Our Achievements


Education & Awareness:

  • Media: in 2013-14, SLI is featured or interviewed in over 200 original articles and television programs, including the New York Times, USA Today, Associated Press, HBO Real Sports, BBC, CNN, NPR, MSNBC, PBS Frontline, and all major news outlets.
  • Grassroots education: SLI launches three new Team Up chapters in 2014 - Tulane University, University of Alabama at Birmingham (funded by the Wise Up! Foundation), and the University of Pennsylvania (funded by the Untold Foundation), bringing our total to 10 chapters which have educated over 15,000 students.
  • A DePaul University study of Team Up finds 95% of students retained knowledge 1 month later.
  • Since 2012, SLI has conducted over 100 educational seminars reaching nearly 15,000 coaches, parents, athletic trainers, and administrators, including every high school athletic director in the state of Florida.
  • The CDC announces that over 1,000,000 coaches and parents have completed Heads Up training, voiced over by SLI co-founder Chris Nowinski.
  • Rubgy Union (England) creates the first ever mandatory online concussion training for professional athletes, coaches, and referees. SLI serves as only non-UK based consultant.
  • SLI strengthens its collaboration with WWE and conducts 5 concussion education sessions, covering every member of the talent roster.
  • SLI partners with The Shipley School and others to provide comprehensive education and implement best practices and cutting edge programs, continuing its practice of helping individual schools keep athletes safe.


  • SLI advisory roles, primarily led by Dr. Robert Cantu, grow to now include the NFL, NFLPA, Major League Lacrosse, Ivy League, NOCSAE, International Rugby Board, Rugby Union (England), and the Positive Coaching Alliance.
  • SLI launches the Safer Soccer initiative in June 2014 along with the Santa Clara Institute of Sports Law and Ethics, with spokespersons Dr. Cantu and soccer legends Brandi Chastain and Cindy Parlow Cone.
  • SLI launches the Hit Count program in January, 2014, and have certified 3 sensors that can be used to track hits to the head.
  • Chris Nowinski and SLI medical advisor Dr. Bob Stern testified before the Senate Aging Committee on the long-term neurological implications of sports-related traumatic brain injury.
  • Initiative launched in 2010 to reduce full-contact in football makes gains, with 9 states now setting limits at the high school level and the National Federation of State High School Associations now recommending limits.
  • Over 10,000 coaches and parents used ConcussionChecklist.org to evaluate concussion safety in their sports programs.

CTE focused research:

  • Renamed VA-BU-SLI Brain Bank grows from 190 to 240 donors, remaining the largest CTE Brain Bank in the world with over 130 confirmed cases, including 76 of 79 former NFL players.
  • The SLI-funded LEGEND study at the BU CTE Center has enrolled over 800 participants who have provided over 1,500 interviews detailing the long-term consequences of repetitive brain trauma.
  • SLI announces a partnership with the Illinois College of Optometry and NYU to support studies aimed at identifying CTE in living people.

Education & policy focused research:

Global Reach:

  • Dr. Cantu joins the new four member independent advisory board for the International Rugby Board, headquartered in Dublin, and governing players in over 100 countries.
  • Dr. Ann McKee confirms the first case of CTE in South America in the 1958 captain of the Brazil World Cup Championship team, Bellini.
  • Chris Nowinski speaks to Houses of Parliament in the United Kingdom and the Australian Football League Players Association in Melbourne, Australia.
  • Head Games: the Global Concussion Crisis, a new version of the award winning documentary featuring SLI, is released to the global market.


  • SLI trains over 5,000 children by expanding SLICE (renamed Team Up in 2015) to include BU, UPenn, USC, Cal, DePaul, UMiami, Illinois College of Optometry, Wilfrid Laurier, Tulane, and University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • 60 ACTs reach over 10,000 coaches in 2012-13
  • The CDC announces that over 1,000,000 coaches and parents have completedHeads Up training, voiced over by SLI co-founder Chris Nowinski
  • The Concussion Checklist, an online tool designed to help sports programs evaluate and improve their concussion safety efforts, is used by over 10,000 coaches and parents
  • SLI provides dozens of free education programs to schools in greater Chicago thanks to a five-year, $100,000 grant from the Pritzker Traubert Family Foundation
  • SLI hosts first-ever concussion Provider Symposium in California, sponsored by Kaiser Permanente East Bay, for over 165 medical professionals
  • SLI appears in 131 television programs and original articles, including PBS/FRONTLINE airs “League of Denial: the NFL’s Concussion Crisis” 


  • SLI develops Hit Count® Certification in partnership with the University of Ottawa, and launches HitCount.org
  • SLI partners with Major League Lacrosse (MLL) to create a comprehensive concussion program for the 2013 season, including mandatory education, new policies, and several innovative elements such as Concussion Check and Concussion Caretaker.
  • SLI launches an initiative to eliminate full-contact off-season practices in high school football with a press conference at Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans that included Matt Hasselbeck, Ted Johnson, Hunter Hillenmeyer, and Kevin Turner


