Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers’ Society (PATS) Presented Awards During the Awards Banquet at the Annual Meeting and Clinical Symposium in Grantville, PA

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The Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers’ Society (PATS) recently held its 36th Annual Meeting and Clinical Symposium in Grantville, PA. Three athletic trainers were inducted into the PATS Hall of Fame and two other members received the PATS Distinguished Merit Award while one member received PATS Service Awards.

The Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers Society (PATS) Annual Conference was held recently in Grantville, PA at the Holiday Inn. Attendees enjoyed educational programming, exhibits and professional networking.

The PATS Team Physician Honorary Membership Award is presented to honor those individuals that have served as a team physician with 15 or more years of service in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The recipients have proven themselves to be of immeasurable value while working alongside athletic trainer in caring for Pennsylvania’s athletes. This award was presented to Eric J. Amish, MD and Stephen Renzi, DO.

Dr. Eric Amish attended University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He is certified in internal medicine and sports medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Amish completed his residency at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, NY and is currently a fellow at UPMC Shadyside in Pittsburgh.

Dr. Stephen Renzi attended Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Erie, PA. He completed an internship at Crozer Chester/DCMH in Drexel Hill, PA and his residency at Lankenau Hospital in Philadelphia.

The PATS Service Award was created by the PATS, Inc., Board of Directors to recognize and honor those individuals deserving for their dedication, loyalty and service to PATS. All honorees have made contributions which have greatly impacted the members of PATS and must have demonstrated direct and/or indirect service to PATS for a period of at least five years. This award was presented to Scott Heinrichs, Ed.D, LAT, ATC.

Dr. Heinrichs earned his bachelor’s in athletic training from West Chester University and pursued his masters degree in health education at The University of South Carolina. He earned his Doctorate in Education in Higher Education Academic Leadership from Widener University. His PATS service includes Executive Board Treasurer from 2006-2010, Student Research Judge from 2008-2012 and currently PAT-PAC Treasurer and PATS Convention Planning Committee Co-Chair. Currently, Dr. Heinrichs works at West Chester University as Interim Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs, Faculty Associate for Teaching, Learning and Assessment, the Co-Chair of Middle States Commission on Higher Education Periodic Review Report and as the Interim Department of Sports Medicine Chairperson at West Chester University.

The PATS Distinguished Merit Award was created by the PATS’ Board of Directors to honor those individuals who have demonstrated exemplary professional practice achievement in their respective employment setting. These athletic trainers are awarded for their excellence in their primary fields of the practice and positive influence on patients, athletes, students, administrators and organizations they provide service for in their role as a professional employee. This year the Distinguished Merit Award was presented to William (Sonny) Mills, Jr, LAT, ATC and Kenneth Rogers, Ph.D.

William (Sonny) Mills, Jr., LAT, ATC earned a business administration degree from Rochester State Junior College in Rochester, MN and his bachelors in education from Bemidji State College in Bemidji, MN. Mills has served as the Sports Medicine Coordinator for the PIAA and also served on the PIAA Sports Medicine Advisory Board. Mills has provided athletic training services to various high schools throughout the Harrisburg area including Steelton-Highspire and Middletown Area. In addition to his athletic training skills, Mills has an extensive background as director of various organizations. He has served as Director of Athletics at Steelton-Highspire High School and Middletown Area School District, Director of Shelter at Herbert A Shaffner Youth Center, Director of Sports Medicine for the Harrisburg School District and for The Performance Sports Medicine, Director of Personnel for The Arlington Group and Corporate Coordinator of Athletic Training and Outreach Services for Joyner Sports Medicine Group. Currently, Mills is the athletic trainer at Harrisburg High School.

Dr. Kenneth Rogers earned his bachelors of science in physical education from Lock Haven University, his maters degree in exercise physiology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and his doctorate in kinesiology from Temple University. Dr. Rogers began his professional career as a Clinical Manager/Head Athletic Trainer at the University of Pennsylvania before serving the same role at Hahnemann University Hospital and Joe Torg Sports Medicine Clinic. Dr. Rogers then continued on to serve in various roles at Alfred I DuPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, DE. These roles include Senior Clinical Research Coordinator and Sports Medicine Program Manager, Program Member-Research and Sports Medicine. Rogers also was involved in PATS, serving as the education committee chairperson from 1992-1994 and as a regional representative from 1994-1998. Currently, Dr. Rogers serves as the Director of Clinical Research-Orthopedics at Alfred I DuPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, DE.

The PATS Hall of Fame was created by the PATS’ Board of Directors in 1999. The Hall of Fame is a state-wide honor that is administered and fueled by PATS, Inc. and our society’s most prestigious award. The inaugural class was in 2000 and inducted 11 members. Since the initial class, a total of 50 members have been inducted. This includes 43 athletic trainers, 6 physicians and 1 state senator. The 2016 class included 3 new members. These members were Rick Burkholder, MS, ATC, Jim Thorton, MA, ATC, CES, PES and Tom West, Ph.D, ATC.

