National CPR & AED Awareness Week: Five Ways to Get Involved

National CPR and AED Awareness Week is a reminder of the power everyone holds when it comes to saving a life. According to the American Heart Association, during a cardiac emergency, for every minute that passes without CPR or a defibrillating shock, the probability of survival drops by about 10%*. This makes it important that bystanders know how to properly administer CPR and have quick access to an AED in times of crises. Through quality training and education, you’ll be able to foster the confidence you need to get one step closer to helping someone survive.

The Five Ways:

  • Encourage CPR and AED Certifications – Encouraging others to get CPR and AED certified can help them learn the life-saving skills and techniques necessary to respond to sudden cardiac arrest. Communities can use education and awareness to create a network of prepared responders who know how to act swiftly during cardiac emergencies, ultimately saving more lives.
  • Know the Signs and Symptoms – Actions as simple as telling someone to dial 911 or fetch the closest AED can make a difference in survival outcomes. Some AEDs, including ZOLL AEDs, provide written and verbal instructions to help inexperienced individuals perform quality CPR. If you witness somebody experiencing the following, be sure to act: 
    • No pulse or breathing
    • Loss of consciousness
    • Heart palpitations 
    • Loss of consciousness
  • Evaluate AED Placement – Take the time to review the location of AEDs in your school or facility. They should be placed in visible areas and within three minutes of every location in your building.  This includes providing one on each floor and storing them 48 inches off the ground for better wheelchair accessibility. When thinking of AED implementation, many locations need to be considered, including:
    • Elevators
    • Outside stairways
    • Cafeterias
    • Fitness centers and gymnasiums
    • Primary entrances and reception desks
    • Main corridors
    • Outdoor areas where students play sports
  • Ensure Rescue Readiness – Having emergency equipment readily available is vital for prompt intervention during SCA. Furthermore, having a well-defined emergency response plan can help ensure that everyone knows their roles and responsibilities in the event of sudden cardiac arrest. Staying ready for the unexpected at all times has the ability to increase survival rates and enhance overall public safety. Check out our School Safety Center and comprehensive supply list and use them as references when you're emergency planning and checking supplies off your list.
  • Enable Your Community to Take Action – Brainstorming how you can spread awareness about the significance of CPR and AEDs is another way you can take part this week.  Sharing personal stories or testimonials via social media is one approach to this – be sure to use the hashtag #AEDsHelpSaveLives! Using a voice and word-of-mouth will help you shine the spotlight on this topic this week and for weeks to come.

* 2010 AHA Guidelines for CPR and ECC. 

National Athletic Training Month 2024: ATs are Essential!

National Athletic Training Month 2024: ATs are…Essential!

As another memorable year of NATM wraps up, we want to extend our gratitude to all athletic trainers for their unwavering dedication to athletes everywhere. You are an essential piece of championship teams, the backbones of successful athletic careers, and the guiding light in challenging recoveries. Without you, athletes would lack the crucial support for success on game day.

Throughout March, we asked you to tell us why you love being an athletic trainer and what it means to you! Your responses provided a glimpse into the impact your athletes, profession, and community hold in your hearts.

Below are just some of the inspiring answers we received.

Why Do You Love Being an Athletic Trainer?

“The best part of being an AT are the connections you make with your athletes, coaches, and the community. The longer you are part of a community, the more valuable you are, and I wouldn’t want to leave my high school community for anything!” -Heidi B.

“The secondary school setting is something special! The kids sometimes call me "mom" because they know I'm available for them for whatever they need! If they get hurt, need a band aid, need some advice, or need to vent, I'm there for them! I love watching them return to play the games they love so much. They make my job so enjoyable!” -Amanda H.

“I absolutely love being an AT! Helping others return to the sport or the activities they love is very fulfilling. It's sometimes a journey to get there, but I love being able to support those along the way.” -Liz E.

“I love being an athletic trainer because you get a chance to teach the athletes what it takes to bring the best out of themselves. I love encouraging them, especially after they've gotten injured. I have always been able to make them better than they were even before their injury. I just love my job.” -Gary C.

“I love being an AT because it allows me to build relationships and be in an athlete’s corner when they may feel like they have no one. Being an advocate for student athlete mental health is one of the most rewarding and crucial things about my job.” -Alec P.

