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2013-2014 Athletic Training Student Association (ATSA) Events

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Art 2_BowlforBrain_12013 Bowl for Brain Injury event

The Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona held its annual fundraiser “Bowl for Brain Injury” in the fall of 2013. Funds from this event support brain injury awareness and research. This year, five ATSU athletic training students created the team, The Cere-Bowlers, and raised over $700 for this cause. Stay tuned for next year’s event to sponsor an athletic training student![rev_slider brain]

Special Olympics

During the 2013 Special Olympics event hosted by Special Olympics Arizona, ATSU athletic training students volunteered at the health promotion tent. Students started the day out by socializing with the athletes and their families. Athletes were encouraged to participate in the free screenings offered at the event, and were directed through the screening process by the volunteer athletic training students. After being guided through screenings, student volunteers said goodbye to the athlete participants and provided them with free giveaways. This event was a great opportunity for ATSU athletic training students to assist a unique athletic population and be involved with the local community.

Art 4_DayforSpecialSmiles_3Day for Special Smiles

“Day for Special Smiles” was a community outreach program organized by the ATSU American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry (AADMD) Chapter. The ATSU-AADMD Chapter is an organization composed of healthcare professionals who are dedicated to improving the quality of healthcare for adults with neurodevelopment disorders and intellectual disabilities, including autism, cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome, and over 2000 other childhood onset syndromes.

The “Day for Special Smiles” interdisciplinary event was held in November 2013 and involved multiple programs in a unified effort to provide local special needs youth and adult with free health education and screenings. The Athletic Training Student Association, and specifically, the ATSA Community Committee, organized a table to provide educational materials to the participants on proper hydration and concussions.

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Art 5_ChristmasAngels_1Salvation Army Christmas Angels

Christmas Angels is a great annual program organized through the Salvation Army. This charity effort provides gifts for children of families who are in need of a little help during the holiday. This year ATSA was able provide gifts for 12 children. Gifts ranged from building blocks and cars, to clothes, jackets and shoes, for children ranging in age from 3 to 15 years old.

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Art 6_HS_Workshop_8Annual high school workshop

The Athletic Training Student Association (ATSA) welcomed nearly 200 high school students and chaperones from around the valley to their annual High School Workshop. High school students spent the day learning about first aide and splinting techniques, ACL reconstruction surgery, injury prevention techniques, and human anatomy with instruction and interaction using cadaver specimens. In the midst of exercising their brains, students also exercised their bodies by participating in a team activity relay. The workshop was organized and taught by members of ATSA with the help of faculty advisor, Barton Anderson MS, AT, ATC. Preventative techniques were taught with equipment utilized from FitLife, a local, athletic trainer-owned clinic. This year’s event was held in March, celebrating National Athletic Training month by promoting the profession and sharing knowledge with future healthcare providers.

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Art 7_SpreadtheWordEndtheWordSpread the Word to End the Word campaign

As part of a school-wide effort, many members of ATSA participated in the “Spread the Word to End the Word Campaign”. This effort was created to raise awareness of the derogatory use of the R-word (retard or retarded) and its negative effects on people with intellectual disabilities, as well as their families and friends. Students made an official pledge to eliminate the R-word from their professional and casual vocabulary, and showed their commitment by signing a banner that was displayed in the main lobby of ATSU. First year students Melissa Kay and Josie Harding further helped the campaign by manning the pledge recruitment table during the first week in March. More information can be found at

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Art 8_TryWorks_6TryWorks Athletic Training seminar

One of the points of distinction of ATSU’s AT program is the international network that it has formed; comprising of students, educators, and professionals relevant to the field of athletic training. The fostering of these connections has created a unique opportunity for undergraduate students from Japan to visit the United States to learn from local healthcare experts. In what is coined the TryWorks Athletic Training Seminar, Japanese students are given the opportunity to interact and learn from professionals in the Phoenix-Metro area, A.T. Still University, Arizona State University, and the Phoenix Suns. This seminar has a recurring stop at the ATSU-Mesa campus to allow Japanese students to learn from students and faculty of the AT program.

This year, five ATSU students participated in the programming. The focus of the seminar was topics relating to sports medicine. Interpretation of educational material takes place prior to the students’ arrival, and additionally, an interpreter is physically present during the entire seminar to promote real-time communication and collaboration between students. Second-year students Suzie Aparicio, Kelsey Picha, and Michelle Weber instructed the Japanese students in the cadaver anatomy lab; teaching bony and soft tissue structures of the upper extremity and back, and their function in relation to athletic training. Kelsey Picha and Michelle Weber continued the program with their lecture on The Youth Baseball Athlete: Prevention and Intervention. To finish up the seminar, second-year student Nicole Harshbarger and first-year student Josie Harding presented Spontaneous Pneumothorax to the students.

