BEREA, Ohio – To open Cleveland Browns Fan Fest on Saturday, the Browns and UnitedHealthcare, in association with University Hospitals, presented Solon High School with new five-star helmets, as rated by the Virginia Tech Helmet Ratings, through HELMETS, a collaboration between the three organizations that will provide $25,000 of safety equipment to high schools that participate in USA Football's Heads Up Football program.
Browns General Manager Ray Farmer and UnitedHealthcare Executive Director of Northern Ohio Tom Sullivan delivered the helmets to Solon High School Head Coach Jim McQuaide and his team at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday prior to the team's walkthrough on the Cleveland Browns Fan Fest's youth football field at the Cleveland Convention Center, where University Hospitals representatives were present throughout the day's activity.
"We are privileged to present Solon High School with new safety equipment through HELMETS as we continue to support Heads Up Football and youth participation in our sport throughout Northeast Ohio ," said Browns owner Jimmy Haslam. "This is a pivotal opportunity for our teams and schools to inspire our high school and youth football leaders, members and fans to join our commitment to Heads Up Football and advancing the health and safety of football players at all levels."
"We are grateful for the opportunity to join the Cleveland Browns and University Hospitals to advance young athletes' health and safety," said Sullivan. "HELMETS connects coaches, parents and young athletes with the tools and resources addressing the issues that affect athletes. Solon is the perfect example of a school and coaching staff committed to providing student-athletes with the knowledge and resources they need to protect themselves on the field."
"University Hospitals is committed to supporting a safe playing environment for all our athletes," said Dr. James Voos, Chief of Sports Medicine program at UH and head team physician for the Cleveland Browns. "The combination of proper form and technologically advanced equipment are vital in accomplishing that mission."
HELMETS will return during the 2015 season, when another local high school that is enrolled in Heads Up Football will be granted $25,000 for new helmets through the partnership.
To be eligible for HELMETS, high schools must commit to enhancing player health and safety through USA Football's Heads Up Football program. Heads Up Football offers certification clinics, combined with an online curriculum, to educate coaches about CDC-approved concussion recognition and response protocols, proper equipment fitting, Heads Up Tackling, Heads Up Blocking, heat emergency preparedness and hydration and sudden cardiac arrest.
The Cleveland Browns are committed to assisting in the development, safety and growth of youth and high school football throughout Northeast Ohio with year-round programming for players, coaches, officials and parents. Through camps, clinics and other initiatives, the Browns' goal is to promote healthy, social, emotional, intellectual and physical development of youth by enhancing opportunities for youth football participation and education. For more information, visit www.clevelandbrowns.com/community.
UnitedHealthcare serves more than 1.8 million people in Ohio with a care provider network of 264 hospitals and more than 43,000 physicians statewide.
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, military service members, retirees and their families, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 850,000 physicians and care professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at www.uhc.com or follow @myUHC on Twitter.
About University Hospitals:
University Hospitals serves the needs of patients through an integrated network of hospitals, outpatient centers and primary care physicians located throughout Northeast Ohio. The health system's patient care ranges from diagnosing and treating the simplest medical problems to understanding and curing the most complex and serious illnesses, from premature infants to the most elderly of patients. For more information about University Hospitals please visit, www.UHhospitals.org.