“I love being able to be there for every aspect of my athlete’s needs- the mental, physical, and emotional needs that the athlete has in every stage of his/her/their career is so important to me! I love being on the sidelines and seeing my athletes through every stage of their career, as well as their wins, losses, injuries, and comebacks. I love what I do and have been doing it for the past 23 years!” -Mary H.

“My favorite part is being a preceptor. Being able to show my passion for this profession to aspiring ATs, so they go out and make a difference in hundreds or thousands of athletes' lives, is something that I couldn't go without. Even if we don’t get a 7-figure salary, our profession has so much to offer, and it puts a smile on my face to see each new generation coming through.” -Steve B.

At School Health, we know an athletic trainer faces new challenges and lessons daily. Thank you for always being there for your athletes and working tirelessly to ensure they’re prepared for every game and practice, all while inspiring them along the way.


Make the Game Safer in a Heartbeat

Do your athletes know the importance of heart health?

October is Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) month. Although athletes are generally healthy, they are not immune to cardiac problems. According to The American Heart Association, The NCAA is moving forward with developing guidelines to detect college athletes at risk for sudden cardiac death, including mandated heart screenings. Due to this, time and early detection are vital when these events occur. This makes it essential for athletes, trainers, coaches, and sports organizations to be proactive when responding to sudden cardiac arrest incidents. Taking preventative measures on and off the field is key to ensuring long term safety, heart health, and peak performance in athletes. 


Triggers of SCA in Athletes:

  • Underlying heart conditions: Physical examinations don’t always detect heart abnormalities, leaving athletes to believe that they are fine, when in fact they may have an underlying heart condition. This can make them more susceptible to SCA, especially in vigorous sports that demand more stress on the heart.
  • Family history: Many athletes may have a family history of heart conditions that they are unaware of, putting them at higher risk.
  • Overtraining syndrome: Sage Journal explains how Athletes who engage in excessive training or exercise without proper rest may develop hormonal imbalances that could disrupt the heart’s function.

Blunt Force Trauma:

Athletes who participate in high-contact sports are at a higher risk of experiencing sudden cardiac arrest due to the physical nature of these activities. Since high school and college sports can be utterly competitive, this is extremely important to acknowledge. When a blow to the chest occurs at just the right time during the cardiac cycle, it has the potential to be fatal. This is something that all athletes and coaches need to consider, since this can happen without any preexisting heart abnormalities.


Remind Your Athletes To:

  • Cardiac evaluations:  Undergo specific cardiac evaluations to identify any underlying heart conditions or risk factors before the season, such as EKGs.
  • Periodic checkups:  Schedule regular checkups with a healthcare provider to assess blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels. 
  • Rest if needed: Take a break if needed. Do not ignore symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or heart palpitations – inform the coach or trainer immediately.

SCA Prevention by Athletic Trainers and Coaches:

  • Regular drills and testing: Conduct emergency response drills that involve the use of AEDs and CPR to get coaching staff and all players familiar with using the equipment.
  • Maintenance and inspection of AEDS: Evaluate all AED units and accessories, verify that they are strategically placed throughout the facility, and replace batteries when needed.
  • Hydration and recovery: Ensure players are hydrated by allowing regular water breaks to prevent dehydration or heat-related illnesses.

Stay Prepared:

SCA does strike without warning among athletes. However, there are tactics that sports facilities, coaches and athletes can focus on to minimize these risks, but they must work as a team. Staying prepared and informed about heart health is an important thing to do – this month, and every month. 

School Heath offers AEDS, AED accessories, CPR training kits, hydration products, and more to support the health and safety of your school athletic program.


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USSA MESS Course Prepares Sports Medicine Professionals for More Challenging Work

USSA MESS Course Prepares Sports Medicine Professions for More Challenging Work

Those in the Sports Medicine profession, especially those that deal with snow-related activities, know that it’s more than ankle tape, cuts, and bruises when caring for athletes. Injuries can get real and intense in a blink. We know that practice makes perfect, and this readiness and preparation is no different. This past May, the Medical Emergencies in Skiing and Snowboarding course (MESS) provided education and skill development for the those in the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Medical Pool. During this course, participants learned about acute injury triage and illness commonly seen when traveling with elite level teams. Even in the summertime, this course, developed for PTs, ATs, MDs, and POs, offered unique insight into how to assist athletes who play winter sports.

