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National Football League Names Seattle Children's Neurosurgeon New Co-Chair of NFL Head, Neck and Spine Medical Committee

March 17, 2010

Dr. Richard G. Ellenbogen of Seattle Children’s Hospital, Harborview Medical Center and the University of Washington School of Medicine has been named co-chair of the NFL Head, Neck and Spine Medical Committee.

Dr. Richard G. Ellenbogen of  Seattle Children’s Hospital , Harborview Medical Center and the University of Washington School of Medicine and Dr. Hunt Batjer of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine have been named the new co-chairs of the NFL Head, Neck and Spine Medical Committee (formerly known as the NFL Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee), NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell recently announced.

“I am humbled and honored to be participating in a program by the NFL that recognizes the widespread problem of concussion, which occurs in a wide spectrum of our population, from student-athletes to soldiers to professional athletes,” Dr. Ellenbogen said. “I hope through our actions, research and advocacy, we can improve the prevention and treatment of this public health issue for athletes in all sports and at all levels of play.”

Part of the mission of the NFL HNS Committee is to: examine the latest strategies and best practices for treating head, neck and spine injuries; support additional research on the long term impact of concussions and related injuries; and increase public awareness about the prevention and treatment of head, neck and spine injuries.

Dr. Ellenbogen, UW Medicine Professor, is the Theodore S. Roberts Endowed Chair of Neurological Surgery at the University of Washington School of Medicine, chief of neurological surgery at Harborview Medical Center, and attending neurosurgeon at Seattle Children’s. He is past president of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and currently an officer with the American Society of Pediatric Neurological Surgeons. He is also co-director of the  Seattle Sports Concussion Program  and a key advocate for the “Zackery Lystedt Law,” the first state law requiring medical clearance for a young athlete suffering a concussion. He was formerly chief of neurosurgery and residency program director at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., was deployed with the XVIII Airborne Corp in Desert Storm and was awarded a Bronze Star for his work with head injured soldiers.

About Seattle Children’s

Consistently ranked as one of the best children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Seattle Children’s serves as the pediatric and adolescent academic medical referral center for the largest landmass of any children’s hospital in the country (Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho). For more than 100 years, Seattle Children’s has been delivering superior patient care while advancing new treatments through pediatric research. Seattle Children’s serves as the primary teaching, clinical and research site for the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. The hospital works in partnership with Seattle Children’s Research Institute and Seattle Children’s Hospital Foundation. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

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