#AT4ALLSecondary SchoolSudden Cardiac Death

Irvington athletic trainer Hana Gross is a true life saver


Article reposted from lohud

Hana Gross does not work at Pelham Memorial High School, but her shift on Dec. 27 ended up being one that would change her life – and that of a local basketball player – forever.

Gross was part of a team of individuals that resuscitated Blind Brook boys basketball player Jordan Schoen after he collapsed in the middle of a game at Pelham Memorial High School and went into sudden cardiac arrest.

Schoen flatlined for about a minute while Gross – along with Pelham detective John Hynes, Pelham police officer Michael Sheehy, and a Blind Brook parent who is a doctor but did not wish to be identified – worked on him.

“You almost turn into a machine and you just do it,” she said, referring to the treatment. “It was literally a perfect storm. Especially being my first time live, to have all that support, you couldn’t ask for a better situation.”

CARDIAC ARREST: Blind Brook basketball player revived during game

CARDIAC ARREST: Blind Brook basketball player recovers in hospital after collapse, revival

UNSUNG HEROES: Behind-the-scenes workers are critical for local athletic programs

Schoen was rushed to New Rochelle Hospital Emergency Department, where he was stabilized, and later transferred to the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore in the Bronx. The Pelham Police Department’s work in blocking traffic allowed Schoen to reach the hospital in just seven minutes.

“You’re never really expecting it,” Gross said of the life-or-death situation. “It’s so rare in the setting of athletic training because you’re with the active, healthy population, so for something like that to happen is really, I think, rare.”

Dr. Robert Pass, the Associate Chief of Pediatric Cardiology at Montefiore Medical Center, performed a two-and-a-half-hour procedure on Schoen that involved putting a defibrillator and pacemaker in his heart.

Pass said the result would have been catastrophic had Schoen not promptly received the proper medical treatment.

“It is the only reason that he is alive,” Pass said.

Gross works for Symmetry Physical Therapy in Pelham, but is contracted to Irvington High School, where she is the head athletic trainer. Ruth Gillespie, who also works for Symmetry and is the head athletic trainer at Pelham, asked Gross to cover for her while she was out of town.

With approximately one minute left in the first quarter, Schoen fell backwards onto the floor.

Gross initially suspected that Schoen fainted from not eating breakfast before the noon tipoff. Schoen quickly began seizing, and when his father Steve informed Gross that his son had no history of seizures, treatment for sudden cardiac arrest began immediately.

The doctor in attendance did chest compressions while the police officers hooked up the automated external defibrillator. Gross tended to Schoen’s airway, which proved to be a prominent factor in his survival.

“CPR being delivered is what prevented this athlete’s death,” said Yorktown athletic trainer Dave Byrnes, president of the Section 1 Athletic Trainers’ Society. “I would bet money that if there were not professional rescuers on scene, that he would not have lived.”

Alice and Jessica Schoen, Jordan’s mother and sister, have taken CPR classes since the incident. Steve and Alice Schoen are now on a mission to highlight the importance of knowing how to conduct CPR and of having defibrillators accessible to the public.

“My son is incredibly lucky,” Alice Schoen said. “I have since learned that there are many teen athletes that aren’t as lucky, and I’m really trying to move forward and educate and learn about the importance of AEDs – that they’re available to the public where needed – and bystander CPR.”

Gross said she did not do anything out of the ordinary.

“When it comes down to it, you’re just doing your job,” she said.

The reality of saving a life also hasn’t hit her, she said, even though a certificate acknowledging her heroic efforts hangs on the wall next to her desk at Irvington High School.

“No, I don’t think so,” she said. “I was almost in a trance for like a week.”

“I don’t even know if I could pick him out of a lineup,” she added.

Gross said the Dec. 27 incident, while horrifying, shows what athletic trainers may sometimes – but hopefully never – have to face on the job.

“I think it’s important for schools to know that we’re not just taping ankles, we’re not slapping ice on kids – it’s bigger than that,” she said. “To have the proper medical coverage is really important.”

Byrnes, the Yorktown athletic trainer, was a little more blunt with his feelings on the value of certified athletic trainers in schools.

