NATA Letter to HHS Secretary

February 17, 2017 by Todd Christman

Below is the text of a letter sent by NATA President Scott Sailor, EdD, ATC, to Tom Price, recently confirmed secretary of health and human services: 

On behalf of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), I am writing to congratulate you on your confirmation as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

NATA greatly appreciates the longstanding and collaborative relationship we have had with you and your staff during your tenure in the House of Representatives and as a member of the GOP Doctors Caucus. We enjoyed working with you and the American Academy/Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) on the recently House-passed H.R. 302, the Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act. As a cosponsor of the bill in the 114th Congress, we appreciate your steadfast support of an issue of great importance to our members. NATA looks forward to finding other opportunities for collaboration with you in your new role.

Your confirmation to this role stands as a testament to a lifetime working to improve how American health care is delivered. From your days as an orthopaedic surgeon, to your time in the Georgia State Senate and U.S. Congress, to now, you have been persistent in your efforts to advance the practice of quality health care. As a former provider, you are keenly aware of the challenges and opportunities faced by health care professionals. You have supported their efforts to be successful advocates for our highest priority – the patient. To that end, we are excited to introduce ourselves and the profession of athletic training to you.

NATA is a professional organization serving more than 44,000 certified athletic trainers, students of athletic training, and other health care professionals. Our mission is to represent, engage, and foster the continued growth and development of the athletic training profession and athletic trainers as unique health care providers. Athletic trainers are health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention, and rehabilitation of injuries. Athletic trainers are thoroughly trained to provide urgent and acute care of injuries.

Athletic trainers specialize in preventing, diagnosing, and treating muscle and bone injuries and illnesses. Athletic trainers are included under the allied health professions category as defined by HHS, and are assigned National Provider Identifier (NPI) numbers. In addition to employment by sports and athletic organizations, athletic trainers are employed by hospitals, clinics, occupational health departments, wellness facilities, all branches of the United States military, and in a variety of other health care delivery settings. In 49 states and the District of Columbia, athletic trainers are licensed or otherwise statutorily regulated. 

We expect there will be many opportunities to partner with you during your tenure at the helm of HHS and feel confident that the unique needs and perspectives of athletic trainers will be taken into consideration under your leadership. NATA looks forward to working with you and your colleagues to promote the practice of athletic training and preserve the health of the individuals and communities we serve. We stand ready to be a resource to you throughout your transition and beyond. Please do not hesitate to contact me or Amy Callender, Director of Government Affairs ( or (972) 532-8853) should you have any questions or if we can be of any assistance.