Thomas E. Smith, President & Founder
Thomas E Smith’s agenda during his childhood had two focuses. His first was his passion for playing ice hockey. He took to the ice at a very young age and immediately believed this was his calling. Tom’s physical gifts confirmed that he was born to play this game. His muscular frame enjoyed explosive speed, quick reflexes, and dominating upper and lower body strength. Tom’s commitment to success drove him to exercise his body tirelessly and to utilize fully his athletic attributes. Tom skated his way to success from youth hockey to the Junior A level after a successful senior season. Tom’s second goal was to be a positive force amongst his peers in all the different responsibilities of his life. He is deservingly recognized as “a contributor” in his family, his school, and his community. Tom is one of those unique individuals who recognizes and believes that “doing the right thing” is a personal responsibility.
On August 2, 2008, Tom suffered an injury that changed the course of his life forever. Because of a collision with an opposing player and his own goalie, he crashed into the boards. The impact paralyzed him. He traveled to the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis Center in Miami Florida. In Miami, extensive treatment programs completely enabled him to return to the ice and also opened his eyes to the pain and suffering other patients endured who were not making his progress.
Tom returned to the ice fully recovered. Then, on October 1, 2009, Tom suffered another paralyzing spinal injury during a practice. Although he is currently challenging his body to recover from this injury, he is embracing a much greater goal, not for himself, but for others that currently play hockey. As Founder & President of The Look-Up Line Safety Program, Thomas is committed to getting the Look-Up Line installed in every rink in the world to decrease the risk of injuries in ice hockey.
Dr. Alan B. Ashare, Chief Medical Officer: North East Region
Alan B. Ashare, M.D, a former football player and fencer from Columbia University, has served as a member of the Board of Directors of USA Hockey and as Chair of their Safety and Protective Equipment Committee since 1988. In 1995, Dr. Alan Ashare started the Heads Up, Don’t Duck Program, a program to decrease the risk for paralyzing neck injuries in ice hockey.
Since 1997, he served as Team Physician for several USA Hockey National Teams. Dr. Ashare did an internship at the USOC Training Facility in Colorado Springs in 1992. He serves as the Chair of the ASTM Subcommittee on Medical Aspects and Biomechanics (F8.51) and as Vice-Chair of the ASTM Ice Hockey Subcommittee (F8.15). He was recently elected to serve as Second Vice Chair of ASTM F8. Dr. Ashare chairs the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association Sports Medicine Committee and the Massachusetts Medical Society Committee on Student Health and Sports Medicine. In 2010, he served as co-chair of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Public Health Advisory Committee on Sports Head Injuries. Dr. Ashare organized two international symposia for ASTM on the mechanism of concussion in sports in 2000 and 2012 with Mariusz Ziejewski. He organized and co-edited the Third, Fourth, and Fifth ASTM Symposia on Safety in Ice Hockey in 1997, 2002 with David Pearsall, and 2008 with Richard Greenwald.
For his work in safety and injury prevention, Dr. Ashare received from USA Hockey the Excellence in Safety Award, the Walter Yaciuk Coaches Award, and the President’s Award, from the USOC the “Doc” Counsilman Science Award in Ice Hockey, and from ASTM the William F. Hulse Award.Currently, Dr. Ashare is an Associate Professor of Radiology at the Tufts University School of Medicine and a staff physician at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Boston specializing in Nuclear Medicine. Dr. Ashare serves as President of HECC, an independent volunteer organization for the purpose of selecting standards including test methods and other requirements for certifying protective playing equipment used in the sport of ice hockey. He has served HECC since 1988.
, USA Hockey
, USA Hockey Safety and Protective Equipment
, Mass Medical Society Committee on Student Health and Sports Medicine
, Mass Interscholastic Athletic Assn Committee on Sports Medicine
, Hockey Equipment Certification Council (HECC)
Dr. Jeff Pierce, Chief Medical Officer: Mid-West Region
Dr. Jeff Pierce, Medical Director of Michigan Sports & Spine Center and founder of Athletes Unlimited and CORE Sports Fitness, is dedicated to keeping people active, healthy and injury free. As medical director for Michigan Sport & Spine Center, Dr. Pierce specializes in comprehensive treatment programs for spine, musculoskeletal, joint injuries and sports medicine. He provides a complete spectrum of services to help every person stay active, healthy and free of pain. Dr. Pierce also teaches prevention techniques to prohibit further injury, empowering patients to control their recovery. He has worked with athletes ranging from professionals to weekend warriors, including the Detroit Red Wings and collegiate players to create safer training programs while enhancing performance.
It is Dr. Pierce’s goal to have the Look-Up Line installed in every rink throughout the Mid-West in an effort to make ice hockey safer for all participants. It is his belief that sports are a big part of life, and his goal is to educate parents and athletes to ensure that all is done to keep players safe. It’s also the reason why he founded Athletes Unlimited, a non-profit for athletes with physical disabilities. This program provides much needed resources such as wheelchairs, prosthetics, and support to keep all athletes regardless of their physical disabilities active in the sports they love.
Founder & Medical Director,
Michigan Sports & Spine Center (Troy, MI)
, Athletes Unlimited
, CORE Sports Fitness
Michigan State University
College of Osteopathic Medicine
Department of Physical and Rehabilitation
(East Lansing, MI)
Kandie Hale, President- Hockey Moms Against Injury
A lifelong hockey fan and passionate hockey mom, Kandie is dedicated to bringing safety awareness to the game she loves. As Director of Hockey Moms Against Injury, she is committed to ensuring that players and their families are educated on the importance of the Look-Up Line Safety Program. Kandie says, “As a mother, we can prevent many things from happening by sharing knowledge and empowering our children to make smarter choices. The continuous visual cueing of the Look-Up Line allows players to be reminded about safety when approaching the boards. The life saving programs like Head’s Up Don’t Duck do not have a guaranteed presence on the ice if the Look-Up Line is not installed. The ultimate goal is to eliminate injuries in hockey and my job as a mother is to help with this goal for the safety of our children."
Diane Smith, Vice President- Hockey Moms Against Injury
As Thomas' mother, Diane does not want another family to go through the pain and suffering her family has endured. Watching Thomas fight to recover from two catastrophic injuries has been heartbreaking for her. Helping to make the game her son still loves safer has become an important mission in Diane’s life and she encourages all mothers to contact us to join our cause. Diane says, "As a mother you want to help your child and take away their pain and suffering. When you can’t no matter what you say or do, there is nothing worse; it's something no parent should have to go through. That's why there is no reason why the Look-Up Line is not mandated and installed in every rink in the world."