North Carolina Athletic Trainers Association Awards


In celebration of National Athletic Training month, the North Carolina Athletic Trainers Association held its annual spring symposium and awards ceremony the weekend of March 18-19, 2017 on the campus of UNC-Charlotte. The educational meeting was filled with topics addressing multiple employment settings, research presentations, hands-on lab sessions, leadership development, work groups and an evidence based presentation by Dr. Rod Walters.

One of the highlights of the meeting is the annual presentation of awards to members of the association who have been nominated by their peers for outstanding work and professional activity in the respective categories. Honors for 2017 included Dan Duffy (Bill Griffin MDAT Award); Dr. James Kirby, II (Sports Medicine Person of the Year); Architech Sports (NCATA Corporate Service Award). Athletic Trainer of the Year honors went to Stephanie Bowman Sousa (HS Outreach); Courtney Bunch Phelps (Secondary Schools); Brandon Auton (College Clinical); Meghan Fulton (Clinical/Emerging Practices); and Jim Bazluki (Educator).

The awards ceremony also created another first for the NCATA. For the first time in the 40+ year history of the association, one award winner is a unique “3-peat”. After being awarded the Educator of the Year – this marked the third ATOY award for Bazluki. This would be the associations first time a member has been nominated and selected as ATOY for a 3rd time. Even more unique about this situation is that none of the ATOY awards have come in the same category. In 1997, Bazluki was awarded the College/University ATOY while he was at East Carolina University. In 2005 he was awarded the Secondary Schools ATOY while he was the Head AT at Cary HS. And the 2017 Educator ATOY for his work as a clinical preceptor (UNC-Charlotte), adjust instructor (UNC-Charlotte) and NCATA Professional Education Committee Co-chair. Bazluki, who works for Carolinas HealthCare System is also a member of the NCATA Hall of Fame (Class of 2014). He is the youngest inductee into this distinguished group of NC Athletic Trainers.


History museum opens exhibit celebrating athletic trainers


Article reposted from
Author: Sarah Lindenfeld Hall

They might not get top billing at sports games, but athletic trainers play a big role in the success of athletes on the field, in the pool and on the court.

To celebrate their work, in partnership with the N.C. Athletic Trainers’ Association, the N.C. Museum of History will open a temporary exhibit this weekend.

The display will be outside the N.C. Sports Hall of Fame from Sunday through April 16. It’s free to see. The exhibit will recognize the countless athletic trainers who have provided health care and safety for athletes since 1950. A ribbon cutting is planned at 1 p.m., Sunday.

The display will focus on three areas, according to a press release:

  • Information to help the public understand how to identify catastrophic sports injuries and identify health risks.
  • Education on the field of athletic training and recognition of North Carolina’s athletic training lifesavers and Hall of Fame members.
  • Details about sports career options, including working as a licensed athletic trainer. After all, only 2 percent of all collegiate athletes from the NCAA go pro, but there are plenty of other opportunities to be on the frontline of sports.

The museum is at 5 E. Edenton St. in downtown Raleigh. Admission is free.


University of North Carolina Staff and Students Take Home NCATA Awards


– Five UNC athletic trainers and two Carolina students were recently honored at the North Carolina Athletic Trainers’ Association’s (NCATA) annual meeting on March 4-5 as part of National Athletic Training Month.

Nina Walker, whose primary clinical responsibilities are with the Carolina men’s lacrosse and men’s and women’s cross country/distance teams, was named the College/University Athletic Trainer of the Year.  Walker also serves as a clinical instructor for the UNC graduate and undergraduate athletic training programs. She is the director of the undergraduate observer program and currently lectures on topics related to manual therapy, electronic medical records and biofeedback.

UNC’s Kim Chase ATC, Sally Mays ATC, Jake Mir ATC and Carly Natsis ATS were honored for their actions in saving the life of a spectator at a Carolina volleyball match last fall.  The medical staff successfully revived the spectator who was in cardiac arrest using CPR and AED.  Chase, Mays, Mir and Natsis were four of the 13 athletic trainers honored at the banquet for lifesaving accomplishments.

Johanna White, a senior at UNC, was presented with the Hall of Fame Scholarship for Academic Excellence, and Deema Al-Ghandour, a junior, receieved the Pioneer Scholarship for Service.

National Athletic Training Month is held every March in order to spread awareness about all that athletic trainers do. Athletic Trainers (ATs) are health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions.



North Carolina Athletic Trainers Honored With Lifesavers Award


North Carolina Athletic Trainers Association honored 13 certified athletic trainers and 3 athletic training students this weekend for their participation in actions that saved the lives of 9 individuals in North Carolina from July 2015-Nov 2015.