Afterward, the ATSU faculty and students involved in the seminar were invited to join the visiting students and mentors at a social dinner in Tempe. This informal get-together allowed students and faculty to mingle and learn about each other’s cultures. The visiting group taught the ATSU group a few new Japanese words and extended an invitation to the ATSU group to visit Japan for a similar seminar, and to watch the 2016 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

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Art-9_FCHWD_2Free Community Health and Wellness Day (FCHWD)

On Saturday April 12th, the ATSA and athletic training faculty participated in the annual ATSU Free Community Health and Wellness Day. This year the event was held in Mesa at Adelante Healthcare and was the biggest event thus far! Each respective ATSU program provided screenings, cleanings, visual or audiology exams as well as activities targeted towards younger children. Athletic training created an obstacle course that included cones, hula-hoops, jump ropes and agility ladders. In addition, education was provided to the parents about healthy eating habits, stretching, and ways to play safely. It was a great day of giving back to the community and all the kids loved to race AT students, as well as each other to see who could make it through the obstacle course the fastest!

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Art 10_AzATA_Hosa_4AzATA High School Session: HOSA

This year’s High School Session at the Arizona Athletic Trainers’ Association (AzATA) Winter Meeting broke new ground. With leadership from AzATA Professional Education Committee, the High School Session partnered with AzHOSA (Arizona Health Occupations Students of America) to become an approved sports medicine conference. Within this event, high school students attended lectures, hands-on labs, and were tested with a written and practical exam. Members of the ATSU Athletic Training Student Association participated by volunteering to judge the practical skills portion of the event. The graduate students used rubrics to assess high school students’ skills in manual muscle testing, range of motion assessment, and taping skills. After judging, students interacted with the high school participants to provide feedback and guidance.

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Art 11_ATSU_IPE_2_Josie Harding 2nd from LeftATSU IPE Case Competition

In November, ATSU hosted its second annual Interprofessional Education Collaborative Case Competition. The competition required participants to work through a patient case as a team of many different healthcare professionals. This provided an opportunity for the different professions to learn from one another while simulating patient care. After analyzing the case, the team had to determine the best course of action, incorporating the domains of interprofessional collaboration and whole-person healthcare. This year, two second year students, Kelsey Picha and Nicole Harshbarger, and three first year students, Lisa Stobierski, Leeah Fayson and Josie Harding, participated in the competition. Josie Harding was a member of the first place winning team.

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Art 12_PositivePlayProject_1City of Mesa Parks and Recreation: Positive Play Project

As a Youth Sports initiative, the City of Mesa Parks and Recreation founded the Positive Play Project. This initiative began in the fall of 2013, and was the start of a collaborative effort to encourage youth development and wellness in sports. The program served as an active guide and support tool for all Youth Sport coaches, parents/guardians, participants, and staff.

A.T. Still University’s Athletic Training Program joined as a partner in the project to provide high quality education, resources, and outreach in concussion, injury prevention, hydration and nutrition. Other partners of the project included the Positive Coaching Alliance, NextCare Urgent Care, ASU College of Health Solutions, and East Valley Sports. The AT program was active at three large events of the Positive Play Project, and was able to disseminate information to groups of a few hundred attendees at the kickoff of fall sports, and thousands at “Celebrate Mesa”, which has an average annual attendance of 6,000 adult and youth.

In addition to providing the public with health and wellness information, faculty and students assisted with an interactive obstacle course. In between obstacles, children were given multiple-choice questions regarding recommendations for proper exercise and nutrition. Adult and pediatric guests were provided handouts regarding athletic participation, injury prevention strategies, and concussion awareness and management.

For more information on the Positive Play Project, please visit the City of Mesa webpage at

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Art 13_IronmanIron Man

This year four AT students volunteered to help with the Ironman Arizona race, held in Tempe. The athletes who competed ranged from seasoned Ironman veterans to first timers, and even amputees. Students provided coverage at the finish line and in the main medical tent near the finish line. The ATs working in the main medical tent helped to triage patients as they were brought in from the racetrack. After a thorough history was taken to determine their symptoms, athletes were placed in the appropriate area to get medical care. The athletes who came into the tent experienced everything from exhaustion, blisters, road rash, to even a heart transplant patient with recurring chest pains. AT program volunteers noted of the event, “It was a great experience to see these types of conditions that we do not usually see on the field and be able to provide them with on-site care. It was a rewarding experience to see the athletes finish and hear their names as they crossed the finish line.”

