NATA News Celebrates Meet the Member

February 9, 2023 by Lydia Hicks

As a new feature added to NATA News in 2022, Meet the Member highlights NATA members who are positively advancing the athletic training profession. This month, NATA celebrates the feature’s one-year anniversary.

Beginning with the February 2022 issue, this ongoing NATA News series showcases ATs who represent various districts, settings and experience levels. Their outstanding efforts have moved the profession forward within their workplaces and communities as well as with their patients and athletes.

The goal of Meet the Member is to further shine a light on the diverse NATA membership and the great work these ATs are doing on behalf of their patients and the profession.

In the past year, the monthly publication has featured the following members. Continue reading for a major nugget from each AT featured, in chronological order, and check out NATA News each month for more motivating stories.

February 2022: Jeff Williams, PhD, LAT, ATC, Indiana, District Four
“I think that whether it’s treating patients in the field, teaching pre-service ATs in the classroom or contributing to new knowledge in a research lab, when we collectively do these things – and a host of other things – with integrity and excellence, the profession advances.”

March 2022: Em Munson, MS, ATC, Ohio, District Four
“We, as ATs, are in such a unique, valuable position: We work with a wide variety of patients, and we work with a wide variety of other professionals. This means that when we advocate for compassionate, accessible, patient-centered care, we can lead by example for the many other health care professionals as well as those in positions of power.”

April 2022: Nina Walker, MA, LAT, ATC, North Carolina, District Three
“Representation matters so much; but if you don’t see it, be it. I have been blessed to be the first in a lot of things, but my duty is to not be the last. Mentorship is one of the most rewarding parts of my journey. Take advantage of every opportunity to meet people, network and talk to people who are where you want to be. You never know where you will find your next mentor or lifelong friend in this profession.

May 2022: Quinton Sawyer, DAT, LAT, ATC, North Carolina, District Three
“I think there are many ways for ATs to impact the profession, and I encourage all to find ways to make an impact in the places and spaces that you are in. Find the things that you are passionate about, and then find ways to make an impact in those spaces. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to make a door where one doesn’t exist, because we, as a profession, are nothing without innovation and change!”

June 2022: Jennifer Brodeur, MS, LAT, ATC, Massachusetts, District One
“Our field is a combination of so many skills that we have the unique ability to provide aid in a multitude of realms and can expedite care and resolution of problems. In no other field is the provider with the patient for the amount of time we are. We are able to gain knowledge about every aspect of the individual, including how they manage injury/illness, and in turn, have a deeper sense of how to best advocate for each athlete individually.”

July 2022: John Sunchild, MS, LAT, ATC, Montana, District Ten
“Compassionate health care is providing services to individuals from a complete perspective in respect to their culture, identity, spirituality and individual circumstance. Our Chippewa-Cree people use the term ‘mi-yo-mah-chi-o-win,’ which translates to physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being. This term is something I always incorporate into the services I provide; this concept allows you to not only care for patients but also prove your trustworthiness as a clinician and as a person.”

August/September 2022: Lovie Tabron, MS, LAT, ATC, Georgia, District Nine
“I believe being a leader in patient-centered health care starts inside. We all have internal biases that have been influenced by many things, such as the environments we grew up in or the ecosystem we call family. It takes an active effort to create a new narrative and identify learned behaviors that illustrate that bias. Once we identify internal needs, hopefully, a fire is fueled to help others do the same.”

 October 2022: Isabelle Lindblade, North Carolina, District Three
“I have done clinical rotations in several different traditional athletics settings and have enjoyed them all. But I am intrigued by exploring how athletic training can benefit athletes in lesser-known arenas like performing arts and, in particular, the rodeo. I grew up attending rodeos with my family, and I have always been fascinated by the speed and power of the sport. I think that these athletes are underserved in the world of rehab, preventive care and equipment design. I would like to join a movement to research these athletes and keep them healthier and competing at their top level longer.”

November 2022: Kyle Wilson, MEd, LAT, ATC, Nevada, District Eight
“Every patient that you work with is unique. They all have a slightly different injury, different perceptions of pain, different expectations and have different experiences with health care providers. Many of the associates in my current setting have had limited experiences with anyone in the medical profession. You have to earn their trust, one person at a time. If some of them can’t work, then they are not able to support their family. Every person matters. What you do matters.”

January 2023: Jamie DeRollo, DAT, MBA, ATC, California, District Eight
“Find a strong support system and give back to the profession when you can. It could be your family, friends, significant other, peers or mentors. Maintain and continue to build those bridges as they are lifelines for the AT. My husband has been my biggest supporter. As we both know, I am a better mom and wife because I have my profession; it is part of who I am.”

February 2023: Shaketha Pierce, MEd, LAT, ATC, Texas, District Six
“ATs can be advocates for our patients by acknowledging and working through socioeconomic barriers, language limitations and lack of resources, to name a few. We can educate other medical professionals on who we are and what we do.”