TSSAA & NFHS encourage participation in High School RIO Program

TATS recently received a request from Mark Reeves of the TSSAA and from Bob Colgate of the National Federation of State High School Associations.  They are trying to identify schools serviced by certified athletic trainers who would be interested in participating in the High School RIO National Injury Surveillance System.

Attached is information on High School RIO – the national injury surveillance system for the NFHS for the last decade.  Please take a few minutes and review the attached information to see if you would be willing and able to participate in this study for the 2016-2017 school year.

TATS Provides Assistance To Louisiana Flood Victims

The TATS Executive Board has unanimously decided to provide assistance to athletic trainers who were affected by the recent flooding in Louisiana.  This assistance is being provided in conjunction with SEATA as part of an initiative to "adopt" specific athletic trainers throughout Louisiana and ensure that both their personal and professional needs are able to be met.  This adoption program has evaluated the needs of these ATs and created a two-tier system to meet both personal and professional.  

  • Tier 1 ATs are those that have suffered significant personal AND professional losses.  These ATs will be provided a minimum of $1000 from state organizations.
  • Tier 2 ATs are those that have suffered either personal OR professional losses and those losses are not quite as significant.  These ATs will be provided a minimum of $500 from state organizations. 

TATS will be providing $1000 to Mike Rodrigues and $500 to Randy Gonzalez as part of the adoption program.  You can read more about Mike's story here and Randy's story here.

Also, there are additional opportunities for TATS Members to reach out to these and other ATs in need.  We would encourage members to visit the LATA's GoFundMe page and contribute to provide additional funds for those in need.  There may be some additional opportunities to get involved with sending physical items in the near future, so stay tuned for more details.

UPDATE: (10/11/2016) The GoFundMe organized by the LATA is now closed, but you can reach out to the LATA Leadership if you still have an interest in providing aid to these flooding victims.

A Letter from Mike Rodrigues, AT (Louisiana Flood Victim)

Our brief story:

On Sunday August 14th, at approximately 8am, my wife, daughter, dog and I left our house (that we had just moved into 3 weeks earlier) by boat.  We were rescued by what is now being called the Cajun Navy. I do not remember the names of the two individuals, only that the came over from Bruley, LA as volunteers. 

Two days later we were able to return to our home.  Our water level was relatively low, but as I am learning, it does not take much to cause significant damage.  We had to remove all the flooring, two feet of drywall throughout the entire house, all the wet insulation, baseboards, and all the doors.  Our furnishing loss could have been worse.  We only lost our living room furniture, a small dining set, my daughter's two dressers, and some small bookcases and end table.  My vehicle was a total loss.  As of today, it still has water in the rear of the vehicle.

Currently my dog is being fostered by some great people in the New Orleans area.

We were not in a flood zone.  We did not have flood insurance.  One of my neighbors has lived in the neighborhood for 12 years.  He has been through 3 hurricanes and has never had water in the streets.

Right now we are in the drying stage.  The exposed wood must dry completely before rebuilding can start.  We are meeting with contractors to start the process as soon as possible.

As for immediate needs, we are asking for gift cards to assist us with day to day expenses.  We are staying with friends, so it it hard to purchase and plan meals.  We have additional expenses, like rental of a storage unit for all our belonging and furniture.  We were lucky that all of our clothing was saved.  The only thing we really lost were a few pair of shoes each.

Scott, thank you for reaching out to me.  Please let me know if you need any additional information.

- Mike

A Letter from Randy Gonzalez, AT (Louisiana Flood Victim)

Starting on Wednesday August 10, the Baton Rouge area began to receive tropical storm type rains without the wind.  The rains would continue through Thursday, Friday and into Saturday.  We received over 30 inches of rain in 3 days.  There is nothing that we could do but watch the water.  Then on Friday August 12, I woke up at 4:15 am and checked the water outside.  The water was over my street which was no big deal.  Then at 4:30 the water was into my driveway and the water too deep in the street to get my wife's car out so I pulled into the garage.  By 5:00 am we had water flowing through our "Breezeway", the area between the house and the garage and by 5:30 am we had water beginning to come into the house and then by 6:00 am we had water up to the baseboards.  We then made the decision for my wife to leave in my truck while I could still get it out with the dogs and go to her mother's house about 1.5 miles away.  I remained in the house trying to get other things up in the air and preserve and to see how much worse things would get.  I finally decided to leave about 12:30 pm when the water was beginning to rise above our long windows.  I left the house with the wood flooring starting to float and all of our efforts to prevent flooding fail.  

