The following abstract is an example of a program that was awarded a Category 1 EDAC Diversity Enhancement Grant. All EDAC grant recipients submit abstracts at the conclusion of their projects.
Saint Louis University’s Athletic Training Program is strongly committed to promoting ethnic diversity in athletic training and sports medicine. The objective of this program was to nurture interest in athletic training among ethnically diverse students and to support the development of the skills they will need as college students and future health professionals.
To meet this objective, the SLU AT Program reached out to students at Roosevelt High School (RHS) with an interest in athletic training and sports medicine and developed a club at the school that meets four times per year. Less than a mile from the SLU Medical Center Campus, RHS is in the St. Louis Public School District with the following demographics: 80% African-American; 13% White; 3% Hispanic; and 3% Asian. The club featured workshops and field trips intended to foster interest in sports medicine among the RHS students. The sessions included necessary supplies, transportation (if needed) and food. Read a full recap with photos on the SLU blog.
In the initial year of the RHS Athletic Training Club, the coordinator was Jose Mendez, MAT, LAT, ATC (SLU MAT Class of 2015). The club participated in the following activities:
- Introduction and AT skills session by SLU AT student mentors at Roosevelt High School
- NCAA Division I session at Saint Louis University, with basketball game after session
- National Football League session at Rams Park with St. Louis Rams AT Staff
- Major League Baseball session at Busch Stadium with St. Louis Cardinals AT Staff
In the second year of the RHS AT Club, the coordinator was Demeisha Crawford, ATC (SLU MAT Class of 2016). The club participated in the following activities:
- Introduction at RHS, Saint Louis University and Busch Stadium sessions as in the previous year.
- Instead of the NFL session this year, there was a culminating presentation by St. Louis native and University of Kansas Associate Athletic Director for Sports Medicine, Murphy Grant, MS, LAT, PES
Assessment was done to measure the effectiveness of the program and to guide future programs. RHS AT Club members were asked to complete surveys regarding their experience; about their understanding of key aspects of AT education; and their feelings about attending college and a career as an athletic trainer. Significant changes were made in several of the factors, including knowledge of the profession and their feeling about AT a profession.
Representative quotes include:
“My favorite part was being able to experience different things and also being motivated by the guest speakers who were brought in.”
“I loved going on the field trips, and I liked learning new things. I think this is my new career!”
Students in the SLU AT Program also benefitted, serving as coordinators and student mentors for the club. It was designed to help these students improve communication skills and cultural competence while serving as mentors for students in the club.
The third year of the Roosevelt High School AT Club the coordinator was Amelia Meigs, ATC (SLU MAT Class of 2017). This is the first year that RHS had a certified athletic trainer, Kemba Noel-London MAT, ATC, CES, on site at the school through the school-based Health Center.
The club met approximately once per month (7 times) at RHS and had a field trip to SLU for a facility tour, educational session and a basketball game. Sessions included hands-on activities on basic athletic training tasks. A registered dietitian conducted a hands-on session on healthy eating. The club concluded with an “Athletic Training Olympics” in the football stadium.
In 2017, the yield on the RHS student surveys did not allow for adequate data analysis, however the SLU AT Student Mentors were surveyed on their experience in the RHS AT Club. Representative quotes include:
“As an ATC, it will be important to be able to communicate and relate to a culturally and ethnically diverse patient population…[the RHS AT Club] has helped me be able to do that.”
“[The RHS AT Club] has made me more patient and understanding of different backgrounds”
“I got to engage with a very different population than I have in previous clinical experiences.”
“Working with the club really reinforced the notion of knowing your athletes, their ambitions and struggles. These are often essential in properly caring for them.”