Connect and CelebrATe at Town Halls

June 14, 2024 by Kristin Carroll
NATA 2024: Connect at Town Halls

This year, more NATA committees and councils are hosting town halls than ever before, giving attendees of the in-person 75th NATA Clinical Symposia & AT Expo, June 25-28 in New Orleans, more opportunities to connect and network with ATs in their settings or who share similar professional interests.

The NATA Council on Professional Advancement, NATA Government Affairs Committee, NATA Early Professionals’ Committee, NATA Career Advancement Committee, NATA Intercollegiate Council for Sports Medicine and NATA ATs Care Commission are each hosting town halls for the first time at NATA 2024. The NATA Ethnic Diversity Advisory Committee, NATA LGTBQ+ Advisory Committee, AT EducATionalist Cabinet and NATA Secondary Schools Athletic Trainers’ Committee are returning with their popular town halls.

Save the date, June 26-27 at the Morial Convention Center (MCC), and attend these events to meet ATs from around the country and learn more about each group as well as their efforts and accomplishments over the past year.


3 to 5 p.m. June 26

COPA Town Hall

MCC, Room 261

Attendees of the COPA Town Hall will receive insight into the history of the council and have a chance to connect with industry thought leaders during a Q&A session.

"The NATA Council on Practice Advancement is excited to host its first town hall, [during which] members will be provided a historical overview of COPA, an in depth look into each of the subject matter expert panels, what resources are currently available to the membership and, finally, an opportunity to ask targeted questions and network with SME colleagues in a variety of practice settings," said COPA Chair Karen Fennell, MS, LAT, ATC.


EDAC Town Hall

MCC, Room 266

The EDAC Town Hall is the premier networking event for ATs interested in diversity and cultural competency. Attend to learn more about EDAC’s projects and initiatives. This year’s Bill Chisolm Professional Service Award recipients, Monroe Abram, MEd, LAT, ATC, and Nicolette Harris, DAT, LAT, ATC, will also be recognized during the town hall.

“The EDAC Town Hall is an opportunity for all individuals to celebrate ethnically diverse athletic trainers and their accomplishments throughout the year, as well as learn about initiatives within the profession that EDAC has engaged in,” said EDAC Chair Darryl Conway, MA, AT, ATC. “There will also be a great opportunity for mentoring and engagement for all throughout the event.”

Before and after the town hall, participate in the Dress for Success Career Closet program. EDAC will collect gently used, clean and freshly laundered professional clothing suitable for wearing to job interviews. Donations will benefit Career Closet programs and/or Dress for Success programs at local colleges and universities.

Clothing donations can be dropped off in the NATA 2024 registration area June 25-26 and outside of the EDAC Town Hall. Acceptable donations include:

  • Interview-appropriate suits and pant suits
  • Sport coats and blazers
  • Dress pants
  • Dress shirts and blouses
  • Ties
  • Interview-appropriate skirts and dresses


ICSM Town Hall

MCC, Room 272

After successfully reaching members virtually for the past few years, ICSM will host its first in-person town hall at NATA 2024. Attendees from the college/university setting can learn about ICSM’s victories in the past year and priorities for the upcoming year. In addition, ICSM will present its awards for Head Athletic Trainer of Year, Staff Athletic Trainer of the Year, Above and Beyond Award and New Horizon Award.

ISCM Chair Brant Berkstresser, MS, LAT, ATC said, “Town Halls have been a successful medium for the ICSM to share information and provide solutions facing the collegiate athletic trainer, and we look forward to seeing members there.”


2:30 to 4:30 p.m. June 27

LGBTQ+ Town Hall

MCC, Room 266

During the town hall, attendees will hear updates from the LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee as well as have the opportunity to ask questions and chat with other members about their concerns and ideas. The committee will also celebrate its accomplishments and honor the recipients of the 2024 LGBTQ+ Award for Inclusive Excellence, Cassandra Heald, MS, ATC, and Dani Moffit, PhD, LAT, ATC.

“The LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee Town Hall this year is focused on celebrating Pride and inclusion,” said LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee Chair Jennifer Sturtevant, MBA, LAT, ATC. “Between holding a sock drive to benefit the Covenant House to having our first Pride Olympic Games, our town hall promises to entertain, engage and offer the opportunity to celebrate in a festive and affirming space for all!”

Covenant House New Orleans provides shelter and services for youth under 22 years old. The committee is seeking new socks of any length and color. Fun socks are especially encouraged. Covenant House representatives will also be at the town hall and will speak about the organization and its impact.