“If a school can afford to have sports, they can afford to have an athletic trainer,” he said. “I don’t think you can have one without the other. You wouldn’t drop your kids off at a pool without a lifeguard, but yet every day millions of parents drop their kids off at a practice or a game and there’s no athletic trainer there.”

Twitter: @Zacchio_LoHud
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#AT4ALLSecondary SchoolSudden Cardiac Death

AED saves another athlete in Texas thanks to quick thinking athletic trainer


Article reposted from USA Today High School Sports

When Jesuit soccer star Christian Lerma collapsed during a recent boys soccer match at Dallas-area rival Richardson Pearce, the homestanding Pearce athletic trainer had to think quickly.

Luckily, the school had an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) on site, and training to prepare for just such an evolving situation has become routine enough that Tara Grubbs knew precisely what to do.

“He was kind of gasping, but not breathing,” Grubbs told the Dallas Morning News about the frightening incident. “We learn in CPR, that’s a sign of possible cardiac arrest.

“His eyes were open, but it was like no one was there. He was unresponsive. … By the time the ambulance got there, thankfully he had started breathing and we were able to find a pulse.”

Of course by that point, Lerma’s life had effectively already been saved by Grubbs and others on the scene. The Pearce head athletic trainer had immediately signaled for others to summon emergency help after seeing Lerma on the field. She had a Jesuit player retrieve the AED she brought with her from the school gym to the field then shocked Lerma back into consciousness.

According to Grubbs, her intervention with Lerma marked the third time that a school in Richardson ISD has had to use an AED in the past two years. Perhaps foreseeing such a need, the Richardson ISD placed four AEDs in the halls and facilities at Pearce, access which Grubbs is convinced was nothing short of life-saving.

I would like to thank those who have kept me and my family in their prayers through this difficult time. I would also like to thank Mr. Davis, Mr. Miniguitti, and @MustangsATC for saving my life. I would also like to thank all those teammates who came to visit me in a busy day!

That, combined with ever-expanding awareness of the need for vigilant readiness in the case of a cardiac episode — and the necessary training that goes with it — has helped save numerous lives, both in the Dallas area and beyond.

“I’m very thankful that our school district has provided those for us and sees that they are so important. I don’t think other school districts are as well-equipped as we are.”

#AT4ALLSecondary SchoolSudden Cardiac Death

White Plains Athletic Trainer Hailed As Hero For Saving Boy’s Life


Article reposted from CBS New York
Author: CBS New York

 A White Plains high school athletic trainer spoke Tuesday of how he saved an athlete’s life after the freshmanslammed his head on the gym floor.

“You’ve got someone else’s life in your hands,” said Max Anderson, athletic trainer at Archbishop Stepinac High School, “and you just want to bring them back.”

As CBS2’s Marc Liverman reported Tuesday, that is exactly what Anderson did last Friday. There were less than two minutes to go in a freshman basketball game where the Bronx’s Mount St. Michael Academy was taking on Archbishop Stepinac.

Anderson looked up from the corner of the gym.

“I see the kid go up for a rebound, and when he comes down, he just lands right on his back and actually smacked his head right into the ground,” Anderson said.

The athlete was left holding his head in pain on the gym floor. Anderson ran over, and within less than a minute, he said the student stopped breathing.

Right away, Anderson started giving the student CPR.

“The only thing you’re thinking about is getting the guy breathing again,” he said.

It all happened right here on this side of the court in the paint. Anderson said he gave the student five compressions and then he started breathing again, and he said what happened next is something he’ll never forget.

“He let out this huge gasp, and it was the best sound I ever heard,” Anderson said. “Some of my athletes even mentioned the whole gym could hear that gasp. You could hear a pin drop in here, and it was the loudest, best sound ever.”

Within minutes, EMS was on the scene and the freshman was taken to the hospital. The student as of Tuesday was recovering at home, but was cleared to come back to school.

His mother put out a message on Facebook: “Words cannot express how grateful I am to this man for his quick response and amazing heart. He saved my baby boy – he will forever be our hero.”

“It’s why you do athletic training,” Anderson said. “You’re out here six to seven days a week just to help these kids.”

Anderson has been working as an athletic trainer just for the past two years.