Rick Burkholder, MS, ATC, a long-time native of Pennsylvania, was born in Carlisle, PA. He attended the University of Pittsburgh, receiving his bachelor’s degree in athletic training. Burkholder then left the state of Pennsylvania for a short hiatus to attend graduate school at the University of Arizona, but then returned to the University of Pittsburgh to join the athletic training staff. Burkholder has vast experience at the professional athletic level. After leaving his alma mater, Burkholder began his career in the National Football League with the Pittsburgh Steelers before moving across state to the Philadelphia Eagles athletic training staff. He served as the Head Athletic Trainer for the staff when they were named the NFL’s Athletic Training Staff of the Year in 2010. Burkholder also has been a member of the medical staff covering multiple National Football League Pro Bowl games in Honolulu, Hawaii. Burkholder was a member of PATS from 1987 through 2013, serving as Western Representative on the Board of Directors, on the Convention Committee and as Co-Director of Education. Rick has also held memberships to many organizations throughout the country and currently holds the position of the Head Athletic Trainer with the Kansas City Chiefs and serves as the President of the Professional Football Athletic Trainers’ Society. As president, his goal is to increase the hiring of females to current NFL athletic training staffs. Rick Burkholder is a second generation athletic trainer, whose father, Rick Burkholder, is a member of the inaugural Pennsylvania Athletic Training Hall of Fame class.

Jim Thornton, MA, ATC, CES, PES is a native of Mount Pleasant, Utah. He has quite the list of professional accomplishments ranging from publications and presentations to recognitions, leadership and service to the athletic training profession at the state, regional and national levels. Thornton has been a member of PATS since 1996, serving on the Long Range Planning and Finance Committee. He has also served as an Executive Board Member for the Eastern Athletic Trainers’ Association (EATA). Jim then began his extensive national career by serving as National Athletic Trainers’ (NATA) Association District II Secretary. While serving as chair of the NATA Secretary/Treasurer Committee, Thornton was able to devise a plan to reallocate NATA dues money to the state and help increase state membership. The committee also supported state scholarships and the quiz bowl. Most notably, Thornton served as NATA President from 2012-2015, after serving as vice president from 2009-2012. Many honors and awards have been bestowed upon Mr. Jim Thornton. He was named the 2007 PATS Service Award winner and the NATA Division II Athletic Trainer of the Year in 2008. In 2010 he was the recipient of Clarion University of Pennsylvania’s Most Distinguished Volunteer Award for the work that was done on The George Garabino Athletic Scholarship Endowment. Throughout Thornton’s career, he has made many public appearances on the local, county, district, state and national levels. He has been keynote speaker for numerous events and has presented at many conferences about the future of the athletic training profession, mentoring young athletic trainers, wrestling weight management, and postural assessment. Jim Thornton currently is the Head Athletic Trainer at Clarion University and serves as the athletic training liaison to the NCAA Wrestling Rules Committee, acting as the contact person for all NCAA wrestling in regards to weight-class certification procedures and the rules regarding disposition of athletes with skin infections.

Tom West, PhD, ATC is a native of West Long Branch, NJ. He earned both his bachelor and doctoral degrees from Penn State University, and his master degree from West Virginia University. Dr. West has had a huge impact on education in the athletic training profession. He has taught various courses at educational institutions including George Washington University, Penn State University, Bloomsburg University, Lock Haven University and currently at California University of Pennsylvania. Dr. West has made significant contributions to the profession of athletic training since becoming a member of PATS in 1999. Most notably, he held the position of chair of the Convention Committee before becoming PATS President in 2006. Dr. West was recognized with the PATS Distinguished Merit Award in 2014 and the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Service Award in 2015. In addition to Dr. West’s enhancement of the athletic training profession through professional membership and leadership, he has spoken at state, regional and national athletic training meetings across the country. Dr. West has promoted extensive scholarly growth through publications, poster presentations, published abstracts and research and travel grants. Currently, Dr. Tom West is a professor in the Department of Health Sciences at the California University of Pennsylvania and serves as a site visit chairperson for professional level programs with the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE).

PATS’ five scholarships went to: Nicholas April (West Chester University) – the Phillip Donley Award, Mackenzie Dailey (Slippery Rock University) – the Cecilia Yost Scholarship Award, Cody Lancellotti (King’s College) – Richard M. Burkholder Scholarship, Kelsey Rynkiewicz (King’s College) – the NATA District II Joe Iezzi Scholarship, and Kelsey White (Messiah College) received the PATS Inc, Scholarship.

The PATS Executive Board will see several changes including Gaetano Sanchioli taking over reins as PATS President. George Roberts will serve President-Elect. Kathy Wright will replace Jim Stricek as Parliamentarian. William Frye will serve as Northcentral Representative and Nicole Cattano will service Southeastern Representative.

The 10th Annual PATS Quiz Bowl was won by East Stroudsburg University.

Next year’s symposium will be held June 8-10, 2017 at the Sheraton Eric Bayfront and Eric Convention Center in Erie, PA.

For more information regarding this topic of to schedule an interview with PATS President Gaetano Sanchioli, MS, LAT, ATC, PES, (president(at)gopats(dot)org) 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 healthcare 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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