Dr. Jaron Santelli, the Sports Medicine Director at the United States Ski and Snowboarding Association (USSA), was one of the leaders of this course.

“Standing on the side of the hill and working in cold environments is different than responding to an injury on a basketball court or a football field,” Santelli said. “Since we have a variety of specialties, there are different skill sets, so this is a way to upscale the providers with the skill we need them to know.”

The MESS course is specifically designed for professional volunteer staff and provides a Continuing Medical Education (CME) for physicians and medical providers, which is a requirement to join this medical pool.

Santelli shares a passion for sports, athletes, and their safety. Her experience and education as an emergency medicine doctor provides important insight for properly responding to emergencies on the slopes.

“I went to medical school with the intention to be in sports medicine. I have been around sports and snowboarding my whole life from Division I to the professional level. When the USSA job was available, I saw an opportunity to give back to a community that has always been there for me.”

Skiing and Snowboarding are individual sports, so USSA athletes are always working towards accomplishing challenging individual goals, which makes the day-to-day and culture a bit different than if they were playing a team sport.

“We have numerous sports within USSA, so we are always dealing with different cultures, athlete population, and ages,” Santelli said. “These athletes are true craftsmen and professionals in their field and there is something special about watching them work towards something like the Olympics.”

School Health was a sponsor of the MESS course and has a growing relationship with USSA as they work together to make sure the athletes are receiving quality treatment with the best equipment possible.

“School health has provided not only support in coverage, but also, they provide a lot of our medical equipment. They are always generous in terms of donations and improvements in our products. We look forward to this continued partnership and increasing that partnership in the future.”

School Health provides these items to keep USSA well equipped:

·        Pocket BVM with Black Case

·        Aer Cervical Collar

·        Fasplint Vacuum Extremity Splints

·        Fasplint Fullbody Mattress Set

·        5.11 Tactical Emergency Ready Pouch and Bag

The USSA hosts the MESS course in January of next year. Check back here for updates.

ABCD Funding Formula to Acquire Health and PE Funding

ABCD Funding Formula to Acquire Health and PE Funding

By: Dr. Kim Morton

Did you know hundreds of federal dollars go unspent every year in school districts? Some of the reasons include delayed access to the funds, a nationwide teacher shortage, and a desire to make the money last. 

When I served as a district health and PE coordinator for a large urban school district in North Carolina, I never bought into the common excuse made by most school leaders: “We don’t have the money.” In my opinion, school funding is not the problem. It is the allocation of it that is the greater issue. To ensure federal funding is spent on supporting the needs of students, every school or district requires a health and PE advocate. 

To help nudge my federal funding department to spend some of our district’s federal funds on health and PE, I created and applied the ABCD funding formula. In over five years, I was able to obtain over $4 million in federal funds to purchase curriculum, PE and strength training equipment, instructional resources, professional development, and hire staff to instruct summer learning sessions. 

The first step before applying the ABCD funding formula is to know exactly what you want and how much it would cost. In other words, be ready to submit product names, descriptions, and costs to your federal funding department. If you need a quote, a School Health Specialist can help.


ABCD Federal Funding Formula for Health and Physical Education Requests


A = Align

Align your budget request with district messaging. Include language from your district’s strategic plan. For example, if one of your district's initiatives is to increase mental, social, and emotional goals, then be sure to explain how your budget request fosters social, emotional, and collaborative student activities.



B = Budget Source

Be sure to provide a possible budget source(s) with your request. This way, it provides guidance to your federal funding department regarding which budget sources can be used for your request. You do not need to be a budget expert, but you need enough knowledge to make it difficult to deny your request. Below are some examples of budget sources that can help you get started:

  1. Title I Federal Funding provides financial assistance and program support to schools with high numbers of children from low income-families.
  2. Title II Federal Funding can be spent on:
    1. Staff development
    2. Workshop expenses (this includes PE equipment and curriculum being used in the workshop training)
    3. Coaching
    4. Mentoring
    5. Recruitment
    6. Residency programs
    7. Induction program
  3. Title IV-part A can be spent on:
    1. Curriculum
    2. PE and Strength Training equipment
    3. Student resources
    4. Evidence-based PD
    5. Registration
    6. Travel costs
    7. Certified salaries and benefits
  4. ESSER II (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) Funds must be used through September 30, 2023, and can be spent on:
    1. Covid-19 supplies
    2. Summer learning
    3. Educational technology
    4. Supplemental after-school programs
    5. Addressing needs of low-income students
  5. ARP (American Rescue Plan) ESSER III (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) Funds must be used through September 30, 2024, and can be spent on:
    1. Activities to address needs caused by the Covid-19 pandemic
    2. Implementing public health protocols
    3. 20% must address learning loss



