Subsidized Health Services

Matthew J. Morahan III Health Assessment Center for Athletes Gets Youth Back on the Soccer Field

Ryan Barcelona

Football, soccer, gymnastics. These are just a few of the sports students love. They love the challenge, the competition, and the teamwork. But all of that focus and energy sometimes result in an injury, sprains, breaks – or even a concussion.

That is what happened to soccer player Ryan Barcelona of Berkeley Heights last year, when he and a goalie collided on the field. The 14-year-old felt okay so he kept playing, but the story was different the next day. Ryan was moody and displayed erratic behavior, he was in pain and he had an excruciating headache.

Lucky for Ryan, his mom, Christie, brought him to the Saint Barnabas Medical Center Emergency Department, where he was referred to the Matthew J. Morahan III Health Assessment Center for Athletes. Ryan, they said, had a concussion.

For several months, Ryan worked with neurologists and other experts at the Center’s “Return to Play,” program, where he was provided with a personalized plan that allowed him to slowly return to normal life both at home, school and on the playing field — where he always wears his protective headgear.

The Matthew J. Morahan III Health Assessment Center for Athletes has provided concussion and cardiac screenings for nearly 13,000 local student athletes since its establishment in 2012.

Barnabas Health Ambulatory Care Center - Livingston
The Barnabas Health Ambulatory Care Center is dedicated to enhancing the health and well-being of the communities it serves and provides more than 750 community outreach programs a year, including screenings and education programs. It includes centers that focus exclusively on breast health, osteoporosis, imaging, surgery, refractive surgery, student athlete health, rehabilitation, pain management, multiple sclerosis, celiac disease and integrative holistic medicine.

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