  • Renamed VA-BU-SLI Brain Bank grows from 140 to 190 donors, remaining the largest in the world, and publishes the first 85 cases in Brain
  • Largest publication on clinical symptoms of CTE in Neurology shows two sub-types of disease
  • WWE donates $1.2 million to SLI to launch a new research program led by Dr. Ann McKee and Dr. Lee Goldstein aimed at developing a treatment for CTE
  • The SLI-funded LEGEND study at the BU CTE Center enrolls over 800 participants who have provided over 1,500 interviews detailing the long-term consequences of repetitive brain trauma


  • SLI launches California Concussion Coalition in August 2012, beginning with training 1,000 football coaches in Los Angeles Unified School District


  • Launched the Hit Count® initiative
  • Hosted the first Hit Count® Symposium, initiating discussion between leading scientists, technology companies, and sports organizations nationwide
  • Launched the Concussion Checklist online tool


  • BU CSTE publishes first case series of military veterans with CTE, collaborates with Dr. Lee Goldstein on groundbreaking CTE laboratory model
  • BU CSTE brain bank grows from 105 to over 140 donors
  • BU CSTE partners with Cleveland Clinic to run first-ever CTE Conference in Las Vegas in September


  • Advanced Concussion Training (ACTs, formerly Concussion Clinics) reach over 5,000 coaches in 40 programs across the US
  • Launched the Chicago Concussion Coalition in August 2011, comprised of 50 organizations with the goal of making athletes safer in the Chicago area – every coach in the Chicago Public Schools was required to take the SLI Advanced Concussion Training course
  • SLI Community Educators (SLICE) expands to DePaul University in Chicago, trains over 4,500 students in grades 4-12


  • SLI successfully collaborates with EA Sports to treat concussions realistically in Madden Football to educate young players learning the game
  • NFL and Ivy League follow SLI proposal to limit brain trauma in football practice, setting strict limits on exposure


  • BU CSTE brain bank grows from 70 to 105 donors
  • BU CSTE (Dr. Bob Stern, principal investigator) receives National Institute of Health’s first ever grant to study Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). DETECT will be a 3 year, $1.4M study aimed at finding an in vivo biomarker for CTE
  • Over 400 former athletes are enrolled in LEGEND longitudinal telephone survey


  • SLI and BU CSTE raise awareness through HBO Real Sports, CNN with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, ESPN, Fox News, CBS News with Katie Couric, ABC News with Diane Sawyer, NPR, the New York Times, The New Yorker, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, USA Today, and a cover story in Sports Illustrated
  • MD/PhD students Alex Bagley andDan Daneshvar co-found SLI Community Educators (SLICE) as service chapters at Harvard Medical School and Boston University School of Medicine, where they train medical school students to give concussion presentations to students in grades 4-12


  • SLI leads Massachusetts to become the sixth state with concussion legislation
  • SLI launches 7 Steps to Brain Safety as minimum recommended standards for sports
  • Dr. Cantu named senior advisor to NFL Head, Neck & Spine Committee


  • BU CSTE accepts NFL pledge as a $1 million unrestricted gift
  • BU CSTE Brain Bank grows from 21 cases to 70
  • BU CSTE launches Longitudinal Examination to Gather Evidence of Neurodegenerative Disease (LEGEND) study, the first longitudinal study of CTE in the world
  • BU CSTE co-director Dr. Ann McKee publishes article proposing a new sub-type of ALS that appears to be a variation of CTE, and is therefore linked to trauma


  • SLI and BU CSTE leadership testify in two hearings on NFL Head Injuries held by the House Judiciary Committee. In October, Dr. Cantu, Dr. McKee, Chris Nowinski, and SLI Board Member Eleanor Perfetto are among 16 experts to testify
  • NFL admits, for the first time, that concussions can lead to later life impairments- credits BU CSTE research for change, pledging to donate $1 million to the center
  • Dr. Cantu, Dr. McKee, and Chris Nowinski invited to NFL Players Association Mackey-White Traumatic Brain Injury Committee
  • SLI and BU CSTE are featured by HBO Real Sports, 60 Minutes, CNN, ESPN, TSN, Fox News, National Public Radio, the New York Times, Associated Press, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, the Globe and Mail, and by Malcolm Gladwell in the New Yorker


  • BU CSTE Brain Bank grows from five to 21 donations. BU CSTE releases first hockey player, Reggie Fleming, and first college football player, Mike Borich, ever to be diagnosed with the disease
  • BU CSTE Brain Donation Registry grows from under 30 pledges to over 200
  • SLI partners with Boston University School of Medicine (BU) and the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to found the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy (CSTE), the first center in the world to focus on Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy
  • BU CSTE Brain Bank ends year with five cases
  • BU CSTE launches Brain Donation Registry with 16 athletes committing to donate their brains upon death
  • SLI holds first Concussion Clinic for New Hampshire Pop Warner head coaches
  • SLI receives 501(c)(3) status retroactive to 2007 founding
  • SLI establishes Annual Impact Awards
  • SLI incorporates in June
  • Brain Bank receives first donation from family of Chris Benoit

Leading to a Safer Future

Contact Us

Concussion Legacy Foundation
867 Boylston Street, 5th Floor
Boston, MA 02116

(T) 857.244.0810 | (F) 781.790.8922

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