We stay at my mother-in-laws house on Friday night and when we went to bed at 11:30 pm and a continuous day of rain the ditches and her back yard were free from water.  At about 4:00 am my mother-in-law woke us up to say she thought we had a problem  the water was halfway to the front door and the backyard was under water and about to top her deck which was 18" above the ground.  We were able to get her vehicle out and within an hour we were out of the house and hoping for the best but ready for what was to come.  We were not able to get out of the City of Central so we went to the highest ground available which was Life Tabernacle Church which opened its doors and we started with about 25 people and before the day was over we would have 250 people sheltered in an unofficial shelter with authorities saying they could not help us.  My wife and I assisted the pastor and his wife with the management of the shelter.  We started by getting people's names and any health concerns that we may have.  We had people undergoing Chemothreapy, heart conditions, diabetes, and other multiple health concerns which we were not equipped to properly handle.  

The church began taking on water at about noon.  At about 2:30 pm, we finally had a Sheriff's Office helicopter land at the church to survey the situation.  The decision was made to start landing a Black Hawk helicopter and ferrying people with health concerns and children first.  They also started bringing in boats for people with pets which included us.  We parked our vehicles at the front of the property which was the highest point hoping when we left that it would be high enough.  

As we were leaving the church, I called my school principal and one of the coaches on the staff to come and get us out of Central.  There was only one way in and one way out at the time.  This was at about 7:00 pm.  They reached us at Zoar Baptist Church.  My wife, her mother, 5 dogs, and myself got into a Jeep and headed out.  Two hours after we got out the only intersection entering Central was closed as it was 4 feet underwater.  

We then went to my school to shelter in my Athletic Training Room and while freshening up the best we could the electricity went out at the school.  My principal offered to take all of us to his home.  However, I could not see all of us and 5 dogs going into his home for an undetermined about of time. So my wife and her mother went to his home and I stayed with the dogs in my Athletic Training Facility.  The dogs soon became friends with most of the team and my student assistants.

When the waters went down we started the process of gutting our two homes.  Players and coaches from my school came to assist us with this endeavor.  We ended up with about 20 inches of water in our home and my mother-in-law ended up with 3 feet in her home.  Neither home had flooded in the past even in the flood of 1983 which was used as a measuring stick by the forecasters.  

We have met with all the adjusters, Insurance, and FEMA, we have started the process of putting our home back together.  We are currently meeting with contractors and getting bids on materials and performing the work that we can.  We have purchased a new car for my wife as her car received flood water.  

We have lost everything in the home with the exception of our clothes.  We lost our bedding and most of the furniture that we had.  We were able to save our electronics.

Our biggest needs now are funds to purchase new appliances not covered by insurance, bedding, and limited amount of furniture.  We would accept anything like chest of drawers or night stands.  The thing that would help the most are Home Depot Cards, Lowe's Cards, Target, Walmart.  We would use these funds to purchase materials and items for the home that are not covered by insurance.

Scott, please tell your members that we truly appreciate anything that they see fit to donate.  This has been a very humbling experience.  As you know, Athletic Trainers don't really ask others for help.  We are usually the ones who respond to aid others.  This has shown me how much others really do care about our profession and the things that we do for others.  It was very humbling to have my football players show me the love they did when I tried to thank them and became very emotional.  They all said we have your back coach don't worry we got this.  The aid that our state and now the Athletic Trainers of Tennessee are showing us in Louisiana is just unbelievable.

Brad Rohling selected as Middle TN Representative to TATS Executive Board

Congratulations to Mr. Brad Rohling on his election to the TATS Executive Board as the Middle Tennessee Representative.  Brad will fill the role left vacant when Tim Hoskins stepped down from the Executive Board after his many years of service to TATS.  Brad won a very close election between himself and Alan Killingsworth, showing just how well respected both of these individuals are by their colleagues in the athletic training profession.  Brad began his service on the Executive Board immediately after the election was ended on June 19th and has already begun to have an impact on the society.  We look forward to seeing Brad's continued work for athletic trainers across Middle Tennessee and are excited about the future of the profession in our state.

Special Election - Mid TN Representative


The special election for the Middle Tennessee Representative to the TATS Executive Board is now underway. This election is open to all certified members of the Tennessee Athletic Trainers' Society. Voting begins today and continues until midnight on June 19th, 2016. The following TATS Members have accepted nominations to serve in this role:

Brad Rohling
Secondary School Chair

Alan Killingsworth
Governmental Affairs Chair

Cast Your Vote by June 19th, 2016

Call for Nominations - 2016 Middle Tennessee Representative

With the resignation of Tim Hoskins as the Middle Tennessee Representative to the TATS Executive Board, we are now placing a call for nominations to fill the vacancy.  According to the TATS Bylaws, the call for nominations will remain open until May 20th, 2016.  Special Elections will begin following the closing of nominations.  All Certified-Active and Certified-Retired Members of TATS are eligible to submit nominations.  Please use the form below to submit your nominations for the Middle Tennessee Representative vacancy on the TATS Executive Board.

