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News Room: Press Releases

Virtua partners with Philadelphia Soul for concussion education and awareness

Virtua and The Philadelphia Soul announced Tuesday a partnership aimed at concussion education and awareness for youth football coaches and players, supported in part by Virtua Foundation.

The “Virtua Certified, Soul Approved” concussion-based program is designed to directly educate youth coaches, parents and athletes about the science of a concussion, concussion prevention, recognition and treatment. The goal is to significantly reduce the number of concussion cases in youth sports and minimize the effects of a concussion once an incident occurs.

To kick off the program, Virtua is using funds donated from Carz N’ Toyz to Virtua Foundation to provide over 600 concussion baseline tests to young athletes in the South Jersey Elite Youth Football League. Carz N’ Toyz is a non-profit organization and a Virtua Foundation Community Partner known for its philanthropic efforts which benefit children in the community and those being cared for at Virtua.

“As the concussion issue has become more and more prevalent in our society, we felt an obligation to be proactive in making a difference,” said Carz N’ Toyz President Sam Lacroce. “It is our mission to support children in our community in various ways. We have worked closely with Virtua Foundation over the last three years to ensure our fundraising efforts can have the greatest impact on children and families, and believe that the concussion testing program is a perfect fit for our initiatives.”

The program will include a series of seminars run by Virtua experts to educate area youth football coaches and parents on concussion management as well as an “eyes to the sky” proper tackling session led by Philadelphia Soul coaches and players as well as other area youth coaches.

“We see this as a case of ‘Knowledge is Power,’” said Paul Kasper, director of sports medicine at Virtua. “We need to educate every administrator, every coach, every parent and every athlete about this issue and only then can we make significant positive results with reductions in incidents and effects from any incidents.”

Unlike many programs that exist where only an organization leader receives the proper training on concussions and is then expected to relay the information, “Virtua Certified, Soul Approved” is open to the public so that everybody involved in the young athletes circle can be properly trained and understand their specific role with this issue.

The first of a minimum of three seminars will take place on Saturday, March 29th at 2pm at Cherokee High School located at 130 Tomlinson Mill Rd, Marlton, NJ 08053. The seminar is open to the public. Space is limited and registrations will be taken on a first come-first serve basis. Additional seminars will be announced shortly. There will be a minimum of three seminars between today and August, and additional seminars may be added based on demand. To register or for more information, go to

Pictured (from left): Paul Kasper, Director, Virtua Sports Medicine; Randy Brown, Mayor of Evesham Township and Baltimore Ravens Assistant Coach; Dr. Katie Gollotto, Virtua Sports Medicine; Mike Kotzen, Executive Vice President of Population Health Management, Virtua; John Adams, Philadelphia Soul, COO; Mike DiFlorio, President, South Jersey Elite Invitational Youth Football League; Sam Lacroce, President, Carz N’ Toyz; Bob Paglione, Treasurer, Craz N’ Toyz; Ray Giannantonio, Secretary, Carz N’ Toyz, and Ron Jaworski, Co-Owner, Philadelphia Soul.


As one of New Jersey’s largest health systems, Virtua helps people be well, get well and stay well through a comprehensive range of health care services. Services are delivered through three health and wellness centers, three fitness centers, three acute care hospitals, primary and specialty physician practices with more than 240 physicians, urgent care centers, nine ambulatory surgery centers, home health services, two long-term care and rehabilitation centers, 12 paramedic units and a wide range of outpatient services. A leader in maternal and child health services, Virtua delivers more than 8,000 babies a year. Virtua also provides employment and wellness services to 1,700 businesses and corporations. An innovator in clinical and information technology such as electronic medical records, Virtua is recognized for its ground-breaking partnerships with GE Healthcare, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the Fox Chase Cancer Center. Virtua employs more than 8,700 people and has been honored as the #1 Best Place to Work in the Delaware Valley every year since 2007. It is the recipient of the Consumer Choice Award from the National Research Corporation. For more information, visit or