The events this fall included 2 cardiac arrest incidents of high school soccer players and one high school basketball player, 2 spectator cardiac arrests, heat stroke with temperature over 108 in preseason soccer, and a stroke, lacerated spleen and cervical spine injury in 3 football players. All had positive outcomes due to the specialized training and rehearsed emergency action plans of the athletic trainers.

The following individuals were recognized:
*Kim Chase ATC, Sally Mays ATC, Jake Mir ATC, Carly Natsis ATS of UNC-Chapel Hill,  UNC Volleyball medical staff successfully revived spectator who was in cardiac arrest using CPR and AED
*Eric Hall ATC of Cary High School accurately identified and referred high school football player experiencing a Stroke.
*Roslyn Hart ATC , Sara Woods ATC and Jordan Johnson  ATS of  Carolinas Healthcare System-Blue Ridge,  successfully resuscitated a man who went into cardiac arrest while playing tennis near the cross country event they were covering.
*Brendon Jonsson ATC of Southeastern Healthcare and Jordan Jones ATS successfully identified, stabilized and referred a football player with a lacerated spleen.
*John Lavender ATC & Ian Mushinski ATC of Winston Salem State University,  recognized, stabilized and assisted with the transport of a collegiate football player with multiple levels of neck fractures.
*Elizabeth Nottingham ATC of South Rowan High School successfully resuscitated a high school soccer player who collapsed due to cardiac arrest.
*Brenda Paider ATC of Catawba College utilized CPR and AED on a high school basketball player who collapsed due to cardiac arrest at a summer camp.
*Heather Teague ATC of Providence Day School in Charlotte, NC revived a high school soccer player who collapsed due to cardiac arrest
*Tracy Yoshikawa ATC of Eastern Carolina University successfully identified and treated a women’s soccer player with heat stroke and core temperature of 108.

For their full stories, click here.

The association also announced their annual awards.

The most prestigious of the awards was the presentation of the 2016 Hall of Fame class.  The newest member to be presented into the NCATA Hall of Fame was Brett Wood of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Also presented this year was the Bill Griffin Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award to Jay Scifers. This honor has only been given to one other person over the last 5 years.

NCATA Athletic Trainer of the Year (ATOY) was presented in four categories:

Elton G. Hawley Secondary Schools ATOY  – Richard Baker, Wake Forest High School
Elton G. Hawley Secondary Schools Outreach ATOY – Jason Brafford, Carolina’s Healthcare System
Clinic/Emerging Practices ATOY – David Wilkenfeld, NC School for the Arts
College/University ATOY – Nina Walker, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The Educator of the Year Award was presented to Dr. Anh-Dung Nyugen, of High Point University

Dr. Jared Miller from Elizabeth City was named Sports Medicine Person of the Year.  Miller is a physician with Sentra Healthcare System.

Carolina Healthcare Systems, Charlotte was recognized with the Corporate Service Award.

The Presidential Scholarship for Leadership was presented to Kelcey Holcomb, a senior at Western Carolina University.

The Hall of Fame Scholarship for Academic Excellence was presented to Johanna White, a senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The Pioneer Scholarship for Service was presented to Deema Al-Ghandour, a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

On average, 1-2 athletic trainer lifesavers have been reported to the NCATA in a calendar year.  This record breaking year has highlighted the need for qualified healthcare providers at all events, not just football games. Certified athletic trainers are uniquely qualified for on-field management of acute injuries and illnesses as well as traditional evaluation, treatment and rehabilitation of sports related injuries and conditions.

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Dr. Yum Nguyen, assistant professor of athletic training at High Point University, was named 2016 Educator of the Year by the North Carolina Athletic Trainers’ Association. He will be recognized on March 5 at the organization’s spring meeting in Wrightsville Beach.

In addition to teaching and mentoring students, Nguyen researches the anatomical and biomechanical risk factors associated with ACL and other lower extremity injuries. His recent work focuses on screening adolescent athletes for risk factors that could lead to these injuries. He has presented at national meetings and international clinical symposia and authored numerous papers.

“Dr. Nguyen represents the ‘trifecta’ of faculty excellence through his teaching, research and professional service,” says Dr. Jolene Henning, chair of the Department of Athletic Training. “His teaching has been described by our students as world-class and his efforts in mentoring undergraduate research assistants has led our students to present award-winning research at national conferences and publish in rigorous scientific journals. Dr. Nguyen is a wonderful example of altruism and professional advocacy that he models on a daily basis for our students and young professionals at High Point University.”

The Educator of the Year award recognizes a member of NCATA who is an educator within a university athletic training program and who is nominated by a peer.