The Pittsburgh Steelers are more than just a six-time Super Bowl champion football team. They are – and always will be – at the heart of one of the most dynamic cities in America. The Steelers and their owners, the Rooney family, are pioneers who care more about their players and fans than they do about winning Super Bowls (though their record proves they care plenty about that too).
Most importantly, when it comes to confronting controversial issues and solving problems head-on, the Steelers organization has long led the NFL. It was the Rooneys that played an instrumental role in the creation of one NFL with two divisions. And it was the late Dan Rooney who insisted that every team must interview at least one person of color for head coaching jobs, a stipulation that became known as the “Rooney Rule.”
And it was the Pittsburgh Steelers, long before the rest of the league, who first confronted the issue of sports-related concussions in the early 1990s under Hall of Fame coach Chuck Noll, who insisted on a more accurate medical test for players suffering head injuries. That insistence led to the development of the now-standard ImPACT test.
Under the leadership of current Steeler President Arthur J. Rooney II, the organization continues to honor that legacy with the establishment of the Chuck Noll Foundation for Brain Injury Research. Launched in December of 2016 with an initial $1 million contribution from the Steelers, the Foundation is now well underway towards supporting research on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of brain injuries related to sports activities. It is only fitting that the foundation was named in honor of Chuck Noll, by a team known for its leadership, in a city ranked at the forefront of medical research (particularly in neuroscience).
Denny Civic Solutions is proud to be a part of the Chuck Noll Foundation for Brain Injury Research. Our own principle, John Denny, has been serving as the interim Executive Director for the foundation since April of 2017.
Just ask John: “I couldn’t be more excited or honored to serve in this role at this critical startup phase,” he said. “We have an incredible, nationally-recognized medical advisory board, and a visionary board leader in Art Rooney. With the work of the UPMC Sports Performance Complex, the University of Pittsburgh’s Neuroscience Department, the Brain Hub at CMU, and Highmark/Allegheny Health Network, Pittsburgh is truly a leader in brain injury research and treatment.”
The Foundation anticipates making its first round of grants in late 2017.