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Falls Prevention

Art 14_FallsPreventionA.T. Still University’s Still Standing Fall Prevention Outreach is a community health education program aimed at helping elders prevent falls and address their fear of falling. The 8-week program, A Matter of Balance, teaches the elders to re-structure their fears of falling by becoming more assertive and improving their balance and dexterity. Free of charge to the public, ATSU’s Aging Studies program offers courses throughout the year in many locations throughout the valley. First-year ATSA members, Jessica Markbreiter and Lisa Stobierski instructed this course at Banner Boswell Medical Center in January and February. It was an extremely rewarding experience, and they plan to teach another course next year.

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Art 15_SM_LectureSeries_1Sports Medicine Lecture Series

In conjunction with the Sports Medicine Club, the Athletic Training Student Association created a campus-wide lecture series covering various topics in sports medicine. There were a total of four lectures, occurring once per month, aimed at disseminating information to all students, faculty, and staff of ATSU-Mesa.

Second-year students Suzie Aparicio and Nicole Harshbarger introduced the series with the first lecture, Components of Sideline Sports Medicine. In this presentation, students introduced the composition of a sports healthcare team, and discussed roles and actions before, during, and after a sports event. Director of Didactic Education and Assistant Professor for the Physician Assistant program, Ian McLeod MS, PA-C, ATC joined the presentation as a guest professional, providing his personal account of working in a healthcare team at various settings.

In promotion of American Heart Month, the second lecture, Sudden Cardiac Death in Sports, was held in February and was led by first-year students Arika Cozzi, Josie Harding, and Lindsay Minthorn. In this talk, students identified cardiac red flags/risks, pressed the importance of pre-participation exams, and discussed the role of the sports healthcare team in handling cardiac issues. A.T. Still University President, Craig Phelps, D.O., FAOASM was able to complement the material presented by the students by sharing his personal experience and expertise on the subject matter.

In support of National Athletic Trainers’ Month and Brain Injury Awareness Month, the third lecture on Sport-Related Concussion was held in March. Second-year students Michelle Weber and Kelsey Picha led this third lecture reviewing the definition and onset of a sport-related concussion, evaluation processes, and return-to-play guidelines. The guest professional for this presentation was the AT program’s in-house concussion expert Tamara Valovich McLeod, PhD, ATC, FNATA. Dr. McLeod took the students’ presentation a step further, and discussed current research findings and focuses regarding sport-related concussion.

The month of April hosted the fourth lecture/lab, which covered Sports Medicine Emergency Planning and Care. First-year students Josie Harding, Arika Cozzi, and second-year student Nicole Harshbarger taught the components of emergency action plans, how to handle a sport-related emergency, and provided attendees with hands-on instruction for spine boarding. First-year D.O. student Benjamin Brakke OMS-1, EMT, and ATSU alumnus, Michael McKenney MS, AT, CSCS, joined the lecture to share their professional experiences handling emergency events in athletics.

–On behalf of the AT program Athletic Training Student Association and the ATSU Sports Medicine Club, we extend a heartfelt THANK YOU to all of the guest professionals that assisted in making this lecture series a rewarding Interprofessional experience. The volunteering of your time and effort was fundamental in making the lecture series a success!

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Art 16_FundraisingUpdateUpdate from ATSA Fundraising Committee

This past year has been extremely successful for ATSA fundraising. ATSA hosted a number of events, the majority of which were centered on food. Twice during this year, Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill provided ATSA with a portion of the proceeds from every person who brought in a fundraising flyer on a specified day. Every Wednesday in March, Buffalo Wild Wings contributed money to ATSA from every food check between 5pm and closing time. ATSA also hosted several bake sales around a number of holidays; celebrating Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day with themed treats. Last but not least, the most successful endeavor for ATSA was the High School Anatomy Workshop. With around 200 future athletic training students in attendance, ATSA was able to raise significant funds. Raised monies in turn, allow the association to provide treats and merchandise at community and institution events, assist ATSA members in funding their attendance at the annual NATA conference, and provide a graduation celebration for students, families/friends, faculty, and staff.

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ATSU AT program Facebook page

Art-15_SM_LectureSeries_5Are you friends with us on Facebook? If not, join us to stay in touch with alumni and the current events happening with the program! See photos from current events, up-to-date news posts, and information on the Annual NATA Alumni Reception. Facebook group name: ATSU Athletic Training Program.


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