C = Compelling Story

Make it hard for them to say “No.” Give them details of your budget request (purpose and how it will be used) and connect them emotionally. You want to inform your reader, but also inspire them to take action. For example, if you are seeking to purchase CPR manikins you would want to state, “performing CPR in the first few minutes of cardiac arrest can double or triple a person’s chance of survival.”



D = Data

Identify student learning gaps and needs. Moreover, use local data to help decision makers “see” how your budget request can help address a local issue. For example, if you are requesting to purchase BRAINball™, your messaging should include how this product can increase your district’s reading and math scores. If you are requesting fitness equipment, you can pull student fitness data from WELNET® online software, indicating the percentage of students who met or did not meet fitness measurements. 


Assert Your Case

Be prepared to showcase all the evidence and support needed for how funding can benefit not only your students, but also your school and district. To ensure federal funding is spent on supporting students’ physical, mental, emotional, and social needs, it is necessary for every school or district to have a health and PE advocate who is willing to work towards meeting these goals. Contact School Health to learn more about ESSER funding.

Building a Safe and Positive Athletic Program


In the previous blog, we discussed the unnecessary hardships that athletes face while on their sports teams. This is created through a negative culture and poor communication between athletes and staff. Now it is time to focus on what can be done to build a successful sports program that makes safety and positivity a priority. This can be achieved by all members of the staff and the athletes collaborating, listening, and understanding each other’s perspectives.

First and foremost, listen to the athletes. They are the glue. When athletes are not happy and healthy, there is no team. Believe them if they say they are hurt, pay attention when they seem down, understand what type of coaching they respond to. Being on the same page with athletes goes beyond just the game. Knowing athletes as people is arguably more important and will improve their experience in their programs.

The staff can learn just as much from the athletes through the course of the season. Having positive and frequent communication with all personnel, such as athletic trainers and sports psychologists is essential for a team. Everyone’s bodies and minds work differently, so it is important to find what’s best and the team’s medical staff can find those solutions. Trust them as much as you trust your athletes in a game; odds are, they were all athletes at one point as well. Coaches can benefit from using the resources around them to assist athletes in finding their individual paths to achieve a common goal.

Individual needs are important, but practice is where teams grow collectively. Create an atmosphere with strong work ethic and positivity. A difficult task does not need to be so serious. The workouts and drills that I have done in a positive atmosphere have been some of the most productive. Being serious all the time takes a toll on everyone and can result in burnout, and the dog days of the season can become grueling. Friendly competition and positive reinforcement help make a comfortable atmosphere. Hard is more achievable when you want to be there and play for a team that you want to succeed. Athletes won’t think twice about running that extra lap or doing an extra rep when they are bought into the common goal of a program.

Coaches should also walk the walk of the program they establish. They should be who they want their athletes to be. A coach who the players trust and look up to is the final piece to a successful program. Enabling what has been discussed so far is a great start to building a team athletes want to be a part of. Athletes may be representing a school or some other organization, and while that does matter, at the end of the day they play for each other and the coach.

If more athletic programs molded their philosophies around these practices, we would not be hearing about athletes falling out of love with their sport. Being safe and enjoying what you do is just as important as winning. Athletic programs with a positive, safe environment where everyone feels they have a voice can help steer towards a path of success and provide athletes and staff experiences that they will never forget, for all the right reasons.

Athletic Training: An Athlete's Perspective


Playing college basketball became my goal when I was about 10 years old. I was scrawny, scared of contact, and honestly just not a good player, so I knew I had an uphill battle. I have been told thousands of times to push yourself to the limit to see progress, so that’s what I did from then, until the last time I left the floor. I achieved my goal, which really set the tone for my work ethic the rest of my life, but I beat my body to the ground. I played through injuries and didn’t tell anybody, and I overworked myself. I always told myself that it was the right thing to do because I’m supposed to “embrace the suck”-turns out I was just stubborn and didn’t want anything to halt my progress. But whether I knew it or not, it did. I don’t regret anything about my achievement, but I regret not taking care of myself and not listening to my athletic trainers throughout the duration of my career.

