District Director Update-August 2015

Volunteer to Make Difference

For over 50 years, volunteer efforts by members of the NATA have advanced the profession to where we are today. Members know the profession’s needs and guide its direction.  Member driven initiatives at the local, state, district, and national levels move the profession.  The NATA relies on member driven initiatives through its various committees to serve the interests of the members and improve athletic health care services to the public.  The NATA Leadership Directory lists over 500 members who contribute their time and serve on various committees and workgroups at the national level alone!  In June of 2016, five members of MAATA will term-off of their respective national committees.  Thus, we are soliciting applications for the following committees:

-College/University Athletic Trainers Committee (CUATC) replacing Shaun McCarthy

-Committee on Practice Advancement (COPA) replacing Jason Muchow

-Ethnic Diversity Advisory Committee (EDAC) replacing Murphy Grant

-NATA Hall of Fame Committee replacing D.C. Colt

-Young Professional Committee (YPC) replacing Amanda Brown

If you know any of the aforementioned individuals, thank them for their diligent work, giving up their time, and lending their expertise to help advance our profession as they continue to work on your behalf.

Volunteering for committee work, especially if it involves areas of great interest to you, can be a very rewarding and learning experience. You will have the opportunity to exchange ideas with likeminded AT’s and invest in the profession as a whole.  Information on each committee’s focus and work can be found here.  Without their work, our profession does not improve.  Committee terms are typically one year with up to three renewals. If you are interested in working on any of these committees, please send a letter of interest and an updated resume to me at coberley@iastate.edu.  We will be accepting applications until October 15th, 2015.  We hope to name these committee replacements before Thanksgiving to give the new volunteers time to get “up to speed” on their new committees as they prepare to take over in June at the NATA meeting in Baltimore.

Honor Those Who Have Made a Difference

Do you know an athletic trainer who has been dedicated to making a difference in the AT profession? Do you know an athletic trainer who has been committed to providing leadership at the state, district, or national level? If so, then you should help to recognize them for all the hard work they do on behalf of their peers and the patients they work with by nominating them for an NATA National Award. The nomination period for NATA national awards recently opened, but the nomination period closes September 15th, 2015.  Information on all of the awards can be found here.  Our district has posted members who are eligible for the various national awards on the MAATA website.  Please review the list of eligible members in your state, and take the time to nominate them.  We understand that Fall is a busy time for most AT’s, but please consider taking the time to nominate deserving ATs!

Take Time To Communicate

As I mentioned last month, there are changes coming on the recommendations for care and management of the spine injured athlete. These changes are being written by an interassociation task force utilizing best available evidence based practices research.   There has been much discussion, comments, speculation, and opinions on this summer’s advanced release of the Appropriate Care of the Spine Injured Athlete executive summary of findings. Many AT’s have begun to implement the new recommendations and are applauded for their advanced preparation. However, understanding there are regional differences in timing and implementation of EMS protocols, the NATA released an update to the executive summary on August 5th, 2015. Reasons for the update are fully explained and can be found here. Generally, EMS crews and organizations are in transition on their recommendations for spine injured patients, and was the driving force behind the need for updated specialized care of the spine injured athlete. Because of this transition, it is essential that all parties are in communication as to how they plan on implementing care as everyone learns new protocols. As you prepare for the Fall sport season, there are two important pieces of communication which must be established between ATs and emergency personnel working athletic events: (1) How do we plan on stabilizing the injured athlete (i.e. spine board or other methods), and (2) Are we going to remove the athlete’s equipment on the field prior to transport? Recommendations for equipment removal on the field do require advanced planning, communication and practice. Once the “Appropriate Prehospital Management of the Spine-Injured Athlete” statement is completed, reviewed, and approved by the professional organizations represented at the task force meeting, educational materials will be developed by NATA and other groups to assist ATs and other health care providers whose education and professional training may not include various components of the recommendations outlined in the consensus statement.

As always, I’m honored to represent District 5.   If you have any questions or concerns regarding the NATA, please contact me at coberley@iastate.edu. If I don’t have an immediate answer for you, I will find those that do and respond appropriately.

Enjoy a little time as the madness of the Fall sports seasons get underway. Good luck and good health!

Mark Coberley