Concussion Management

The providers at Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers are dedicated to preventing, diagnosing and treating concussions.  We have a multidisciplinary team of ImPACT certified healthcare providers that work together to help concussion patients safely recover from their injury.

When a head injury occurs, our concussion care providers conduct a comprehensive evaluation to determine the presence and severity of a concussion. Our concussion care team is experienced with evaluating concussion and carefully managing and monitoring your treatment.

Their evaluation is followed by further care from a team of specialists, as needed. Your healthcare provider may prescribe Physical Therapy which should be started soon after your concussion is diagnosed.

WHAT IS A CONCUSSION?

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury—or TBI—caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells. Some concussions can cause you to lose consciousness, but most do not.

CONCUSSION SYMPTOMS
  • Headache or “pressure” in head
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Balance problems or dizziness
  • Just not “feeling right” or “feeling down”
  • Double or blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy
  • Concentration or memory problems
  • Confusion and inability to think

Concussion signs and symptoms can show up soon after the injury, however, it could also be hours or days.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms after a bump, blow or jolt to the head, we urge you to immediately contact a provider qualified in concussion diagnosis and treatment.

WHY SHOULD I GET HELP?

Do not wait to seek help. Concussions range in severity from minor injuries that heal with rest to serious conditions that have long-term effects on your daily life.

Your brain needs time to heal after a concussion, and the team at Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers are certified concussion healthcare specialists who will carefully manage and monitor a patient’s return to work, school or play.

Potential complications of concussion includes headaches, vertigo or post-concussion syndrome. This type of brain injury may lead to bleeding in and around your brain, or in rare instances even brain swelling.

WHAT SHOULD I DO?

If you are experiencing any of the concussion symptoms after a bump, blow or jolt to the head, we urge you to immediately visit our emergency department, walk-in care centers, contact your primary care provider or contact one of Morris Hospital’s ImPACT certified healthcare providers who are qualified in concussion diagnosis and treatment.

Patients who are diagnosed with a concussion can make a same day or next day appointment with our ImPACT certified healthcare providers for more comprehensive evaluation and treatment. Our healthcare provider may also prescribe Physical Therapy which should be started the day after your concussion is diagnosed by your ImPACT certified healthcare provider.

Athletes should not return to sports if they’re experiencing signs and symptoms of a concussion.

WHAT IS ImPACT?

ImPACT stands for Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing. Trained healthcare providers use ImPACT to make sound decisions following concussions.

Specifically, ImPACT is a computerized test that measures memory, attention span, visual and verbal problem solving. It can be used as a baseline test to establish benchmark scores and, in the event of an injury, as a post-injury test to compare to the baseline for diagnosis of a concussion.

This neurocognitive testing is a key component for modern concussion management. ImPACT provides healthcare providers objective data to evaluate a patient’s post-injury condition and aids in tracking recovery.

ImPACT CERTIFIED PROVIDERS

Our ImPACT Certified Healthcare Providers have received specialized training that allows them to safely diagnose and manage treatment of concussion. Our concussion management providers are available for same day or next day appointments when a concussion has been diagnosed. They are experienced in evaluating the severity of a concussion and can carefully manage and monitor your care during recovery.

ISAAC MEZO, M.D., NEUROLOGY

Dr. Isaac Mezo is an ImPACT certified healthcare provider for Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers, which allows him to safely evaluate and manage concussion treatment for patients ages 17 and up.

As a neurologist, Dr. Mezo specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders that affect the brain, spinal cord, and nerves, including stroke, headaches, concussions, seizures, speech and language disorders, infections of the brain and peripheral nervous systems, movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, sleep disorders, dementia disorders such as Alzheimer’s, and multiple sclerosis.

Dr. Mezo received his medical degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine. He also completed an internship, neurology residency and neurophysiology fellowship at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Mezo joined Morris Hospital’s medical staff in 2013.

Dr. Mezo sees patients at the Morris Hospital Neurology Specialists’ office in Morris and at Channahon Healthcare Center of Morris Hospital. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Mezo, call 815.467.0555 (Channahon) or 815.942.4506 (Morris).

SAMUEL QUAYNOR, M.D., NEUROLOGY

Dr. Samuel Quaynor is an ImPACT certified healthcare provider for Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers, which allows him to safely evaluate and manage concussion treatment for patients ages 11 and up.

As a neurologist, Dr. Quaynor specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders that affect the brain, spinal cord, and nerves, including stroke, headaches, concussions, seizures, speech and language disorders, infections of the brain and peripheral nervous systems, movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, sleep disorders, dementia disorders such as Alzheimer’s, and multiple sclerosis. His specific interests include sports neurology, concussion, headaches and traumatic brain injury.

Dr. Quaynor is fellowship trained, having studied sports neurology, headache and concussion at LifeBridge Health Sports Medicine Institute in Baltimore. During his fellowship, he worked with physicians from different professional and collegiate athletic teams in the Baltimore area, including the Baltimore Ravens.

He previously completed a three-year neurology residency at the University of Chicago Medical Center in Chicago. He earned a medical degree and Ph.D. in Molecular Medicine and Genetics at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, Ga., and he completed an internship at Weiss Memorial Hospital in Chicago. He is a member of the American Academy of Neurology, International Congress for Athlete Brain Health and the American Society for Sports Neurology.

