"Injury Assessment" is focus for March 2003 National Athletic Training Month

"INJURY ASSESSMENT" IS FOCUS FOR MARCH 2003 NATIONAL ATHLETIC TRAINING MONTH Physicians, Parents, Coaches, School Administrators, Employers and Others Value Athletic Trainer Contributions; Recognize Overall Health Care Savings

DALLAS (Jan. 14, 2003) - Immediately following a sports- or work-related injury, certified athletic trainers (ATCs) are among those who can provide the most thorough injury assessment of what needs to happen next to reduce the long-term effect of an injury. What corrective techniques or exercises are best? What type of medical care is necessary? How soon can work, play or physical activities be resumed? In March, the 30,000 members of National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) will celebrate the third annual National Athletic Training Month. This year’s theme of Injury Assessment: The First Step in Treatment & Recovery is a follow up to the 2002 injury prevention theme. At the national level, as well as in individual communities, certified athletic trainers will be hosting numerous special events and educational activities throughout March to boost an increased public awareness about the athletic training profession. “This year, we’ll concentrate on educating others about injury assessment. NATA’s big-picture objective is to enable people to gain a broader perspective of what exactly athletic trainers do and what they can do as highly educated and skilled allied health care professionals,” said NATA President Julie Max, ATC and head athletic trainer at California State University, Fullerton. “National Athletic Training Month was established so that we could do a better job of educating the public about our profession, and our quality and level of care. We want people to know that athletic trainers are integral members of any medical or athletic health care team and work hand-in-hand with physicians and other allied health personnel every step of the way.” Athletic trainers also play key roles in containing costs for corporate America, as businesses look to decrease health care-associated costs, such as insurance and workers compensation. "Our company has had a certified athletic trainer on site for three years, and since that time, we have recognized the tremendous upside in the tangible and intangible benefits of this addition, including a savings of more than $245,000 in just 2002 alone in health care-related expenditures," said Dr. James E. Marotz, corporate medical director of Appleton Papers, Inc. "In our setting, this work can be best accomplished by an individual with the medical knowledge and training of an athletic trainer. We wouldn't have it any other way and will continue this program for the long term." Dallas-based NATA will spearhead the National Athletic Training Month activities in March, with support from its membership base on the local level. People interested in learning more about the athletic training profession are encouraged to visit NATA’s Web site at www.nata.org. About NATA: Certified athletic trainers (ATCs) are medical professionals who specialize in the prevention, assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries and illnesses that occur to athletes and the physically active. The National Athletic Trainers' Association represents and supports the more than 30,000 members of the athletic training profession through education and research.

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