Roughly Half of California Schools are Without Athletic Trainers


Article reposted from Fox 40

According to the California Interscholastic Federation, there are more than 800,000 high school athletes in the state but California does not require schools to have certified athletic trainers at practices and games.

“Absolutely, we have to fix it. It is alarming because health and safety questions on the sidelines of a football game, or about concussions, or in a gym at a volleyball match are being made by coaches and not a medical professional,” CIF Director Roger Blake said.

The CIF has made it one of its top priorities recently to educate principals, superintendents and athletic directors on the importance of having athletic trainers because the decision to hire or not hire athletic trainers at the high school level is a district decision, just like hiring a teacher. It can cost between $50,000 to $100,000. Many schools, especially in the Sacramento region, have been told no by their districts when it comes to funding an athletic trainer.

“I don’t know how you dictate to a business that you must have this, and you must have them pay for it. So, if you look at it from a business standpoint I think it’s hard. From a ‘want’ standpoint, absolutely,” Oak Ridge High School Athletic Director Stephen White said.

The solution Oak Ridge found was to pay for an athletic trainer through its sports booster club.

“He comes here three days a week for about an hour and sees any of the kids who have injuries or nicks or bumps and bruises and evaluate if they need to get looked at further, or they’re just hurt,” White said.

Still, that means parents, volunteers and often coaches must take it upon themselves in assessing injuries, concussions, heat stroke, cardiac arrest and more. Some of those require an immediate response.

“Coaches are required to be CPR and ADA First Aid certified, but in my opinion, it’s not enough,” Turlock High School athletic trainer Mike Collins said.

Collins has been with Turlock High School as its athletic trainer since 198. He’s aware that what he’s able to provide to student-athletes is a luxury to most other California schools.

Darci Calista is one of three athletic trainers at Christian Brothers High School in Sacramento, one of the best programs in the state. The private school even educates students who want to possibly work in the medical field someday. The decision to fund the program is entirely up to the school and is a primary example of the benefits of having a trained medical professional work with student-athletes.

“I would hope people could make it more of a priority, especially with the concussion protocols,” Calista said. “I know how long it takes us, and how valuable it is to have a liaison between the doctor and the parents and the coaches and the athlete.”

One big wrinkle in the problem is that California is the only state that does not regulate the profession of athletic training, meaning anyone can call themselves an athletic trainer — whether they are certified or not.

Legislation on the matter is making its way through the State Capitol.

#AT4ALLSecondary SchoolSudden Cardiac Death

Athletic trainer hailed as hero for saving North Las Vegas student’s life


Article reposted from Las Vegas Review-Journal
Author: Art Marroquin

Chely Arias is already considered a hero just two months into her first job as a high school athletic trainer.

The North Las Vegas Fire Department credited Arias with saving a 17-year-old high school senior who collapsed Oct. 24 while warming up for a flag-football practice at Cheyenne High School.

“Her life was literally in my hands, and that’s a unique feeling to have,” Arias said shortly after a brief recognition ceremony held Wednesday in the school library. “Once you experience something like that, it changes your life.”

Arias couldn’t find a pulse when she aided Kennedi Jones just after 1:30 p.m. that day. The teen had stopped breathing and was unresponsive, prompting Arias to start CPR.

A flag football coach called 911 while a student retrieved one of the school’s three portable defibrillators from the gym.

Arias placed the automated external defibrillator pads on Jones’ chest, hoping an electrical shock would revive her. After three attempts, Jones finally had a pulse.

“It was devastating to walk up and see what was taking place at the time,” said Kimberly Jones, who arrived to watch Arias work on her daughter before paramedics arrived.

“As a mom, you never want to come to a scene and see things happen at that magnitude,” Kimberly Jones said. “She didn’t stop, she stayed focused and she was well-trained for this occasion.”

Jones was taken to University Medical Center, where she spent nearly two weeks in recovery. Like most teens, she just wanted to eat, walk around and go home. The teen said she didn’t have any previous medical problems and was enjoying her second year as a middle linebacker for the school’s intramural flag football team.

“I’m thankful because I could’ve died,” Jones quietly said. “She knew what she was doing. She saved my life.”

