UHealth Concussion Expert Receives President’s Council Award

Gillian A. Hotz, Ph.D., Director of the KIDZ Neuroscience Center at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis and Director of the Concussion Program at UHealth Sports Medicine, has received a 2016 President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition Community Leadership Award for her work in promoting healthy lifestyles and impactful safety initiatives.

Hotz received the distinction August 2 at what is now an annual concussion workshop held for all Miami-Dade County athletic trainers and athletic directors. The award presentation took place at the Schwartz Center for Athletic Excellence on the University of Miami Coral Gables campus.

Miami Hurricanes Head Football Coach Mark Richt made a surprise visit to help with the presentation, along with Jayne D. Greenberg, Ph.D., physical education, health literacy and JROTC district director at Miami-Dade County Public Schools, who nominated Hotz for the award. “This award recognizes all the programs that Gillian has established with kids’ safety in mind,” said Greenberg.

Hotz, research professor of neurological surgery at the Miller School of Medicine, has worked relentlessly to increase the physical activity levels of young people in Miami-Dade while developing innovative injury prevention programs to keep them safe. WalkSafe and BikeSafe programs have significantly decreased the number of pediatric injury accidents, while the Countywide High School Concussion Program has been able to manage and treat most injured high school athletes, and train and educate all certified athletic trainers and directors in Miami-Dade County.

“Dr. Hotz has worked to consistently promote opportunities for individuals to lead healthy lifestyles through physical activity and/or healthy nutrition,” said Shellie Pfohl, executive director of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. “Because of Dr. Hotz’s efforts and contributions, the Miami-Dade County community can embrace a more active lifestyle through innovative safety initiatives. Together, we are all working to make our nation a healthier one by helping individuals across the nation live vibrant, vivacious, and productive lives.”

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