Dr. Quaynor sees patients at the Morris Hospital Neurology Specialists’ office in Morris and at Channahon Healthcare Center of Morris Hospital. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Quaynor, call 815.467.0555 (Channahon) or 815.942.4506 (Morris).

STEFANIE HENLINE, N.P., NEUROLOGY

Stefanie Henline is an ImPACT certified healthcare provider for Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers, which allows her to safely evaluate and manage concussion treatment for patients ages 17 and up.

Stefanie is a nurse practitioner specializing in neurology serving under Dr. Isaac Mezo and Dr. Samuel Quaynor. She is qualified to diagnosis and treat neurology disorders, specifically those that affect the brain, spinal cord, and nerves, including stroke, headaches, concussion, seizures, speech and language disorders, infections of the brain and peripheral nervous systems, movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, sleep disorders, dementia disorders such as Alzheimer’s, and multiple sclerosis.

Stefanie received her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in nursing from the Chamberlain College of Nursing. She also acquired an associate’s degree in nursing from Joliet Junior College. She has served as a nurse since 2003.

Stefanie sees patients at the Morris Hospital Neurology Specialists’ office in Morris and at Channahon Healthcare Center of Morris Hospital. To schedule an appointment with Stefanie, call 815.467.0555 (Channahon) or 815.942.4506 (Morris).

JAYNEE PENDERGAST, D.O., FAMILY MEDICINE

Dr. Jaynee Pendergast is an ImPACT certified healthcare provider for Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers, which allows her to safely evaluate and manage concussion treatment for patients ages 12 through 16.

As a board-certified family medicine physician, Dr. Pendergast provides primary care for patients of all ages, from newborns to seniors. In addition to diagnosing and treating illness, Dr. Pendergast provides a wide range of care, including preventive care, routine check-ups, health risk assessments, immunizations, screening tests and personalized counseling on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. She has specific interest in women’s health, pediatrics and concussion.

Born and raised in Joliet, Dr. Pendergast received her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from Midwestern University Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine in Downer’s Grove and completed a family medicine residency at AMITA Health Hinsdale Hospital in Hinsdale, Ill. She is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and is a member of American Academy of Family Physicians and American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians.

Dr. Pendergast also sees patients at the Braidwood Healthcare Center of Morris Hospital and Dwight Healthcare Center of Morris Hospital. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Pendergast, call 815.458.2532 (Braidwood) or 815.584.3291 (Dwight).

ImPACT CERTIFIED PHYSICAL THERAPISTS

Physical therapists are key members of our concussion treatment team, as they oversee the active rehabilitation for patients who are recovering from a concussion. Patients suffering from concussion symptoms can experience visual problems, balance or vestibular issues or even cervical spine deficits that often require physical therapy during recovery. Our ImPACT Certified Physical Therapists are trained in comprehensive concussion rehabilitation and management, meaning they are qualified and experienced in caring for patients who are recovering from concussions.

Our ImPACT Certified Physical Therapists work at the Diagnostic & Rehabilitative Center of Morris Hospital in Morris. For more information, call 815-705-7828. You may be treated by any of the following ImPACT Certified Physical Therapists:

LINDSAY FOWLER, PT, DPT

Lindsay Fowler is an ImPACT certified physical therapist for Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers, which allows her to provide concussion care specific to a person’s needs and manage their symptoms during their concussion recovery.

Lindsay received her bachelor’s degree in exercise science at Murray State University. She received her doctorate in physical therapy at Belmont University. She is a Certified Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT) therapist.

Lindsay has experience in outpatient and inpatient settings. She enjoys treating orthopedic, spine and athletic conditions.

SARAH GUNDERSON, PT, DPT

Sarah Gunderson is an ImPACT certified physical therapist for Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers, which allows her to provide concussion care specific to a person’s needs and manage their symptoms during their concussion recovery.

Sarah received her bachelor’s degree in biology and her doctorate in physical therapy at St. Ambrose University. She is a Certified Lymphedema Therapist and is also certified in LSVT BIG.

During her career, Sarah has been treating patients in outpatient Physical Therapy settings. She enjoys treating patients with vertigo, geriatric and orthopedic conditions.

KRISTEN MCPHERSON, PT, DPT

Kristen McPherson is an ImPACT certified physical therapist for Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers, which allows her to provide concussion care specific to a person’s needs and manage their symptoms during their concussion recovery.

Kristen received her bachelor’s degree in movement and sport sciences from Purdue University and her doctorate in physical therapy from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science.

Kristen started her career in the inpatient field, specializing in acute medicine with a sub-specialty in oncology care. She then transitioned to an outpatient setting with experience in orthopedics, neurology and athletic care of patients from infants to the geriatrics. She has had experience with specific diagnoses such as total joint replacements, strokes and torticollis. She enjoys the variety of both orthopedic and neurological diagnoses.

DEANNA REICHARDT, PT, DPT

Deanna Reichardt is an ImPACT certified physical therapist for Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers, which allows her to provide concussion care specific to a person’s needs and manage their symptoms during their concussion recovery.

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