While presenting Arias with an accommodation plaque, North Las Vegas Fire Chief Joseph Calhoun said the athletic trainer’s effort demonstrated the need for more people to learn CPR and how to operate AED devices.

“Your actions and your quick thinking did an incredible thing,” Calhoun said. “It saved a young woman’s life for her to be able to grow up and become an adult and live a normal and happy life.”

Contact Art Marroquin at or 702-383-0336. Follow @AMarroquin_LV on Twitter.


#AT4ALLCollege and University

Huskies to wear sport safety helmet stickers during Apple Cup


Article reposted from The Seattle Times

Nationwide, 37 percent of high schools in the United States have at least one full-time athletic trainer to monitor sports programs, according to a 2015 study by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association.

“If you think about that, that’s really low,” said Rob Scheidegger, the University of Washington head football trainer.

During Saturday’s Apple Cup, the Huskies will wear stickers on the back of their gold helmets to raise awareness for safety in youth and high-school football — and athletic trainers’ roles in promoting and maintaining safe standards. It’s part of the Washington State Athletic Trainers’ Association’s safety in football campaign.

“We’re hoping parents of kids who are participating in those programs see those stickers and ask what it’s all about,” Scheidegger said. “We talk so much about how dangerous football is, but there so much good from football too. The safety (questions have) sort of put our sport at risk a little bit. There’s a lot of people who look at football and aren’t going to let their kid play. But, really, football is as safe as it’s ever been … and athletic trainers are a key part of that.

“So we want people asking questions about the sports programs they’re letting their kids participate in: Do we have an athletic trainer? And if we don’t, why not? Do we have an emergency-action plan? And if we don’t, why not? That’s what we’re hoping for, to raise awareness about those things.”

The UW employs four certified athletic trainers just for the football team. There are 11 other trainers for the Huskies’ other sports teams, a fairly standard number for major-college athletic departments.

“Our student-athletes here are super lucky,” Scheidegger said. “We have such a great administration. Jen Cohen and her staff put such an emphasis on student-athlete health and safety and put a big invested heavily as far as equipment.”

It’s a different story at youth levels.

Washington state, Scheidegger said, is “pretty progress” when it comes to having athletic trainers in high schools, but many of those trainers are employed part-time — meaning some are only in attendance at football or basketball games. In reality, he said, 60 to 70 percent of injuries occur during practices, and there aren’t always trainers there to assist.

“Yeah, it’s great to have someone there in your program who can create an emergency-action plan, who can educate student-athletes and talk to coaches,” he said. “But, really, the gold standard should be having full-time athletic trainers.”

#AT4ALLSecondary School

California’s crisis with athletic trainers: High school athletes are at risk


Article reposted from The Orange County Register

Javier Venegas, a 21-year-old distance runner for Golden West College, suddenly collapsed on the track one afternoon in late January.

He wasn’t breathing. He didn’t have a pulse.

Fortunately, Pat Frohn, a certified athletic trainer for Golden West, plus a Long Beach State athletic-training student, Tori Mulitauaopele, were in the Athletic Training Room and were called out to the track. They began CPR. It took two shocks from the automated external defibrillator (AED) to return Javier’s heartbeat.

From left, Pat Frohnn and Tori Mulitauaopele recount how they used CPR to save a life on the track at Golden West College in Huntington Beach. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)
From left, Pat Frohnn and Tori Mulitauaopele recount how they used CPR to save a life on the track at Golden West College in Huntington Beach. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

The EMTs arrived and Venegas was rushed to the emergency room, where he was put into a medically induced coma. He is now recovered from what was determined to be a heart arrhythmia.

“If I wasn’t here, if there was no athletic trainer on staff, if this was any high school in the area?” Frohn said, “Javier would be dead.”

California has more than 800,000 high-schoolers playing sports, yet the state does not require schools to have athletic trainers at practices or games—and very few do. Just 25 percent of public high schools employ a full-time athletic trainer, according to CIF data from 2016-17 (athletic directors from 1,406 schools self-reported—an 88.6 percent rate).

Even more troubling? California is the only state that does not regulate the profession of athletic training. That means that anyone can call themselves an athletic trainer, regardless of whether they are certified; regardless of whether they possess the educational qualifications, clinical experience or medical knowledge to practice.

