Ex-Green Bay Packer Tauscher Combats The Trash Talk About Wisconsin’s Pending Concussion Bill


Posted on 26th February 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Ex-Green Bay Packer Mark Tauscher is doing his part to safeguard youths against the long-term dangers of concussions.

At a press conference last Wednesday 34-year-old Tauscher, who was raised in Wisconsin, spoke up in support of state legislation aimed at reducing brain injury in young athletes. Tauscher was part of a group of doctors, high school athletes and Wisconsin legislators lobbying on behalf of the pending law, according to the Associated Press.   


Wisconsin is one of 18 states that haven’t yet passed laws mandating that student athletes be immediately pulled out of games if they show any evidence that they’s sustained a concussion. The National Football League has contacted the governors of all those states urging them to pass concussion legislation, according to AP.

As part of that lobbying, ex-pro football players have been advocating passage of the anti-concussion laws in various states. In the case of Tauscher in Wisconsin, he brought up the macho pressure of the NFL, noting that players who didn’t get out and play again after a bad hit were denigrated as not being tough enough, AP reported.

At last week’s press conference in Madison, Richland Center High School player Brock Rosenkranz said that that he had to stop playing football and basketball after sustaining 10 concussions over a three-year span. He now suffers from depression, insomnia, headaches and memory loss, and is on medication.

The proposed concussion bill in Wisconsin is similar to the so-called Zachery Lystedt Law in Washington state. That law was named after a middle school football player who quickly went back on the gridiron after sustaining a concussion, and subsequently had brain damage.  

The Wisconsin concussion bill has been approved by the state Assembly, but is now stuck in the Senate, where Republicans have been wary about passing it, according to AP.

The pending bill would mandate that student athletes who appear to have suffered a concussion be taken out of a practice or game right away, and not be pemitted to go back on the field until they’ve been checked by a doctor and given permission in writing.

As part of this process, according to AP, the state Department of Public Instruction and the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association would have to craft guidelines and educational information for coaches, athletes and their parents.

Some of the Republican state senators are suggesting an alternative bill that is patently absurd. Under that proposal, Wisconsin schools could choose whether or not to develop concussion policies. 

“Student athletes also wouldn’t be forced to leave the playing field after suffering an injury,” AP said.

So some of Wisconsin’s youth athletes would be protected from brain injury, and others wouldn’t?

I, and every other Wisconsin resident, should contact their state lawmakers and demand that the original legislation be passed, to protect kids throughout our state.         

Wisconsin Nurse Offers The Brain-Injured Hope In Muskego


Posted on 1st January 2011 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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After spending years working with brain injury patients, Wisconsin nurse Lisa Alberte decided to take matters into her own hands to find a way to help them. And her creative approach may be worth being duplicated.


Alberte started a haven for the brain-injured, Acres of Hope and Aspirations, in Muskego in May. It is located on a five-acre site in a rural area.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Wednesday did a story about Acres of Hope, which is comprised of a home and small farm where the brain-injured receive care, vocational rehabilitation, and cognitive skills and safety training.

Instead of therapy dogs, Alberte is using two deer, donkeys, ducks, chickens, potbellied pigs, peacocks and a blind pony as “creatures of rehab.” Clients at Acres of Hope get to learn the creatures’ names and care for them, tasks that improve their memory skills, according to Alberte.

The main goal of the facility is to give the brain-injured the skills they need to get and keep a job.

The story mentions several of the people being treated at Acres of Hope, including Winlom Woods, who still has a bullet in his head after being shot in by a sniper in Iraq in July 2006.

Alberte cleverly compares the situations that the brain-injured deal with to the Wizard of Oz. They are like the Tin Man, who wanted a brain. They often lose a loved one, like the Tin Man. They often lose their courage, like the cowardly Lion. And some lose their homes, like Dorothy, and wind up in nursing homes. And according to Alberte, the “wicked witches” that her patients encounter include being unable to remember, work and drive.

Continuing with that analogy, then Alberte is Glenda, the good witch. With any luck, perhaps more Acres of Hope will pop up around the country.    




Milwaukee Hosts Brain Research Conference This Weekend


Posted on 18th September 2010 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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This weekend Milwaukee is the site of a major conference on the brain, drawing hundreds of brain researchers, according to the Journal Sentinel.  http://www.jsonline.com/features/health/103169729.html

The Second International Conference on Resting-State Functional Brain Connectivity is chaired by Christopher Pawela, who is a researcher at the Medical College of Wisconsin, where the confab is being held. The fancy name of the conference simply refers to the study of the brain at rest, inactive, an area that has become a hot topic of interest in neuroscience.

For example, there have been studies on whether a person in a coma is aware and whether his or her brain responds to voice and touch.

This area of research has just gotten a boost from the National Institutes of Health, which have just given out $40 million in grants to fund research to create high resolution maps of the brain. The grants are going to two research groups: Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, who have teamed up; and Harvard University and UCLA.  

Wisconsin has helped lead the way in some of this research, particulary that relating to magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI. In 1995 the Medical College of Wisconsin used resting-state functional MRI to be among the first to demonstrate that the brain is never truly at rest. 

Researchers are banking that testing the brain while it is at rest, and finding abnormalities, can potentially lead to the early diagnosis of maladies such as schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder and Alzheimer’s disease.



NASCAR’s Jack Roush Recovering From Oshkosh Plane Crash, But Did He Sustain Brain Injury?


Posted on 1st August 2010 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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 NASCAR team owner Jack Roush remained hospitalized and recovering from the facial injuries he sustained when he crashed his jet in Oshkosh last Tuesday, according to Fanhouse.com.


