Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers Visit Harrisburg to Promote Athletic Training and Sports Safety

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Members and executive officers of Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers’ Society assembled in Harrisburg, PA on April 1, 2014 to advocate and inform legislators about the athletic training profession and sports safety. More than 40 athletic trainers and athletic training students focused on providing educational information to a total of 33 legislators and staffers about the access the physically active in their districts have to athletic training health care services and the appropriate sports safety measures.

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“PATS believes all student athletes within the Commonwealth should have access to quality medical care and we feel we athletic trainers are uniquely positioned to provide this care." Yvette Ingram PhD, LAT, ATC

Members and elected officials of the Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers’ Society, Inc (PATS) took a road trip to Harrisburg to visit the state Capital building. The annual Hike to Harrisburg day brought athletic trainers from all over the Commonwealth to the Capitol to discuss issues pertinent to the profession of athletic training. Athletic trainers met with 33 legislators and staffers throughout the day. The event has been utilized in the past to lobby for the passing of the Safety in Youth Sports Act and licensure for Athletic Trainers.

The focus of the meetings in Harrisburg this year was to educate legislators on what athletic trainers are, the medical backgrounds they have, and what benefit the profession is to the physically active people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Athletic Trainers were welcomed to the event by PATS President Yvette Ingram. Government Affairs Chair Tanya Miller led a discussion among the attendees about the talking points for the day.

Athletic trainers focused on meeting with representatives who were from counties where less than 50% of secondary schools had access to athletic trainers. John Moyer President –Elect of PATS and head athletic trainer at Wilson High School in West Lawn, PA commented that “The Hike to Harrisburg was a very well organized and positive experience. It was very inspiring to hear the positive feedback we received during our visits about the Saturation Study Map. PATS also distributed an informational binder about the importance of having an Athletic Trainer in the secondary school setting.”

The group of athletic trainers and athletic training students spoke with 14 state senators and 19 state representatives and their staff delegates throughout the day. The discussions varied with each elected official. Meetings with Senators Farnese and Kitchen centered on the importance of athletic trainers in the Philadelphia public schools and how creative options for funding employment opportunities could be implemented.

Senator Tomlinson and Representative Scavello were thanked for introducing this year’s Athletic Training Month resolution for the month of March. President Yvette Ingram noted on the meetings "Every year I am proud to be part of this legislative day. This year's focus was on the health care being provided to the physically active in our secondary schools. With 19% of our secondary schools not having access to athletic training services, Senators Tomlinson and Corman's staff have provided us with advice that has guided our educational efforts."

Representative Kavulich, who has a connection to Kings College, was very supportive of athletic trainers and was very excited to see Kings College athletic training students in the Capital.

In addition to meeting with legislators, athletic trainers also had a table in the Capitol Rotunda to pass out information to staffers and workers in the Capitol. Many staffers and members of the public stopped by to pick up information and chatted with the volunteers. Focusing on the National Athletic Training Month theme of “athletic trainers got your back”, stretches and foam roller self-mobilization exercises for the back were provided.

Overall the day was successful and Moyer had this to say “All legislators or their office staff representatives were very impressed with the amount of work we are doing to promote the safety of the physically active in the Commonwealth." Ingram commented on the mission of PATS in the Commonwealth “PATS believes all student athletes within the Commonwealth should have access to quality medical care and we feel we are uniquely positioned to provide this care."

For more information regarding this topic or to schedule an interview with PATS President Yvette Ingram, PhD, LAT, ATC, please contact Linda Mazzoli MS, LAT, ATC, PATS Executive Director at patsexecutivedirector(at)gopats(dot)org.

The Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers' Society, Inc. is a progressive organization of licensed health care professionals who work under the direction of a licensed physician. Our society continues to increase public awareness and education regarding Athletic Trainers and the Athletic Training profession while serving as the premier source of information for public safety, injury and illness prevention, early intervention, patient care, and healthcare delivery for the physically active in the Commonwealth.

“The Keystone to a Healthy and Physically Active Life”

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