This puts student-athletes at enormous risk. Among those working as athletic trainers in California high schools, 16.2 percent are not certified, according to CIF data.

“It’s a level of fraud,” said Brian Gallagher, director of sports medicine/certified athletic trainer at Harvard Westlake.

The CATA has been working on this issue for more than three decades. California Assemblymember Matt Dababneh (D-Woodland Hills) has introduced Assembly Bill 1510, which would provide for the licensure and regulation of athletic trainers and establish the Athletic Trainer Licensing Committee within the California Board of Occupational Therapy. It would bar a person from practicing as an athletic trainer or using the title unless the person is licensed by the committee.

The bill is scheduled to be heard next at the California State Assembly and Senate at the beginning of 2018.

We’ve reached a tipping point. Or something worse: “It’s a crisis,” said Trenton Cornelius, coordinator for L.A. Unified School District’s Interscholastic Athletics Department.


Michael Boafo, a Redlands High football player, suffered a hit in a 2015 game against A.B. Miller High in Fontana.

Heather Harvey, a certified athletic trainer for Miller at the game, said Redlands’ athletic trainer called her over to help him with calling EMS for Boafo. She sprinted over and felt stunned, alleging that neither the athletic trainer nor other staff were monitoring Boafo’s vitals or checking his pulse as he laid face up on the sideline, unconscious.

“Is he breathing?” Harvey asked. She said she was assured that Boafo was “fine” and was simply experiencing “flu-like symptoms.”

Harvey took over care by assessing his vitals and level of consciousness while activating EMS. It seemed apparent to her and her team physician that this was more than Boafo simply being sick. While on the sidelines, Harvey said it was mentioned that Boafo had suffered a concussion earlier that season. Harvey was able to effectively monitor Boafo until paramedics arrived.

Later that night, Boafo ultimately underwent a five-hour brain surgery to address a bleed in his brain (the surgery was successful and he was able to make a full recovery). Harvey said Redlands’ athletic trainer did not know proper protocol.

The athletic trainer, still at Redlands, is not certified, according to the online registry of Board of Certification Certified Athletic Trainers.

“That was mismanaged,” Harvey said. “I hate seeing it and unfortunately, I see things like that on a regular basis at this point. Not necessarily the catastrophic injuries, but just knowing the people on the sideline might not be appropriate medical personnel.”

How many parents assume the athletic trainers in charge of their child’s safety are qualified to oversee his or her care?

Some athletic directors might not even be aware if their athletic trainer is certified or not, according to Mike Chisar, chair of the CATA Governmental Affairs Committee. “There’s nothing that mandates (certification) as part of the hiring criteria, the minimum qualifications, then (athletic directors) wouldn’t necessarily be looking for that,” Chisar said.

Sometimes well-meaning parents and volunteers assume the role, as do coaches, who are CPR and First Aid certified and must take a sport-specific concussion course and sudden cardiac arrest training. But these are not healthcare providers.

Imagine if Celtics coach Brad Stevens was tasked with tending to Gordon Hayward’s gruesome ankle injury on NBA opening day.

“You can’t cut someone’s hair in our state if you don’t have a professional license and qualifications,” Dababneh said. “We are much more stringent on someone that cuts your hair then someone that can make a decision about your kid’s health in an athletic competition, whether or not he can go back in the game, whether he needs medical treatment.”

Opposition for the bill mainly comes from the California Physical Therapy Association.

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed bills in 2014 and 2015 that would have required athletic trainers to be certified, reasoning the bills would require athletic trainers to attend college, which would “impose unnecessary burdens on athletic trainers without sufficient evidence that they are really needed.”


To understand why athletic trainers are needed, you have to understand who they are and what they do.

Athletic trainers are healthcare providers who focus on the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries and illnesses. They are not gym trainers or physical therapists or chiropractors.

“Most of us hold Masters degrees and have spent countless hours in clinical settings honing our craft,” said Kirsten Farrell, certified athletic trainer at Venice High School and 2018 California Teacher of the Year.

