Guests will enjoy cocktails and passed hors d'oeuvres before viewing an intimate Q&A session with the first doctor to diagnose chronic brain damage in NFL athletes Dr. Bennet Omalu. The program will be moderated by Jason Turbow.
About Dr. Bennet Omalu
As chronicled in the film Concussion (starring Will Smith), Dr. Bennet Omalu’s story is one of great triumph in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. Born in 1968 in Eastern Nigeria during the civil war, his family lived as refugees, his town under constant fire by the Nigerian Air Force. Despite suffering war-related under-nutrition in the first two years of his life, Omalu would go on to attend medical school at age 15 and become a physician by age 21.
In 2002, Dr. Omalu made a career breakthrough when he became the first doctor to discover and identify chronic brain damage as a major factor in the deaths of some professional athletes. He called the disease Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), which he first discovered as the result of an autopsy he performed on Mike Webster—one of the best Centers in NFL history. “Iron Mike”, the legendary Pittsburgh Steeler and Hall of Famer, died at age 50, his brain revealing something doctors had never seen before. Within five years of reporting on Webster’s case, Dr. Omalu went on to identify CTE in eight more deceased NFL players. He was also the first to discover CTE in military veterans diagnosed with PTSD, as well as professional wrestlers. But his findings were summarily dismissed—and even ridiculed—by his professional peers, the NFL, and the sports industry. The NFL even made a concerted effort to retract Dr. Omalu’s published papers. But he stood his ground in search of the truth.
Today, CTE has become generally accepted and Dr. Omalu’s findings have revolutionized neuroscience, sports medicine and safety, the study of all types of brain trauma, and the entire sports industry. In 2015, Omalu’s life and work were chronicled in a book and film, both titled Concussion. The book was released in November 2015 and Will Smith portrayed Dr. Bennet Omalu in the film, which was released Christmas Day, 2015.
In August 2017, Dr. Omalu will release another book entitled “Truth Doesn’t Have a Side: My Alarming Discovery About the Danger of Contact Sports.” In addition to chronicling the events surrounding his discovery of CTE, the book also lays bare the truth about the disease—its causes and symptoms, how we might keep our children protected, and how to guide professional athletes when CTE sets in.
Dr. Omalu was awarded a WebMD Health Heroes 2015 award for his discovery of CTE and raising awareness to the disease. Health Heroes awards are given to those who do great things to help others live healthier, better lives. In 2016, Dr. Omalu was awarded the American Medical Association's Distinguished Service Award - the organization's highest honor.
Dr. Omalu’s memoir, Truth Doesn’t Have a Side, will be published in August 2017. In his memoir, Dr.
Omalu introduces the concept of “Conformational Intelligence” [CI], how it impeded his work and life, and how it continues to impede decision and policy making in corporate America, research institutions and universities, and American society at large.
Dr. Omalu came to the United States in 1994 with a World Health Organization [WHO] scholarship, obtaining all of his post-graduate and advanced medical education in the US. Today, he holds eight medical and non-medical degrees and certifications, including a Masters in Business Administration [MBA] from Carnegie Mellon University and a Masters in Public Heath [MPH] in Epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Dr. Omalu and his work have been featured numerous times in media platforms around the world, including best-selling books and award-winning documentaries. He has also published extensively in medical literature throughout his career.
Dr. Omalu was honored as a 2015 WebMD Health Hero in the science category for his history-making work on discovering, and raising awarness of, CTE. WebMD Health Heros celebrates those who have advanced health and wellness in America in five categories: Advocate, Scientist, Prodigy, People’s Choice, and Hall of Fame.
Dr. Omalu received the United States Sports Academy’s highest award in sports medicine, the Dr. Ernst Jokl Sports Medicine Award.
Dr. Omalu continues to work as a forensic pathologist, neuropathologist, and epidemiologist. He is the President of Bennet Omalu Pathology, Inc, a private medico-legal consulting corporation, which he founded, and he works part-time as a forensic pathologist and neuropathologist at San Joaquin County in California. He also continues to work as a medical and legal consultant, advising varieties of governmental and non-governmental agencies, hospitals, corporations, industries, families, and private attorneys in complex medical and legal cases.
Dr. Omalu lives in Sacramento, California with his wife, Prema, and their two children.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:
5:30PM: Cocktail Reception
6:15PM: Program Begins (Moderated Q&A followed by Guest Q&A)
7:00PM: Program Concludes, Cocktails and Mingling Continue