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Friends of Pelham Sports Health & Safety Advisors To Study Turf Field Issues
March 19, 2010 by the Pelham Weekly visit website
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Friends of Pelham Sports this week announced the formation of a Health & Safety Advisory Committee to examine issues around the safety and efficacy of turf fields.

Friends of Pelham Sports was created by a group of Pelham residents representing a wide cross section of the community for the purpose of raising money to improve sports and recreational facilities throughout the Town. The group is modeled on highly successful organizations in neighboring communities in Westchester County who have funded capital projects for sports and recreation facilities. One of the group’s first goals is to fund the construction of the first turf field in the community, ideally at the Glover Field complex.

The creation of the advisory committee is an important step in achieving the group’s goals. “We all have children who will be using any field or facility that we want to help build, and it is important that we have the expertise of the medical community to lead the evaluation of these projects,” said Kristin Barsanti, a board member and the group’s Community Relations Director.

The committee will be led by Michael Lahn, a Pelham resident and an Emergency Medical Physician who practices at Lawrence Hospital in Bronxville. “The number one concern of all parents for their children is their health and safety,” said Dr. Lahn. “This committee is designed to help us make sure that what we are doing is good for the entire community.”

The committee currently consists of six medical professionals, all Pelham residents with children who play sports on Pelham’s fields. Their specialties include Infectious Diseases, Orthopedic Surgery, Oncology, Emergency Medicine, Pediatric Emergency Medicine and Internal Medicine. The committee will be adding additional members over the next month.

The advisory group is already reviewing relevant studies regarding turf fields. Dozens of turf fields exist in neighboring communities near Pelham, and New York City has been installing them at a rapid clip over the last few years.

“We hope to have an intelligent, thoughtful and fact-based dialogue on all the issues around these fields,” said Dr. Lahn. “There is a large body of evidence on the subject, especially from federal, state and local agencies, that has been recently published about turf fields. Gathering expert medical professionals to evaluate what is known on the subject is the first step in this process.”

Friends of Pelham Sports will be launching a web site in the coming months where there will be relevant information generated by the Health & Safety Committee. “Many of our children already use these fields when they visit other communities,” said Dr. Lahn. “It is important that we understand the issues and go from there.”

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