The CIF, which supports AB1510, is working to educate principals, superintendents and athletic directors on the importance of having athletic trainers. “We’ve got to make it a priority for our schools,” said Roger Blake, CIF’s Executive Director. “They need to see the human value in this.”

Injuries, concussions, heat stroke, cardiac arrest, can happen at any second and immediate response is critical.

Sierra Canyon faced Buena High in a junior-varsity football game on Aug. 31. Buena did not have an athletic trainer when one of its players went down with a hit. Fortunately Eric Dick, Sierra Canyon’s certified athletic trainer, was on site.

Dick asked the player if he had a headache or felt dizzy or nauseous. The player smiled but wasn’t responding. Dick told the player and his father to not wait, and walked them to their car. Dick asked the player to read the word “SCAN” on the stereo. He couldn’t formulate the words, mumbling and struggling. Eventually he got the words out, but it took far too long. Dick said they should go to the hospital immediately.

“The continual follow up over that time period, was only about five minutes. In those five minutes, he took such a big change in his behavior,” said Dick, who mentioned the importance of having an athletic trainer to make decisions about when it is safe for an athlete to return to play, as those decisions have long-lasting health consequences.

Dick works at a private school — but what about public schools?

LAUSD is a large district of 150 schools and more than 52,000 athletes and comprises the L.A. City Section. Yet only 13 percent of schools of schools that reported in this Section have athletic trainers.

Some are funded by non-profits, such as the West Coast Sports Medicine Foundation or Team Heal Foundation. Alex Merriman, Dorsey High’s certified athletic trainer, is one of them.

She oversees the Dons’ 23 teams on her own, though she has student athletic-training aides to help out. She works 60 hours on what she calls a “good” week and 70-75 hours on a “bad” week (one that involves more injuries and treatment). As devoted as she is, she cannot make every single game, especially with two to three sports going on during one season.

“You have to be really passionate about what you do in this field,” Merriman said. “There are plenty of days where I want to quit and give up and find another job somewhere else, but I remember all the kids that we care for here. What would they be doing if I wasn’t here?”

CIF data indicates that both public and private suffer from a shortage of athletic trainers. However, some of the lower socioeconomic sections (Oakland, L.A. City, Northern) report only 9 to 13 percent of schools having a certified athletic trainer. More affluent sections (San Diego, Southern, San Francisco) report having the largest percentage of schools having an athletic trainer at 60 to 77 percent.

What will it take for students to be protected?

“I don’t want this to become a reactionary story where, God forbid, another student is injured or hurt badly or their health is compromised,” Dababneh said. “Then everybody says: ‘Well why didn’t we do this already?’”

CIF data from 2016-17 (athletic directors from 1,406 schools self-reported — an 88.6 percent rate)

#AT4ALLEmerging Settings

Terre Haute City firefighters get athletic trainer services


Article reposted from Tribune Star
Author: Lisa Trigg

Pushing, pulling, dragging and carrying equipment are part of the regular physical stress firefighters place on their bodies as they do their job to keep their communities safe.

But seldom do firefighters have evidence-based plans to take care of their own bodies, other than wearing heavy protective equipment on the job.

That situation has changed for firefighters with the Terre Haute Fire Department due to a partnership with Indiana State University’s College of Health and Human Services and its Department of Applied Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Associate professor Kenneth Games is researching the area of tactical athlete health and safety to help firefighters and others in public safety and military service reduce and prevent injuries.

“It’s about the overall health and well-being of the person, not just the job they do,” Games said this week while talking about the Neuromechanics, Interventions, and Continuing Education Research Laboratory, which opened Sept. 11 at ISU.

The NICER lab is where THFD firefighters are already going, voluntarily, to work on physical issues they have, or to avoid future issues.

The lab operates as a clinic four hours each day. It also serves as a classroom for the athletic training program at ISU.

The program is offered free to city firefighters. It has received a grant from the Center for Community Engagement at ISU, and Games said he plans to apply for other federal funds to expand the program to other public servant groups.

“There is tremendous physical and mental toll taken on public servants, but they often don’t take the time to stay fit,” Games said.

Many firefighters start their careers in good physical condition and have been high school or college athletes, he said, so they might be used to running or lifting weights. The tactical athlete approach is different and includes flexibility and other functional movements that firefighters do on the job.

