ATLANTA – State Representative Jimmy Pruett (R-Eastman) recently received the prestigious 2013 Pathfinder Award from the Brain and Spinal Injury Trust Fund Commission. The Pathfinder Award is given annually to an individual who has made contributions to the health and well-being of Georgians with traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries.

“I am honored to receive this award from the Brain and Spinal Injury Trust Fund Commission,” said Rep. Pruett. “The Commission does fine work in serving those who have sustained brain and spinal injuries. As state representatives, we must do everything we can to support the Commission and take measures to prevent future brain and spinal injuries from occurring. I also appreciate Rep. Rusty Kidd for sponsoring House Resolution 1684 and presenting it to me before the House to acknowledge this important work.”

Rep. Pruett was selected for the Pathfinder Award because of his sponsorship of House Bill 284, otherwise known as the Return to Play Act of 2013. HB 284 implements several measures to increase awareness about sports related concussions and ensures that coaches are prepared to manage student athletes in Georgia who sustain such injuries.

“The Return to Play Act of 2013 will ensure that Georgia’s youth will be safer when competing in their chosen athletic endeavors,” said Craig Young, Executive Director of the Brain and Spinal Injury Trust Fund Commission. “This legislation well addresses the issues of concussion awareness, prevention and management for families, schools and coaches. We can think of no better gift to the state of Georgia than this law, which Rep. Pruett shepherded through the legislative process to its final adoption and Governor Deal’s signature.”

HB 284, which became effective on January 1, 2014, requires schools and public recreation leagues to provide parents with information about the nature and risk of concussions and head injuries. The bill also requires school administrators to develop a concussion management and return to play policy that ensures students are removed from the game if they exhibit signs of a concussion. Furthermore, HB 284 creates concussion recognition courses to inform Georgians about the risk of concussions in youth athletics.

On March 4, 2014, Rep. Pruett was recognized with House Resolution 1684, sponsored by Representative Rusty Kidd (I-Milledgeville), to commend him for receiving the Pathfinder Award.

For more information on HB 284, click here, and for more information on HR 1684, click here.

To view a video of Rep. Pruett receiving HR 1684, please click here.

Representative Jimmy Pruett represents the citizens of District 149, which includes all of Dodge, Telfair, and Wheeler counties, and portions of Laurens, and Jeff Davis counties. He was elected into the House of Representatives in 2006, and currently serves as the Chairman on the State Planning & Community Affairs Committee, and the Secretary on the Game, Fish, & Parks committees. He also serves on the Appropriations, Economic Development & Tourism, Health & Human Services, Industry and Labor, and MARTOC committees.