Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers is committed to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of concussions. Our concussion management program features a multidisciplinary approach with concussion management specialists who work together to help concussion patients safely recover from their injury.
When a head injury occurs, our concussion care providers will conduct a comprehensive evaluation to determine the presence and severity of a concussion. They are experienced with evaluating concussion and carefully managing and monitoring your treatment.
The evaluation may be followed by further care from a team of specialists as needed. Your 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.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF CONCUSSION?
- 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, but it could also be hours or days.
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 of concussion management specialists at Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers will carefully manage and monitor a patient’s return to work, school, or play.
Potential complications of concussion include 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.
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, urgent care centers, contact your primary care provider, or contact one of Morris Hospital’s concussion management 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 one of our concussion management providers for a more comprehensive evaluation and treatment. Our providers may also prescribe Physical Therapy which should be started the day after your concussion is diagnosed by your concussion management provider.
Athletes should not return to sports if they’re experiencing signs and symptoms of a concussion.
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 of modern concussion management. ImPACT provides healthcare providers with objective data to evaluate a patient’s post-injury condition and aids in tracking recovery.
CONCUSSION MANAGEMENT PROVIDERS
Our Concussion Management providers have received specialized training and education that allows them to safely diagnose and manage the treatment of concussion. They are experienced in evaluating the severity of your injury and can carefully manage and monitor your care during recovery. Same-day or next-day appointments are available for patients who have been diagnosed with a concussion.
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 Channahon Healthcare Center of Morris Hospital. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Mezo, call 815.467.0555 (Channahon) or 815.942.4506 (Morris).
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. She is qualified to diagnose 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 Channahon Healthcare Center of Morris Hospital. To schedule an appointment with Stefanie, call 815.467.0555 (Channahon) or 815.942.4506 (Morris).
Sarah Pettry-Soto, F.N.P., is a concussion management provider for Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers, which means she has received the training and education to safely evaluate and manage concussion treatment for patients ages 17 and up.
As a family nurse practitioner, Sarah is qualified to serve as the primary health care provider for patients of all ages. She holds a Family Nurse Practitioner certificate, allowing her to order and interpret diagnostic tests, diagnose disease, provide appropriate treatments and prescribe medications. She is committed to listening and building trust with her patients to foster an open, honest relationship.
Sarah earned her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in nursing from Lewis University in Romeoville. A resident of Morris since the age of 4, she worked as a registered nurse at Morris Hospital from 2016-2021.
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, Morris Hospital Diamond-Coal City Campus, and Morris Hospital Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Ottawa. For more information, call 815-705-7828. You may be treated by any of the following ImPACT Certified Physical Therapists:
Reilly Jaeger graduated with her BA in Anthropology with an emphasis of paleoanthropology from ISU, and her doctorate in Physical Therapy from NIU. She first became interested in the human body when studying anthropology but wanted to be able to apply her knowledge in a practical problem solving setting that helped others achieve their goals. This led Reilly to switching her career path to physical therapy. Reilly prefers practicing in the outpatient setting and the opportunities it provides. She is certified in Dry Needling and ImPACT.
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 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 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.
Sadie Salsman is an ImPACT certified physical therapist, which allows her to provide concussion care specific to a person’s needs and manage their symptoms during their concussion recovery. Sadie received her doctorate of physical therapy degree from Bradley University. She has practiced in the hospital based physical therapy setting, treating orthopedic, vestibular, concussion and chronic pain conditions.
Erik Stein went to North Central College for his bachelor’s in mathematics, followed by Loma Linda University for his doctorate degree in physical therapy. He divides his time between outpatient and inpatient care. Erik enjoys treating a variety of diagnoses including TMJ, vestibular disorders and orthopedic conditions. He is certified in LSVT for Parkinson’s treatment and ImPACT.
Sarah Whiteside graduated from Lewis University with her bachelor’s in biology and from Midwestern University with her doctorate in physical therapy. She enjoys treating orthopedic and vestibular conditions and is certified in concussion management.