Fast forward to now and I find myself as a high school basketball coach. When I first arrived, I began to see a few players with my old habits, which is good and bad. The moment I noticed, I knew that one of my main priorities would be to keep them fresh, make sure they utilize our athletic trainers, and create an atmosphere where they can speak up if they are hurting. In my short time as a coach, I have learned that good communication between coaches, players, and athletic trainers is so essential, and I truly wish it was more present when I was a player. Since I am only about three years removed from being an athlete, that communication is still something that lacks in many athletic programs, and there is still major room for improvement. Good communication makes a player feel safe, respected, and most importantly, healthy.

Some of this poor communication stems from lack of trust, mostly between the coach and the athletic trainer. This is the something that bothered me a lot when I was a player, especially when I was at the college level. Concussion protocols are a great example. I have witnessed a coach get angry at an athletic trainer because they concluded that my teammate had suffered a concussion. It was not a hard fall, but concussion protocol is strict, as it should be. These actions enable a culture of fear for athletes because it does not allow the athletic trainer to do their job with confidence and makes the player think they should play through almost anything. A player’s health should always be prioritized over winning.

Communicating with your athletic trainers about what they need is also important. The high school level is often guilty of having underequipped athletic training rooms. While most high schools may not have the budget to have every piece of equipment imaginable, quality equipment for basic treatments should be a priority. Just because the athletes are young, doesn’t mean they don’t need any extensive treatment or rehab. Many young athletes can have their sport lead them to a free education, and even a career for the lucky few. The way an athlete is taken care of early on, effects the duration at which they can perform at an elite level.

Coaches, athletic trainers, and their departments should be doing everything they can to take care of their athletes and be a steppingstone to whatever their goal may be. Trust, good communication, and using your budget to ensure safe environments can reassure an athlete that they are in good hands. Working together to create a culture where safety is a priority can bring success to athletes, confidence for an athletic trainer, and better collaboration within the coaching staff.

NATM 2022: Why Do You Love Being an Athletic Trainer?


NATM 2022: Why Do You Love Being an Athletic Trainer?

National Athletic Training Month may have come to an end, but we won’t stop celebrating you! We want to give a huge thank you to all the athletic trainers who joined the #SHNATM22 conversation on our Sports Medicine social media pages, showed off their AT spirit, and shared stories about why they love what they do.

We understand that the role of an athletic trainer has changed a lot in the last few years due to the pandemic. Besides providing essential care for athletes, many athletic trainers were also asked to be contact tracers for their schools or districts, help track immunization status among students and school staff, and so much more. Through these changes, many ATs continued to follow their passion to help athletes succeed on and off the field.

We recently asked you to share why you love being an athletic trainer. Check out some of the stories you shared with us on social media during National Athletic Training Month!

“I love being an AT for a lot of reasons, but one thing that never gets old is when an athlete in pain gets excited when something simple fixes their pain. I love being able to teach them easy ways to take care of their bodies that they can then take with them for life.  – wahisportsmed

I love being an athletic trainer when I see my students go on to become ATs… I especially love it when student-athletes come back and say that high school ATs work the hardest compared to the college and professional level ATs, because we cover all the sports and all the athletes – usually working with hundreds of athletes and giving them all the time that they need – heidi.s.bower

There are so many reasons why I love being an athletic trainer. I love when my student-athletes come back to visit me and tell me how I was the biggest mentor in their life while in high school. The most heartwarming memory I have is when my student-athlete’s mom hugged me and was so grateful for me saving her son’s life. I love my profession! – aperow24

A few years after I left grad school, I got a text from the parent of a previous student that said, “Just wanted to check in and see if this number was still yours. We miss you and hope you’re doing well.” We went back and forth catching up, and it was so nice to see the impact I made in my first year as an athletic trainer! – sarahw3317

I love being an AT for several reasons, but the biggest must be watching athletes return to play after sustaining an injury. The rehab process can be difficult and can diminish spirits. However, watching the athletes finally return makes it so special. I think I’m their biggest fan! – megcoughlin.11