As a brain injury attorney, I can’t help but wonder if Roush has also been tested for potential brain injury. If his face was cut up, then that of course is a head injury, so my immediate thought was that he might have sustained a mild concussion.

Roush was moved to the Mayo Clinic on Wednesday, where he remains. He had undergone surgery at a hospital in Neenah, Wis., on Tuesday night.    

Roush, an aviation buff who owns many planes, flew to Oshkosh to attend the Experimental Aircraft  Association’s annual AirVenture show.

The NASCAR owner was trying to land his Premier Beechcraft jet at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh when it crashed. Roush and his passenger walked away from the plane, but Roush sustained major facial injuries.     

Why Wisconsin Needs A Mandatory Motorcycle Helmet Law


Posted on 18th July 2010 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Early this Sunday morning at about 3 a.m., which is roughly the witching hour when bars close. a motorcyclist with a female passenger crashed into a car in West Milwaukee. The accident took place at the intersection of Miller Parkway and West National Avenue.

 The motorcyclist was killed. His passenger, who sustained traumatic brain injury, was taken to Froedert Hospital.

Neither of  them was wearing a helmet. Police declined to identify them. But the Milwaukee motorcyclist, 43, had lost his motorcycle license in April for operating under the influence. His badly injured woman passenger, 41, Sunday was from West Allis. 


Is that fatal accident an argument for Wisconsin to pass a law requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets? I think it is, but it’s a controversial topic that people feel strongly about. The Wilwaukee Journal Sentinel story about the accident had 36 comments posted on it, most of them debating whether or not Wisconsin should make helmets mandatory, as they are in some states.

Those who oppose a helmet law believe that such legislation amounts to the government intruding on their freedom (comments printed as written, typos and misspellings intact).  

“It’s unfortunate what happened to these people, but we don’t need a helmet law,” November 2012 posted. “The Government doesn’t need to make a law for every little thing. These people are adults and made a choice NOT to wear a helmet. Society does not need Government involved in every decision we make.”

 And plenty of other people, like Milltowngurl, agreed with him.

“No, the government does not need to make laws for every little personal choice in MY life, Thank you very much,” she posted. “If I want to be an idiot and not wear a helmet when I ride a donor cycle, then so be it. If I do not want to wear a seat belt when driving a car, then that should also be my choice. The only time it should not be a choice is when it applies to minors who are not mature enough to make adult decisions. Get a grip. Get the government out of our personal lives already! (or do you need someone to tell you how to live your life? If so, join the military!)”

 Those who were in favor of mandatory helmets for motorcylists were just as vocal about the need for a helmet law, not just to protect the motorcylist, but so that Wisconsin — and ultimately its residents —  aren’t burdened with the costs that are repercussions of accidents.

 “It is the govt’s role (to mandate helmets),” wrote Leatherface49. “Let’s say the passenger needs extensive hospitalization and doesnt have insurance. there’s $5 million costto society!! wear helmets you doofus’s”

Lannonresident, who was actually at the fatal accident site, agreed with Leatherface49.

“I counted 5 different law enforcement agencies that were involved when I left the scene: West Milwaukee, West Allis, City of Milwaukee, Sheriff, and State Patrol,” Lannonresident posted. “I will also let you know that all of this support came at a cost- the freeways were left unpatrolled and the drunk that almost hit me got to drive home as their were no units available due to the accident. My drunk was able to from the zoo interchange north all the way up to his far nw-side home without any law enforcement in sight. As far as more laws, remember that we do have mandatory auto insurance now and we will soon have mandatory health insurance.”

LMinMKE put it succinctly.

“Your personal freedoms end when my tax dollars have to pay for the remains of your stupid decision not to wear a helmut,” LMinMKE wrote. “Laws are made to protect me from stupid people. Sadly, they don’t always work, but they reflect SOCIETY values.”

The statistics about how helmets save lives are overwhelming. The American College of Emergency Physicians back in May, motorcycle safety month, put out a press release urging helmet use.

“People are riding bicycles, motorcycles and ATVs more often at this time of year,” Dr. Angela Gardner, president of the doctors’ group, said in the release. “Now is the time to get in the habit of wearing a certified safety helmet, because it only takes one tragic crash to end your life or cause serious injuries to your brain that can alter your life forever.”

The emergency doctors then provided these numbers:

  • The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that helmets saved the lives of more than 1,800 motorcyclists in 2008. 
  • An additional 800 lives could have been saved if all of those motorcyclists had worn helmets. 
  • Motorists without helmets are 40 percent more likely to die from a head injury.

“Helmet use is the single most important factor in people surviving motorcycle crashes,” Dr. Gardner said. “They reduce the risk of head, brain, and facial injury among motorcyclists of all ages and crash severities.” 

 Wisconsin needs a helmet law.



Fredonia Man Sustains Head Injuries In 13-Foot Fall In Sheboygan


Posted on 18th June 2010 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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A man suffered serious head injuries Thursday afternoon when he fell 13 feet off a loading platform at a former Adell Whey plant in Sheboygan.


The Sheyboygan Sheriff”s Department reported that Michael Meyer, 48, of Fredonia took the tumble about 3:30 p.m. at the MSC Nutritional Ingredients facility at 627 Maine Ave., whch once  housed Adell Whey Co. 

Truck driver Meyer, who works for Cedar Valley Cheese, was disoriented but conscious when a rescue crew came to the scene. But then Meyer was unconscious at one point, but came to while getting treated in an ambulance at the scene of the accident.

A Flight for Life helicopter flew Meyer to Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital in Wauwatosa, where he remained in satisfactory condition.