The Women Sports Safety Initiative is currently forming a Leadership Council that will help identify best practices to assist coaches, players, and policy leaders. It is expected to be a comprehensive alliance, with women and science leaders in the field of concussions, as well as brain injury and sports medicine professionals working directly with a cross-section of organizations.
Brad Badger, Former NFL Player
Brad Badger is a former American guard and tackle for the National Football League for a total of 11 seasons. He was originally drafted by the Washington Redskins, and throughout his career played for the Minnesota Vikings, Oakland Raiders and Arizona Cardinals. He played college football at Stanford University. He has two daughters, ages 12 and 8, who are both active in a variety of sports, including volleyball, gymnastics, basketball, dance, and swimming.
Charmaine Banther, Educator
Charmaine Banther is a teacher at James Logan High School in Union City, CA, and is a dedicated advocate for quality public education. She served as president of the New Haven Teachers Association and chair of the California Teachers Association Asian Pacific American Caucus. She plays a leadership role in the National Education Association and is a trustee of the Castro Valley Unified School District.
Basil Besh, M.D. Orthopaedic Surgeon
Dr. Basil Besh is Board Certified Orthopaedic surgeon specializing in hand, wrist and elbow conditions. He completed his undergraduate studies at Columbia University, earning a BS in Mechanical Engineering, and his Medical Degree at Georgetown University School of Medicine. Dr. Besh is president-elect of the California Orthopaedic Association.
Cindy Chang, M.D., Primary Care Sports Medicine
Dr. Cindy Chang is an Associate Clinical Professor in the UCSF Departments of Orthopaedics and Family & Community Medicine, specializing in sports medicine care of children and adults, including the management of concussions. She actively serves on the Sports Medicine Advisory Committees for the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). Previously she served as Head Team Physician for Cal’s 27 athletic teams from 1995 to 2008, and as the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for Team USA for the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games and the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Mike Chisar, MPT, ATC, Athletic Trainer
Michael Chisar is an athletic trainer and physical therapist. He is an assistant professor and the Program Director of the Sports Medicine/Athletic Training Program at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, CA. He has been a champion for youth safety and a leader in the athlete training profession, particularly in the area of legislative advocacy. Mike is currently the chair of the California Athletic Trainers’ Association Governmental Affairs Committee.
Linda Handy, Women’s Health Advocate
Linda Handy is a member of the Board of Trustees for Peralta Community College. She has a long resume of community service and college administration experience. Handy is a former president of the Oakland Coalition of Congregations and currently represents part of the Laurel district as well as the San Antonio, Fruitvale, Brookdale, Fairfax and Maxwell Park districts in Oakland. She is a Laney College alumna and has a M.S. in Organizational Development and Analysis from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University.
Representative Paulette Jordan, Athlete/Policymaker
A former college basketball player and team captain, Rep. Paulette Jordan, of the Coeur d’ Alene Tribe, is an elected Idaho House Representative and appointed member of the Idaho Legislative Council. Rep. Jordan attained three degrees from the University of Washington and a Certificate of Study in Conflict Resolution and Strategic Negotiations from the Washington Center in Washington D.C., and carries Executive Certification in Energy Policy Development from the University of Idaho College of Business and Economics.
Afton Kobayashi, Athlete and Communications Professional
Afton Kobayashi has been a basketball player all her life and is committed to ensuring that athletes have the opportunity to pursue their love of sports while protecting their health and well-being. She is currently a communications officer at First 5 LA, a public agency dedicated to ensuring that children enter kindergarten ready to succeed in school and life. She has over 20 years of experience working on social issues, especially in the health care arena.
Senator Richard Pan, M.D., M.P.H., FAAP
Dr. Richard Pan is a pediatrician, former UC Davis educator, and State Senator. He has devoted his career to solving problems and helping everyone in the community. He is currently Chair of the Senate Committee on Public Employment and Retirement and the Senate Select Committee on Children with Special Needs, and he also serves on the Senate Committees on Agriculture, Budget and Fiscal Review, Education, and Health. Dr. Pan continues to practice pediatrics at WellSpace Health in Oak Park.
Katherine Snedaker, LCSW, Nonprofit Director and Brain Injury Prevention Advocate
Katherine Snedaker views brain injury which includes the term “concussion” as a published researcher, parent, advocate, youth sports coach, and patient having suffered from multiple concussions. After both her sons suffered concussions, Katherine founded SportsCAPP.com highlighting free resources for youth sports teams for concussion education and policy. She served as a concussion consultant to youth sports teams, schools and cities, and has presented on youth sport concussion across the USA.
While at home battling breast cancer in 2013, Katherine launch PINK Concussions 501c3 the FIRST EVER non-profit organization with the mission to improve medical care for women and girls challenged by concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) incurred from sports, violence, accidents or military service. Katherine and her team have established PINK Concussions as the leader in the field of female concussions and TBIs.
Sharon Reis, Communications Consultant
Sharon Reis serves as a communications consultant for the Women’s Sports Safety Initiative. She is a 25-year veteran of the public relations industry who founded The Reis Group, a firm dedicated to representing top-tier progressive clients focused on health, healthcare, science, and social issues. Sharon’s award-winning campaigns are based on comprehensive research and driven by her expertise in generating tangible results through strategic messaging and media relations. Reis earned her M.A. from the University of Hartford and a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Lauren Musiol, Communications Consultant
Lauren Musiol serves as a communications consultant for the Women’s Sports Safety Initiative. Recognized as an Emerging Leader by the Washington Women in Public Relations and as Account Director of the Year by PR News, Musiol specializes in overseeing major public education campaigns that utilize her experience and proficiency in market research, messaging, materials development, event planning, and media outreach for The Reis Group. She holds a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Kathy Steinberg, Research Consultant
Kathy Steinberg is a research consultant for the Women’s Sports Safety Initiative. As a director of public release research and managing editor of The Harris Poll®, Steinberg has spent more than a decade specializing in the design and analysis of public opinion polls, and is responsible for high-level management and client service of research designed specifically for public release and thought leadership platforms. She earned a B.S. in Human Development from Cornell University and is based in New York City.