GAC Town Hall

MCC, Room 345

The NATA Governmental Affairs Committee and NATA Government Affairs staff will present on recent successes at the federal level as well as continuing efforts. The committee will also honor its award winners:

  • William T. Griffin Award for Outstanding Leadership in Legislative Advocacy: Jane Miraglia, MSHA, LAT, ATC
  • Impact Advocacy Award: Jessica Kerns, MSAT, LAT, ATC
  • Daniel L. Campbell Legislative Award Class I: South Carolina Athletic Trainers’ Association
  • Daniel L. Campbell Legislative Award Class II: Rhode Island Athletic Trainers’ Association

“When this question, or a variation of it, is asked, ‘What does the NATA do for me?’ there's always one tangible answer that is indisputable, and that is the value of the Governmental Affairs Committee and the related NATA staff,” said GAC Chair BJ Maack, LAT, ATC. “Come to our town hall on Thursday to hear some recent updates as well as some proven grassroot strategies to help you engage your state's legislators. Bring your questions, too!”


EPC/CAC Town Hall

MCC, New Orleans Theater B

During the town hall, hear from the EPC and CAC about their priorities for the coming year. Each committee will recognize their award winners:

  • Early Professionals' Excellence Award: Estefania Zavala, DAT, LAT, CES
  • Career Advancing National Distinction Award: Rhianna Freiburger, DAT, LAT, ATC

“The joint Early Professionals and Career Advancement Town Hall is such an exciting new event for NATA 2024,” said EPC Chair Emily Mulkey, MBA, LAT, ATC. “This event shows that the pulse of our future beats strong as the two committees representing our young professionals' voices create a platform for you. Join us for an afternoon of recognition, reflection and connection. It's not just another event; it's a chance for your voice to be heard, to learn from the past year's accomplishments and to shape the path forward. Come be a part of something bigger, where your presence matters more than you know. We can't wait to see you!”

“As the chair of the Career Advancement Committee, I strongly encourage all early career and career-advancing professionals to attend the EPC/CAC Town Hall at this year's convention,” said CAC Chair Nicolette Harris, DAT, LAT, ATC. “This is a unique opportunity to share experiences, ask questions and voice concerns pertinent to early and mid-career athletic trainers. You can trust that your insights will be used to shape the Career Advancement Committee’s programming for the next year and, ultimately, influence the future of our profession. Your attendance and participation are vital in ensuring that our committee’s vision reflects the needs and aspirations of the athletic trainer who aspires to advance their career. Together, we can make a profound impact and drive our profession forward.”


ATs Care Town Hall

MCC, Room 288

The ATs Care Town Hall is a great opportunity to learn about how athletic trainers can support one another during and after critical incidents. The commission will discuss NATA’s partnership with the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF) and share how to schedule critical incident training for your team.

“It’s important to understand that we all experience critical moments in our careers; some may be catastrophic injuries and some moments may involve our will to continue in our career,” said Chair Lovie Tabron, MS, ATC, CCISM. “No matter the magnitude of the incident, it is important to have an empathetic responder who understands the world of athletic training. We have capitalized on our partnership with ICSF to create tailored training platforms for athletic trainers.”


3 to 4:30 p.m. June 27

AT EducATionalist Town Hall

MCC, Room 272

During the AT EducATionalist Town Hall, the community’s leadership will share their progress and accomplishments to date as well as provide an opportunity for anyone interested in athletic training education to engage in conversation. Attendees are encouraged to share what education-related issues are important to them and what the profession needs to have a larger conversation about and shine more light on.

“The EducATionalist Town Hall is a wonderful opportunity for those passionate about pre-professional and post-professional education to connect with the strategic alliance partners for an open exchange of information,” said EducATionalist Cabinet Chair Wanda Swiger, LAT, ATC, CES.


SSATC Town Hall

MCC, Room 261

The SSATC Town Hall provides athletic trainers in or interested in the secondary school setting a place to network and interact. SSATC will provide information on committee initiatives, ways to get involved and seek input from attendees. The 2024 Servant’s Heart and AT of the Year district winners and national winner will be celebrated.

“The SSATC Town Hall is the opportunity for ATs who are passionate for or looking for more information about practicing in the secondary school setting,” said SSATC Chair Jennifer Rheeling, MS, ATC. “We look forward to honoring our Servant’s Heart and Athletic Trainer of the Year winners. Our National Athletic Trainer of the Year, selected from the district winners, will be announced. Attendees will hear updates on committee priorities, initiatives and projects. Most importantly, we look forward to fellowship with our fellow ATs who are committed to meeting the unique challenges and thrive on the rewards of working with this patient population.”