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Reducing Your Risk in Work, Life and Sport National Forum Recommends a Public Health Approach to Injury Prevention

New Guidelines Unveiled at NATA 67th Annual Convention

Brian Westbrook, Two-Time Pro Bowl Running Back and 2016 Hall of Fame Nominee Addresses the Importance of Sports Safety Protocols

Baltimore, June 23, 2016 – At the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) 67th Clinical Symposia and AT Expo in Baltimore today, leading health care experts participated in a national press conference, “Reducing Your Risk in Work, Life and Sport” and unveiled protocols and recommendations to ensure individual health and safety. The event took place at the Hilton Baltimore.

The association also advance released “Athletic Training and Public Health Summit” recommendations from the July 2016 Journal of Athletic Training, the association’s scientific publication. The paper addresses the most pressing problems facing physically active children and adults – including sport-related concussion, osteoarthritis and sudden cardiac death – and offers guidelines on policies and practices through common public health approaches. To read the paper please visit:http://natajournals.org/doi/pdf/10.4085/1062-6050-51.6.01.

“The National Athletic Trainers’ Association is committed to ensuring the physical health and safety of individuals in all walks of life,” says NATA president Scott Sailor, EdD, ATC. “Today’s event addressed youth sports, work and military settings and the importance of establishing policies and protocols to keep our athletes, employees and military forces off the sidelines and doing what they do best in their respective environments.”

What the Statistics Say: 

  • ·             Only 12 percent of states meet the recommendation that every school have a written emergency action plan distributed to staff members; 16 of 50 states currently meet minimum best practices with regard to heat acclimatization and only 50 percentof states meet the recommendation that sports medicine staff and others have access to an automated external defibrillator on a school property and at all school sanctioned athletic activities.
  • ·             The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates between 1.6 and 3.8 million concussions occur annually.
  • ·             Musculoskeletal injuries are the single largest impediment to operational readiness in the military.
  • ·             The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 650,000 work-related musculoskeletal disorders result in costs to employers of more than $20 billion.
  • ·             From July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014, there were a total of 80 catastrophic injuries and illnesses at the high school and college level captured by the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research. The majority were at the high school level (78 percent).

Speakers and topics included Mark Hoffman, PhD, ATC, FNATA, lead author, “Athletic Training and Pubic Health Summit” and vice provost for International Programs, Oregon State University, who discussed Integration of Athletic Training and Public Health: From the Care of Patient to a Population. Hoffman expanded on the paper’s outcomes and set the theme for the morning event.

Douglas Casa, PhD, ATC, FNATA, chief executive officer, Korey Stringer Institute, and director of Athletic Training Education and professor in the Department of Kinesiology, University of Connecticut, discussed Developing and Implementing Evidence-Based Practice Policies and Procedures for the Prevention of Sudden Death in Sport with examples of policy changes that resulted in reduced occurrence of exertional heat stroke in high school football athletes and reduced incidence of exertional sickling related deaths among college football players once guidelines were implemented.

Jim Allivato, LAT, ATC, CEIS, director of Operations, ATI Worksite Solutions, addressed Early Intervention Methods for Industry and Bridging the Gap between a Proactive and Reactive Approach and how this can lead to increased production and a decrease in employer costs including insurance premiums and workers’ compensation, among others.

Tamara C. Valovich McLeod, PhD, ATC, FNATA, director of Athletic Training Programs at A.T. Still University’s Arizona School of Health Sciences, spoke onConcussion as a Public Health Issue with a focus on youth sports safety. McLeod reinforced the benefits of a collaborative interdisciplinary approach to care including athletic trainers, school nurses, administrators, teachers and others. She sourced several studies from the Beliefs, Attitudes and Knowledge Regarding Pediatric Concussion or BAKPAC project which has helped to assess knowledge, attitude and familiarity of concussion management practices and return student athletes to the field and classroom.

Michael Hooper, MA, ATC, CSCS, sports medicine program manager, Naval Special Warfare, offered comments on Why a Sports Medicine Model is Critical for Care of our Military Forces. Citing current research on musculoskeletal injuries, the number one impediment to operational readiness and also addressing concussion incidence, Hooper outlined an approach that reduces time loss from injury and engages soldiers, command staff and medical teams to ensure best protocols are in place.

Kristen Kucera, PhD, MSPH, ATC, assistant professor, Department of Exercise and Sport Science and director, National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, provided critical information onSurveillance of Catastrophic Sport-Related Injury and Illness among Middle School, High School and College Athletes. She reinforced the importance of emergency preparedness and medical team collaboration to reduce incidence and save lives.

Brian Westbrook, two-time Pro Bowl running back and 2016 NFL Hall of Fame nominee, discussed his own experience with sports safety, reducing the risk of injury and working closely with athletic trainers and coaches to ensure the best protocols are in place to keep athletes safe. A Fort Washington, Maryland native, Westbrook spent eight seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles and one with the San Francisco 49ers. He graduated from DeMatha Catholic High School (in Hyattsville) and Villanova University.

“The overriding theme of today’s event is reducing that risk of injury and ensuring a collaborative approach to care is in place,” said Sailor. “We’ve seen how policy can save lives and how an integrated effort involving schools, coaches, athletic trainers and others can ensure best practices are in place.”

In an effort to further reinforce the importance of injury prevention, the association announced a new public awareness campaign and formally launched its new website, At Your Own Risk (www.AtYourOwnRisk.org) designed to educate, provide resources and equip the public to act and advocate for safety in work, life and sport. The site includes an interactive map with all 50 states’ sports safety information; interactive quizzes on sports and occupational safety protocols; an opportunity to read and share personal stories of sports safety success; and information on sports safety legislation and how to support related bills.

It’s vital for all of us to do our part to reduce risk of injury in all areas of our lives,” says Sailor. “Then we can succeed in work, life and sport knowing the right protocols are in place to ensure our health and well-being.”

About NATA: National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) – Health Care for Life & Sport

Athletic trainers are health care professionals who specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries and sport-related illnesses. They prevent and treat chronic musculoskeletal injuries from sports, physical and occupational activity, and provide immediate care for acute injuries. Athletic trainers offer a continuum of care that is unparalleled in health care. The National Athletic Trainers' Association represents and supports 43,000 members of the athletic training profession. Visitwww.nata.org. At Your Own Risk is NATA’s public awareness campaign designed to educate, provide resources and equip the public to act and advocate for safety in work, life and sport. In an effort to provide comprehensive information, the association has launched a website that provides recommendations on keeping student athletes and communities active and employees safe on the job. Visit AtYourOwnRisk.org.

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