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09/24/2019, 12:15pm CDT

Dr. Michael Czarnota Hired, Player Initiatives Help Mental Health and School Tutoring

The USHL announced Tuesday the hiring of Dr. Michael Czarnota as the USHL’s Consulting Neuropsychologist while headversity and GradeSlam initiatives aim to assist with USHL student-athlete mental health and tutoring.

“We believe Dr. Michael Czarnota’s extensive hockey background will provide a great service to our athletes and help with educating them about concussions,” said USHL President and Commissioner Tom Garrity. “A program like headversity will also help our players improve their mental health and GradeSlam will help keep our players in good academic standing as we place importance in our player’s lives off the ice as well as on it.”

With the USHL, Dr. Czarnota will be part of building, managing, and overseeing the USHL Concussion Management Program, including a program that oversees the USHL’s referees and linesmen. Dr. Czarnota will also serve as the primary consultant for the USHL and work with each Member Club’s athletic trainer and medical staff to disseminate relevant information and manage concussion protocol, which Dr. Czarnota has helped to update.

“I’m excited to be a part of the USHL and its efforts to bring more consistent concussion care to its players and officials,” said Dr. Czarnota.

Dr. Czarnota has an extensive background when it comes to hockey, and is currently working with the Canadian Hockey League (Official Neuropsychology Consultant), Hockey Canada, ECHL, Professional Hockey Players Association, as well as providing consultation to many high schools.

Dr. Czarnota is a founding member, and currently the Chair of the Education Committee, of the Sports Neuropsychology Society and is involved with projects and grants that aim to improve all aspects of concussion safety, including education, awareness and services. Dr. Czarnota received his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Wayne State University in 1993 and is now also part of an independent private practice in Detroit that centers on the diagnosis and evaluation on traumatic brain injury.

“Developing hockey players isn’t just about what happens on the ice, as we aim to help players away from the rink, as well,” said NHL Vice President of Business Development and International Affairs Kevin Westgarth. “The NHL is proud to support the USHL’s efforts to provide the best medical care, mental health training, and educational assistance for their players through these initiatives. Headversity’s resilience training will deliver education and resources to help players deal with everyday stresses, while encouraging help-seeking behavior for those who need it. Dr. Czarnota’s experience with this population will be invaluable for consistent and through care. And, given the USHL’s place on the pathway to college hockey, we expect Gradeslam to provide support to ensure their success in the classroom as they pursue their dreams on the ice.”

The USHL also entered a new partnership with headversity, an industry-leading application and training program that measures, tracks and trains mental resilience as well as assisting with mental performance and mental health solutions.

USHL players will be able to measure, track and train their resilience so they can overcome obstacles throughout the season and improve their mental game on the ice. Dr. Ryan Todd, headversity CEO and Psychiatrist, will present headversity to players ahead of the start of the USHL regular season at the 2019 DICK’S Sporting Goods USHL Fall Classic later this month.

GradeSlam will help USHL student-athletes off the ice by providing tutoring for all players. This service provides USHL athletes with 24/7 tutoring as well as essay review in less than 24 hours in all core subjects.  GradeSlam also provides advisors with access to all player activity, and is accessible anywhere and anytime on any device.


Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 18th season as the nation’s only Tier I junior hockey league in 2018-19. The USHL had 55 players selected at the 2019 NHL Draft, and more than 400 players on team rosters in 2018-19 committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.


headversity is a leading mental wellness app for organizations, with 22 micro-lessons on the six points of resilience. The program offers users media enriched & personalized resilience training in their pockets, offering tools and exercises to help them think, feel, and be better, rain or shine.


GradeSlam’s online tutoring service helps students succeed by delivering interactive academic support the moment they realize they need it. The service is on-demand, unlimited, and available 24/7 on any device. GradeSlam’s certified educators make students better learners by providing contextualized feedback on precisely where the student went wrong in the learning process and guiding them to avoid the mistake next time. With instant messaging, file sharing and whiteboard drawing all built into the platform, students know that the help they need is always available.

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