Making memories and supporting athletes through their ups and downs is why I love being an athletic trainer. – Peter Sands

I think there are a lot of reasons that we all love being ATs, and that have made us stay in the profession. But I think my favorite part is the connections that I make with the athletes I work with and seeing them grow as they become more mature adults. I truly love helping teach these young adults how to properly take care of their body, both physically and mentally. It’s great knowing that I’m working in a profession that impacts so many young minds that are ready to enter the world. – megz0623

School Health supports athletic trainers across the country by providing the proper equipment and resources, so you can provide your athletes with the best care. As always, thank you for everything you do to help keep athletes safe on and off the field!


What Should You do in a Heat Illness Emergency?


During periods of training and conditioning, such as the fall pre-season, instances of heat-related illnesses and emergencies in student-athletes increase. Over the summer, periods of intense heat cause concern not only for sports teams, but also for those who do not use proper protection from the heat and the sun. According to Cleveland Clinic, statistics about student-athletes say that around 9,000 cases of heat-related illnesses occur per year. In football, these cases are 11.4 times higher than all other sports combined. It is important to be aware of the causes and symptoms of heat-related illness and stay prepared in case of an emergency.

According to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), the most common definition of heat illness includes three categories: heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. However, there are also other classifications of heat illness, such as heat syncope.

Depending on the type of heat illness, symptoms may vary, but some indicators include:

  •  High body temperature (above 105 degrees Fahrenheit)
  •  Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Heavy sweating
  • Cold, pale, and clammy skin
  • Fainting

What to do in an Emergency

Emergencies can and do happen, so having the proper plan in place is essential to prevent further harm or injury to an athlete. The first step is to recognize that the athlete is suffering from exertional heat illness. NATA states that a rectal thermometer is the only way to get a fast and accurate measurement of an athlete’s core body temperature. A temperature of 105 degrees Fahrenheit or above is an indicator of an emergency.

NATA also recommends the “cool first, transport second” method, meaning that if an athlete’s core body temperature is 105 degrees or more, sports staff must get the player’s temperature down to 102.5 degrees before they can be taken to a hospital. NATA says that the best way to quickly cool down the athlete is through a full-body cold water emersion. Cooling tubs or other water immersion devices are essential for this process. 

After a heat-related emergency occurs, athletes should work with their physicians to create a plan that will allow them to safely return to their sport.


Preventing a Heat-Related Emergency

Luckily, heat-related emergencies are highly preventable if the proper training and procedures are followed.

One of the best ways to reduce the risk of illness is through heat acclimation. In other words, allow your athletes to get used to the heat by slowly increasing the amount of outdoor exercise. It’s also important to monitor the temperature and humidity outside, pay attention to how long athletes are playing and practicing, and allow them to take a break or rest.

Athletic Trainers, Athletic Directors, and sports staff should always make sure that there are plenty of hydration options for their athletes as well. Ensuring that athletes are staying hydrated before, during, and after practices and events is key. Athletes can also enhance their performance and reduce the risk of illness by getting the proper amount of sleep and eating a balanced diet.

If you are looking for the right heat illness prevention equipment for your sports medicine program, School Health can help you find everything you need to keep your athletes safe. Contact us today!



Athletic Trainers Share Their Stories About How a Fellow AT Influenced and Inspired Them

Each March we celebrate the hard work and dedication that our Athletic Trainers put into their roles. While this past year has been full of uncertainty and change, each of you have made an impact in the lives of your athletes, students, staff, and communities. As schools work toward a full return to play, we owe you all a huge thank you for your continued support and dedication to your roles as Athletic Trainers. We wish you all a happy National Athletic Training Month!


This National Athletic Trainer Month,  we invited you to tell your story about how a fellow Athletic Trainer inspired and influenced you or made innovations in the field. We then randomly chose one entry per week to win a prize. Our grand prize winners both received Therabody Theragun Elites! You can read the winning entries below:


The winner of our first prize was Tiffany from Grapevine High School.

Tiffany nominated Kamden saying, “Kamden has taken a small 4A school and brought new innovations to it when taking over. He was promoted to be the head athletic trainer going into a COVID year, which has been tough on all of us. As he was being promoted, they also eliminated an athletic trainer position from the school. So, he's had to navigate through being a new Head Athletic Trainer, while downsizing, in the middle of a pandemic. During this time, he has built even more trust from his community. He even managed to secure enough sponsorship to purchase a SideLinER for his school, making it only one of two schools in the area to have one. This advancement is huge because these privacy tents are becoming the gold standard of care. Ensuring his student athletes in a small rural community are receiving the same care as the student athletes in bigger schools is a win for the entire community.

The winner of our second prize was Leslie from Impact Baseball.

Leslie nominated Charlene saying, “I want to nominate a fellow colleague and friend of mine, Charlenne Medina. Charlenne has impacted the athletic training community by participating in the California Athletic Trainer's Association and in the Far West Athletic Trainer's Association and has advocated for licensure and placement of  athletic trainers 's at secondary schools. In the  athletic training community, she has worked with youth sports to collegiate athletes, while also fulfilling the roles of a preceptor in the CSULB Athletic Training program. Outside of her work as an Athletic Trainer, she also assisted and helped firefighters in the California fires last year by providing First Responder services as an EMT. after certification, she assisted in her EMT program to help other students learn new skills. She is a hard worker and has inspired many, including myself, to take our profession further. She deserves to be recognized for all she has done in her early career!”

The winner of our third prize was James from Conway High School.

James nominated Lorin saying, “My nominee is Lorin, a Retired Athletic Trainer and Athletic Director at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Lorin gave me my first job out of college and inspired me to become a volunteer leader within my state, district, and National Athletic Trainer Associations. While I only worked with Lorin for two years before leaving for another job, her activism and volunteer spirit gave me the confidence and knowledge to become a leader myself and I am forever grateful for her mentorship, influence, and continued friendship some 30 years later.”

The winner of our fourth prize was Nicole from Mountain View HS.

Nicole nominated Jessica saying, “Jessica is the most amazing athletic trainer I have ever had the experience of working with here at Mountain View High School. She helped to pilot a program that would offer physical therapy treatments to our student athletes during their study hall classes. This program decreased student absences and recovery time for students and teachers within the school building. She keeps open channels of communication between the students, parents, coaches, teachers, counselors, and the school nurse to facilitate and initiate concussion protocols so the students can return to learning and participating in activities in a timely manner. She answers her cell phone day and night to ensure that our students receive the best care in all of the nation. Jessica decided to pursue her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine in the last couple of years and had to take a break from being the athletic trainer at our school.  She currently works at Northside Hospital Sports Medicine and will hopefully finish her degree from which she has had to take a break for personal reasons. Students from the school still go to her for guidance and therapy as we no longer have the programs that she instituted during her presence.”

The winners of our grand prize are April from Miami Southridge SHS and Linette from John A. Ferguson SHS.

April shares, “The Athletic Trainer that inspired me to pursue this profession is Mrs. Linette the head ATC at John A. Ferguson SHS. When I was in 11th grade, I did not pass my sports physical due to a heart murmur. I was not able to participate in basketball that year but remembered that the season prior I spent a lot of time in the Athletic Training Room due to injuries and [ worked on] preventing those injuries from re-occurring. So, I decided to ask her if I could become her student athletic trainer and learn from her. To my amazement she said yes! She taught me everything that I  needed and wanted to know. She taught me the importance of seeing beyond the injury and helping the person fully, since injuries can affect mental health as well. She taught me different ways of taping injuries and how to assess them at the same time. I was in the sports medicine academy in high school and won the Sports Medicine Award in both my 11th and 12th grade years. The coaches also trusted me with taking care of their student athletes in case she was not present. I graduated high school and went off to college, but she always allowed me to come back and intern for her. She helped me out when I wanted to quit school and told me that anything is possible if you keep your eye on what you want. I graduated and took my BOC test before anyone in my class and passed! She took me on as her assistant Athletic Trainer that fall. Just a couple months later there was an opening at a high school for an ATC and she helped me apply. I am now not only her prodigy, but also her friend and colleague. We learn from each other and are always there for each other. She's inspired me to become a better student, teacher, athletic trainer, and most of all, a better person. I care for my athletes’ whole well-being just like how she taught me. Every day when I come to work, I always think back on that day in 11th grade when she took me on and how it molded me to become just like her.”

We want to thank everyone who participated in our giveaway! We loved hearing your stories and appreciate all you do!