Giving - Office of Development and Alumni Relations

Concussion Center helps patient find relief — and give back

As a paramedic, Frank Koulianos had seen many highway collisions, but even so, he never imagined being the victim of one. Then in July 2020, he was driving on I-275 when he was struck by an 18-wheeler.

The accident injured Koulianos’s head, neck and back, which required multiple procedures to treat his spinal injuries.

“It made me think of all the times I was there to help people, and I had no idea what they were really going through,” said Koulianos. “Being on that side of it was incredibly surreal and really left me in a state of shock.”

Despite the pain in other areas of his body, Koulianos said the most debilitating symptoms were those resulting from his concussion. He experienced impairments in his speech, balance, memory recall and concentration, as well as effects to his mental health and sleep patterns.

“During the day, I was in a constant fog. I was always dizzy, had terrible headaches and found myself agitated for no reason,” said Koulianos. “I found myself in a perpetual state of confusion, depression and anxiety.”

The extent of his physical injuries ended his career as a paramedic. As a single father of three daughters, Koulianos worried the effects of his concussion would prevent him from reorienting his career path and supporting his family.

“The thought of not being able to provide for my children was the scariest thing I have ever felt,” he said.

Koulianos was referred to the USF Health Concussion Center, where he met the director, Byron Moran, MD.

Dr. Byron Moran, director of the USF Health Concussion Center, accepts gift from grateful patient Frank Koulianos

Dr. Moran, who is also an assistant professor in the Morsani College of Medicine, performed a thorough assessment of Koulianos’ condition and established a comprehensive care plan to treat the concussion symptoms. This included a combination of computer-based testing, physical therapy and medications.

“The USF Health Concussion Center changed the entire course of my recovery,” said Koulianos. “I hadn’t received any other help for my concussion before that.”

The combination of treatments and therapies quickly began alleviating the variety of symptoms Koulianos experienced. Although he continued to experience mild lingering effects, his condition drastically improved under Dr. Moran’s care.

“The care plan that Dr. Moran established dramatically reduced my symptoms and allowed me to pivot my career while continuing to heal,” said Koulianos. “I am so grateful that he took everything I was going through into account and properly assessed me.”

In February 2022, Koulianos began working for USF Health Development and Alumni Relations, combining his passion for healthcare and philanthropy.

Inspired by stories of other grateful patients who expressed their gratitude through making gifts to USF Health, Koulianos decided to make his own gift to the Concussion Center.

“I was truly moved by the stories of how other grateful patients expressed their gratitude by giving back,” he said. “I was in awe of the impact their generosity had on USF Health’s ability to further their mission of making life better.”

USF Tampa General Physicians President Dr. Mark Moseley presents Koulianos with a Culture Coin

USF Health presented Koulianos with a Culture Coin earlier this month for his drive to help build a stronger reputation for the Concussion Center and USF Health Neurosciences as part of his new role, and for sharing his own story as a grateful patient.

He hopes that his gift will inspire other patients to give back and take part in advancing the research and care provided by physicians and care staff.

“I wanted to do whatever I could so USF Health can continue to help people like me,” he said. “Thank you to Dr. Moran and everybody at the Concussion Center for making life better for my children and I with the care you provided.”

To support the USF Health Concussion Center, please make a gift online or contact

Story by Siham Kharfan. Photos by John Tipton/USF Advancement Communications and Marketing, and Ryan Rossy/USF Health Communications and Marketing.