The Seattle Sports Concussion Program is a partnership among Harborview Medical Center, UW Medicine and Seattle Children's Hospital. The program is co-directed by  Dr. Richard Ellenbogen and Dr. Stan Herring .

The program was developed in response to a new law that was passed by the state of Washington in May 2009 . The Lystedt law requires young athletes who show signs or symptoms of a concussion to get written approval from a licensed healthcare provider before returning to play. It was named after Zackery Lystedt, a Maple Valley, Washington, teen who suffered a life-threatening brain injury in 2006 because he returned to play football after a concussion.

Our providers are some of the nation's top experts on concussions and brain injuries. We are the region's premier team for evaluating head injuries and providing the right treatments to keep young athletes safe and healthy as they recover from their injury. The multidisciplinary team is comprised of experts from many different fields, including pediatric sports medicine, physical medicine and rehabilitation, neuropsychology, neurology and neurosurgery. Because of this combined expertise, we have the ability to evaluate, diagnose and manage any level of brain trauma.

We help families safely return their kids to sports and school after concussion.

If you think your child or teen has a concussion and wants to return to athletics, please  schedule an appointment with our team by calling 206-987-2109. We can see your child at Seattle Children's main campus, Bellevue Clinic and Surgery Center or our Federal Way clinic.

Why Is Children's Part of a Sports Concussion Partnership?

Sports concussions  can be a serious health problem. They require early identification, careful evaluation and specialized management before a child or teen can return to play.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that as many as 3.8 million sports and recreation-related concussions happen each year in the U.S. Almost 50% of these injuries go undiagnosed.

The Seattle Sports Concussion Program is comprised of experts in the field of concussions and brain injuries from Seattle Children's, Harborview Medical Center and UW Medicine.

How Will the Seattle Sports Concussion Program Meet My Needs?

Our care team will design a return-to-play plan based on your child's needs. Concussions are brain injuries and all brain injuries are serious. We work to create individual care plans designed to help a young athlete recover safely from their injury so that they can return to their regular activities, including sports and schoolwork. Since concussions may affect the ability to do schoolwork, we work with teachers and schools to help students manage those challenges.

Seattle Sports Concussion Program services include:

Expert evaluation

Young athletes who return to play too soon after a concussion are at risk for additional brain injury. This can result in prolonged symptoms, permanent mental and physical disabilities or death. Our team has the specialized training and expertise to evaluate your child's head injury - and help them get back to their sport safely.

The latest medical knowledge

We are on the forefront of concussion management and are proud to have leaders like Dr. Stan Herring and Dr. Richard Ellenbogen on our team. Dr. Herring is a member of an elite international committee that has developed recommendations for evaluating and managing concussions. Dr. Ellenbogen is co-chair of the Head, Neck and Spine Committee for the National Football League (NFL).

In addition to being a leader in developing standard ways of managing concussions, we are researching the effectiveness of the latest assessment tools, such as neuropsychological testing.

A team approach to meet your needs

We are experts in concussions and brain injuries, and we understand the needs of growing athletes. Our team includes certified athletic trainers, doctors, neuropsychologists, physician assistants and physical therapists with the latest training on how to best manage brain injuries in children and teens.

Our doctors come from many different fields, including pediatric sports medicine, physical medicine and rehabilitation, neuropsychology, neurology and neurosurgery. Because of this combined expertise, we can evaluate, diagnose and manage any level of injury to your child's brain.


Concussions can have complex effects on a young person's brain. Neuropsychologists can help your child after their concussion by studying how your child behaves, learns, remembers and thinks. They use special testing to help diagnose problems. Their diagnosis helps guide decisions about return to play. Our neuropsychologists also work with our doctors and your school to create plans that make sure schoolwork and grades do not suffer as your child recovers from their sports concussion.

Treatment of sports concussions

Your care team will create a treatment plan for your child. Read more about treatment of sports concussions .

Who Treats Sports Concussions at the Seattle Sports Concussion Program

Members of our Orthopedics and Sports Medicine team will treat your child's sport concussion. Providers who treat sports concussions at the Seattle Sports Concussion Program include: