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.


Posted in Athletics