Games said much of the research done by the program has examined the relationship between firefighter personal protective equipment and musculoskeletal injury.

While personal protective equipment has greatly reduced exposure to occupational hazards in firefighting such as smoke and flames, it has had the unintended consequence of increasing musculoskeletal injuries due to the increased weight loads now placed on firefighters.

Games directs the Tactical Athlete Research and Education Center at ISU, which is a collaboration between researchers and public or private agencies such as the Rural Health Innovation Collaborative.

While some fire departments in larger metropolitan areas may hire athletic trainers to work with firefighters and police on physical fitness, Games said, smaller departments such as Terre Haute’s usually do not have the funding to invest in such programs.

“Our long-term vision is to make ISU and the city a national model for this type of program,” Games said.

For more information on TAREC, go online to and search for Tactical Athlete.

Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or at Follow her on Twitter at TribStarLisa.

#AT4ALLSecondary School

20 years on, full-time athletic trainers help make Northwest Florida ‘envy of the state’


Article reposted from Pensacola News Journal
Author: Eric J. Wallace

You’ve seen them on your high school sports sidelines, and they’ve probably had a helping hand in taking care of your favorite young athletes.

For 20 years, certified athletic trainers from Baptist Health Care, and now the Andrews Institute, have provided on-the-spot medical care for high school athletes in Northwest Florida, be it managing hydration or emergency triage for on-field injuries.

The services have come at no cost to student-athletes and parents while the savings to institutions, which include 23 high schools and four small colleges across Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton Counties, often reach well beyond a school’s budget.

“It’s invaluable. We’re kind of the envy of the state because of the situation we’re in,” Escambia County athletic director Roger Mayo said. “That’s been a crucial situation.”

While it may be easy to take such services for granted — particularly when a generation of the area’s athletes have had the services since the program’s inception in 1997 — the situation in Northwest Florida is far from the norm.

According to a 2015 study published by the Korey Stringer Institute at the University of Connecticut — which studied 14,951 schools from all 50 states — 70 percent of public secondary schools in the United States had access to athletic-training services, with only 37 percent reporting full-time athletic training services.

That total is doubled from the 35 percent of schools that reported any access to athletic-training services in 1994.

But later studies from the Korey Stringer Institute indicated that budget concerns have limited the expansion of athletic-training services, despite a growing preference for them from school athletic directors.

It’s little surprise considering that the annual mean wage for athletic trainers in 2016 was $47,880, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those wages alone, when multiplied across 27 schools across Northwest Florida, would creep into the millions.

Former FHSAA Executive Director Roger Dearing estimated in 2013 that it would cost nearly $30 million to have athletic trainers at every high school in Florida.

“No school district could afford that,” Mayo said. “You would have to start eliminating coaching supplements to be able to do that, but then you’re talking about a trainer having to have a curriculum to teach. Most athletic trainers don’t have teaching certificates.”

The costs alone have inspired some schools districts to find shortcuts for their athletic programs.

Be it first-aid trained coaching staffs or community volunteers from local clinics and hospitals, athletic directors have often chosen athletic trainers as a corner to cut when feeling bound by the budgeting decisions of superintendents and school boards.

Those corners may be cut in the name of financial necessity, but the cost can ultimately come on the shoulders of the student-athlete.

“I always like to point out that we’re a nationally certified profession,” said Kathleen McGraw, sports medicine coordinator at the Andrews Institute. “Most states require you to be licensed in the state that you’re going to practice in.”

“Our athletic trainers, as a profession, are on-site and out in the field wherever your field may be. It may be a court, it may be a field, it may be a dance studio or a backyard at your house. We’re at a bunch of different places and interacting with people in their environment.”

As awareness of the magnitude of sports injuries like concussions continues to grow, so too have the responsibilities of those entrusted with an athlete’s care.

Aspects of recovery that often weren’t addressed in a student-athletes’ day-to-day life – such as campus mobility and classroom accessibility – have become the domain of trainers.

“There are things that likely in the past got lost in the shuffle,” said Michael Milligan, M.D., team physician with Tate High School. “With us trying to educate with those things, anything that we can do to help our schools commit resources on behalf of student-athletes for health and safety is very important.”

