Five Ways To Advocate at Convention

May 9, 2024 by Kristin Carroll
75 Things to Know About Convention: 5 Ways to Advocate

The 75th NATA Clinical Symposia & AT Expo, June 25-28 in New Orleans, is approaching – and registration is now open. As we get ready for convention, NATA Now is looking back at convention history as well as what to know about NATA 2024.

NATA advocates on behalf of the athletic training profession at the state and federal level. Advocacy is vital to advancing the profession as a part of the health care continuum. From licensure to reimbursement, advocacy helps grow athletic training each year. For NATA’s advocacy efforts to be successful, members need to participate, too.

“Convention is an ideal time to talk advocacy, as face-to-face interactions will always spur new ideas and initiate conversations,” said NATA Government Affairs Committee Chair B.J. Maack, LAT, ATC. “In fact, I would be willing to bet all the Cramergesic in the world that more great state legislative and advocacy ideas have been borne out of a late June NATA meeting than any other activity. It's where we not only learn from the people at the podium, but also from our peers at the restaurant, hotel lobbies, watering holes, etc.”

ATs will have multiple opportunities to engage with advocacy efforts at convention. Read on for insight into five such opportunities and check out the convention schedule for more.


1. Attend the June 27 Opening Session

June 27 will be advocacy day at convention. To kick it off, NATA President Kathy Dieringer, EdD, LAT, ATC, will discuss some of the advocacy victories of the past year and share on the importance of advocating for the profession during the opening session from 8 to 8:45 a.m.


2. Support NATAPAC

Visit the NATA Political Action Committee booth in the NATA Connect area of the AT Expo to get an update on NATAPAC initiatives. While there, you can join the “625 Club” with a recurring monthly donation of $6.25 in celebration of the 75th anniversary of convention and NATA.

Starting this year, NATAPAC’s biggest fundraiser is officially the Chuck Kimmel Memorial NATAPAC Lunch. Taking place from noon to 1:30 p.m., June 27, the event is always one of the most sought-after tickets at convention. Attendees will enjoy a served lunch, networking with peers and an inspiring keynote address, this year delivered by NATA Hall of Fame member and former District Nine Director Marisa Brunett, MS, LAT, ATC.

Attendees who wish to sponsor a student at the lunch can purchase their ticket, and any sponsored tickets, on their convention registration. Attendees can designate who the ticket is for or leave it blank for staff to assign.


3. Attend the Government Affairs Committee Town Hall

Directly following the Chuck Kimmel Memorial NATAPAC Lunch, the NATA Government Affairs Committee will host its first-ever town hall at 2:30 p.m. Take time to connect with committee members and learn about the state of advocacy so far this year.


4. Stop By the Level Up! Theatre

Opportunities exist throughout the day to enrich your convention experience with the return of the popular Level Up! Theatre. During 30-minute breaks in convention programming, the Level Up! Theatre will feature 10-minute presentations by thought leaders in the profession on hot topics in athletic training. Two of these topics will focus on advocacy within athletic training.

NATA Director of Government Affairs Amy Callender and Manager of State Government Affairs Deanna Kuykendall will present at 11:05 a.m. June 26 on new advocacy resources and how members can get engaged at every level.

Joe Green, MS, ATC, NATA Third Party Reimbursement Initiative facilitator, will present on “Why Third Party Reimbursement Matters to Me” at 10:05 a.m. June 28. If you want to know more about the Third Party Reimbursement Initiative and the progress NATA has made in this area, this presentation is for you. Green will provide insight on all things billing and reimbursement.


5. Visit the Government Affairs Booth

NATA Government Affairs staff will be in the NATA Connect area during the AT Expo to answer questions about legislative priorities, advocacy at the state and federal levels and more. NATA’s Government Affairs staff all have experience working in legislative offices and positions. This is a great opportunity to ask questions or make suggestions. They look forward to meeting you!