BECKLEY, W.Va. — Athletic programs have gotten a lot of pressure lately when it comes to concussions and other brain-related injuries. Woodrow Wilson High School in Raleigh County is hoping to help.

At Tuesday evening’s Raleigh County Board of Education meeting, Woodrow Wilson Principal Ron Cantley took the podium to propose a pilot program. The school has been working with Beckley-based Kyle Group, PLLC. The organization focuses on sports medicine care and technology. The partnership would result in an online cognitive test that student athletes could take to help determine if they have a brain injury. Cantley is confident this data would greatly benefit the students.

“They can use that to make an informed medical decision,” he said. “It’s something that they can take with them.”

Only the student, their family and their selected healthcare provider would have access to the collected data.

“Anytime a student gets an injury of any type, they have to get a release before they can return. What we’re doing is just providing them some data that’s going to better inform that decision. Right now, they wouldn’t have any baseline data at all.”

The current fee for each assessment is $5. Cantley is hoping to gain sponsorships so students won’t have to pay for the service.

Raleigh County Board of Education member Dr. Charlotte Hutchens asked Cantley what the school’s role would be in this process. She wondered if the school would require student athletes to take part in the program. Cantley said for Woodrow Wilson faculty, it would be “mandatory to encourage” students, but not a requirement for the students.

Board member Larry Ford said it was a great idea not just for Woodrow Wilson, but for all of Raleigh County. If all goes well, he could see it eventually be considered for all of West Virginia.

The board voted unanimously to approve the pilot program.

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