By Kim Diggs
On the heels of a bipartisan triumph for sports medicine, NATA members will get the opportunity to participate in an annual political tradition. ATs from all over the country will travel to Washington, D.C., to participate in the annual Capitol Hill Day April 3, 2019. Registration is free and open now through Feb. 28, 2019.
More than just a photo opportunity, Capitol Hill Day has aided in amplifying the voices of ATs around the country by cementing the importance of topics that affect ATs on a daily basis.
Last year, Capitol Hill Day attendees once again pushed Congress to pass the Sports Medicine Licensure Act, which allows health care services provided by a covered sports medicine professional to an athlete, an athletic team, or a staff member of the team outside of his or her home state to be deemed to have occurred in the professional’s primary state of licensure.
This bill was necessary because, over the years, many ATs have had no legal protection when treating patients while traveling with a team to another state because their insurance was deemed invalid once they left their home states.
Thanks to the tireless work of NATA, members of Congress and many passionate members who sent letters to their Congress representatives or flew to Washington, D.C., to ascend upon Capitol Hill, the Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act was signed into law by President Trump in October.
Six months after this monumental occurrence, NATA members will have the same opportunity to meet with members of Congress in the House and Senate and ensure the concerns of ATs are voiced.
In the evening April 2, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Political Action Committee (NATAPAC) will be hosting an event that gives attendees a chance to mingle prior to Capitol Hill Day. This event is optional and has a $50 admission fee, which is not included in the registration for Capitol Hill Day as it solely supports the NATAPAC.
Check-in for Capitol Hill Day begins at 7 a.m. April 3 at Hilton Garden Inn. Attendees will receive a complimentary continental breakfast, be briefed on the activities of the day and have the opportunity to ask any final questions of NATA staff until 9 a.m. At that time, attendees will head to the Metro to travel to Capitol Hill. There will be a hotel room at the Hilton Garden Inn available for attendees to store luggage, if needed. No luggage is permitted on Capitol Hill.
At 9:30 a.m., attendees will meet on the steps of the Capitol for a group photo and have an opportunity to take photos with state delegates. Congressional meetings begin at 10 a.m.
Attendees are asked not to book flights home that depart prior to 4:30 p.m. April 3.
Housing will be provided at the Hilton Garden Inn. Attendees are only able to reserve one room per online transaction.
Being vocal about the needs of athletic trainers doesn’t just benefit athletic trainers; it benefits children, teenagers, college students and athletes of all types from all walks of life. Recent history has shown that when ATs are vocal and politically active, there are tangible results, even if the efforts are years in the making.
Visit the Capitol Hill Day site for the full schedule, as well as links to the registration or housing pages.