by a student videographer, looks bad. But it’s the sound — something like a dropped bowling ball — that turned the crowd’s cheers into a low moan and then near-silence. A contested rebound. A fall to the ground, and Sami Howard’s life changed forever. The concussion was her fourth.

Series will conduct first-ever analysis of high school sports concussions in Oregon

One in five American teens reports having suffered at least one concussion. For most students, it’s a relatively tame tale: a headache, some rest, and then back to a normal routine.
But for others, it’s a life-changing event. Reporters for Rattled: Oregon’s Concussion Discussion compile unique data on concussion injury from 238 public schools in Oregon. This series examines what they learned.