Athletic trainers such as Crystal Evans – who has served as the Pace High School athletic trainer for 10 years – have become community regulars in the meantime.

Be it a lineman whose hand was stepped on or an ankle that plain went the wrong way, Evans stands on alert for each home athletic event at Pace High, leaning and supporting the Patriots with each dramatic turn of events.

Evans isn’t from Pace, nor was she even raised in the Pensacola area. Nonetheless she’s become a steadying presence for the area’s athletes, through injury, dehydration and all.

“I still live in Pensacola,” she said, “but sometimes it feels like (Pace) is home.”

#AT4ALLCollege and University

An Ode to the Athletic Trainer


Article reposted from
Author: Bryce Kelley

There once was a trainer

Who stayed up all night

To sit in a waiting room

Shaking with fright

For her athlete had called just hours before

Complaining of chest pains, head pains, nose pains and more.


After hours had passed

And every test was done,

The athlete walked to the trainer with his sorry head hung

For he knew the trainer was about to be told

That the athlete had nothing more than a common head cold.


By now the sun had rose

To reveal a new day

And with it a training room

Where the trainer must stay

Until the last of her hundred-odd athletes had gone

No longer complaining of legs they can’t walk on.


And the trainer went home

To eat her first meal

And wait for tomorrow’s inevitable spiel

About how this calf hurts and how this knee pops,

How this hip aches and how this leg stops.


But patience is key along strong coffee

So the trainer goes to bed

Dreaming of a vacation – or three.

An Ode to the Athletic Trainer

If you’re hurting, you go to the trainers. If you’re sick, you go to the trainers. If you’re like me and need someone to complain to about your statistics class and how there’s no earthly reason you’ll need to know how to reverse code variables, you go to the trainers (they may not listen though, they’re good at tuning me out at this point). Athletic trainers are the lifeblood of college athletics and they don’t get the credit they deserve. So this week, by the power vested in me, I now pronounce The Rundown, lowly as it may be, a dedication to Florida State Athletic Trainers.

By this point in my college running career, a list of my injuries probably looks more like the never-ending receipt you get from CVS after buying a Coke. Or maybe the opening credits to a Star Wars movie. And I wouldn’t be here today, able to still call myself a runner, if it weren’t for the trainers that helped keep the jigsaw puzzle that is my body in one piece. It’s not just me either.

In my time here, I’ve seen miracles be performed on the training table. I’ve seen athletes who spend more time in the training room than at home achieve their dreams that had, at one point, seemed so hopeless. I’ve seen the trainers, like in an episode of Scooby-Doo, solve the mystery of an injury and unmask the culprit – which let’s be honest, was probably just not enough stretching.

I think on every ACC title, hell every national title that FSU has ever earned, there should be, in fine print, a note that reads: “This wouldn’t have been possible without our athletic trainers.”

They really are the glue that holds this team together, or more thematically spoken, the athletic tape that holds this team together. They become our coaches, our parents, and our motivators. They drive us to our appointments and endure the countless hours spent in waiting rooms as doctors try to fit us in (Tallahassee Orthopedic Center, I love you guys, but if you’re reading this, please play something other than HGTV in your waiting rooms. I can’t watch another couple not pick the house that they CLEARLY should pick). But most importantly, our athletic trainers deal with us at our lowest lows so they can help us get to our highest highs.

Being an athletic trainer can be a thankless job. So thank you. Thanks Gwen, Armand, Kyra, and Danielle. Thanks to our past trainers, Natalie, Symone, and Kathleen. Thanks to all the student trainers. So raise your glass of PowerAde. Here’s to you athletic trainers. Ok, I’m done. I’m making myself feel like a pine tree with all this sap.

On another note, the Noles will be in the destination hotspot of South Bend, Indiana to run really fast on Notre Dame’s golf course this Friday.

Bryce Kelley, a graduate student in Integrated Marketing Communications, is a fifth-year Seminole from Hope Valley, R.I. A two-time All-ACC Academic selection in cross country with his undergraduate degree in Creative Writing, Kelley will be providing a weekly inside look at the FSU men’s team throughout the season.