OHSU Receives $1.2 Million From National Football League, NFL Players Association

01/14/08  Portland, Ore

Through this grant, OHSU's nationally recognized teen health promotion and drug prevention programs, ATLAS and ATHENA, will be distributed to 20,000 high school athletes, 800 coaches

Oregon Health & Science University's nationally recognized steroid and substance abuse prevention programs for teen athletes, ATLAS and ATHENA, have been selected to receive a $1.2 million education grant from the National Football League and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) through the NFL Youth Football Fund.

“We are thrilled to join with the National Football League's Youth Football Fund and NFL Players Association. Because of this partnership, thousands of young male and female athletes across the United States will be able to achieve their athletic potential without the use of harmful drugs and supplements,” said Linn Goldberg, M.D., principal investigator of ATLAS, director of the OHSU Center for Health Promotion Research, and professor and head of the Division of Health Promotion and Sports Medicine, OHSU School of Medicine;

The NFL grant is one of a series of improvements to the NFL and NFL Players Association's policy and program on anabolic steroids and related substances. It will be used to disseminate ATLAS and ATHENA to 20,000 high school athletes and 800 coaches in 40 high schools during the 2007-2008 school year.

A total of eight NFL teams - four from the American Football Conference (AFC) and four from the National Football Conference (NFC) - will sponsor five local high schools in their respective markets to create the 40 “NFL Schools” that will teach the ATLAS and ATHENA programs to athletes, coaches and administrators. All athletic teams in each school will participate in the programs. Participating NFL teams and high schools will be announced at a later date.

The ATLAS (Adolescents Training and Learning to Avoid Steroids) and ATHENA (Athletes Targeting Healthy Exercise and Nutrition Alternatives) programs are directed by Goldberg and Diane Elliot, M.D., principal investigator of ATHENA, professor of medicine (health promotion and sports medicine), OHSU School of Medicine.

ABOUT ATLAS AND ATHENA
ATLAS, initiated in 1993 through a five-year National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) grant, is the nation's first and only program proved to reduce the desire and use of anabolic steroids, sports supplements, alcohol and other illicit drugs among male adolescent athletes. ATHENA, initiated in 1999 with another grant from NIDA, is the first and only program proved to reduce disordered eating, body-shaping drug use and other health-harming behaviors among female high school athletes.

ATLAS and ATHENA have been designated national models by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Schools in more than 30 states and Puerto Rico have implemented them. ATLAS also has been deemed a Model Program by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and is one of only nine “Exemplary Programs” of the U.S. Department of Education's Safe and Drug-Free Schools.

For more information about these programs, contact Melissa Durham, 503 494-4516 or durhamme@ohsu.edu.

ABOUT THE NFL YOUTH FOOTBALL FUND
Established in 1998 by the NFL and the NFLPA, the NFL Youth Football Fund seeks to use football as a catalyst to promote positive youth development, support youth and high school football needs nationwide and also ensure the health of grassroots football in future generations.  Through the YFF, many youth football initiatives and support programs have been developed, providing youngsters with opportunities to learn the game of football, get physically fit and stay involved in productive after-school activities with adult mentors.