Your Name *
Your Name
Is the nominee a certified athletic trainer? *
Does the nominee meet the qualifications for this office? *

A Message From Tim Hoskins

Dear TATS Membership,

It is with regret that I announce my resignation from the TATS Executive Board as the Middle Tennessee Representative.  My wife and I will be relocating to the New England area.  Both of us will be advancing our careers as well as embarking on this new journey in life.

Please know that I have thoroughly appreciated and enjoyed the opportunity to serve with y'all (LOL) to further the profession of Athletic Training. I am proud of our collective achievements and the significant progress we have made for our profession. I am particularly honored to have served as a past chair of governmental affairs and most recently the middle TN rep. I am truly grateful for the opportunities that have been given to me. As a board and as individuals, you are all tremendously talented, and I feel lucky to have volunteered by your side these past fourteen years.  I would encourage each of you to continue to promote the profession.  Our communities stand to only benefit from our services. 

Please know that I will always champion the profession of Athletic Training and remain available to the organization via telephone or email. I look forward to seeing your many future accomplishments. May God bless each and every one of you as he has blessed me and my family. Not a good bye, but, a see you later...

Sincerest regards,

Tim Hoskins, LAT


TATS is looking for members who have an interesting in volunteering to be a part of our working committees.  TATS committees are the primary way that members can be influential in the athletic training profession.  If you have an interesting in getting involved in our professional organization, take a moment to complete the form below with any comments you may like to add.

Name *
If you have a specific committee with which you would like to be involved, please select below. Otherwise, choose "Any Committee".

Capitol Hill Day 2016 - Review

TATS had huge success this year in developing new relationships and strengthening our already strong connections with legislators during Capitol Hill Day 2016 on March 23rd. The TATS contingent was able to see the State Senate in action as they finalized legislation for the 2016 session. Senator Jim Tracy also took a portion of his floor time to have the TATS representatives recognized by the entire State Senate for the collective efforts of athletic trainers across Tennessee.

We were also able to have several important meetings with Representatives Joe Towns and G.A. Hardaway to discuss issues related to youth sports safety and concussion legislation. Representative Hardaway spent an extra amount of time sharing with us his personal desire to promote safe sports and his willingness to work with TATS to ensure the safety of athletic individuals across Tennessee, especially our children. 

We were also able to have meetings with Senators Janice Bowling and Jeff Yarbro and discuss the important role of athletic trainers in secondary schools and our desire to see every high school in Tennessee have care provided by an athletic trainer.  Because of the busy day that our legislators had planned, some scheduled meetings had to be cancelled, but the one-on-one meetings we were able to have were highly productive.

TATS was represented at Capitol Hill Day by the following members: Peggy Bratt, Michael Gerlach, Tim Hoskins, Alan Killingsworth, Ray Knight, Clint Sanders, Brad Swope, and Cumberland University AT Student Megan Hacker.  Special thanks to our lobbyists Chuck Welch and Zach Bates for preparing our day on Capitol Hill and scheduling our legislator meetings.

We hope many others are able to participate in legislative efforts to promote athletic training in the future. If you would like to become involved in our legislative efforts, reach out to the TATS Governmental Affair Committee by contacting Alan Killingsworth.

Capitol Hill Day 2016

CAPITOL HILL DAY will take place this year on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016.

Join Us On The Hill!!!

How can you help?

We want to give TATS members a chance to share their story of athletic training to the leaders of our state. We hope to meet with 12 - 15 legislators and will have talking points prepared for you to discuss with our Tennessee representatives, including discussing the importance of athlete safety across the nation.

Why do you need to help?

The Tennessee State Legislators want to hear from all of their constituents about issues important to them. The TATS Leadership alone cannot have nearly the impact that you can have with your representative. We want to take some small steps this year to improve participation by getting at least 5 people from each division of the state (East, Middle, & West TN) to join the TATS Leadership as we meet with State Legislators to discuss the future of our profession in Tennessee.

What happens at Day on the Hill?

You won't have anything to worry about on that day other than talking with your representatives. We will meet at 8:30am at Puckett's Grocery to talk with our TATS legislative liaison and discuss talking points for the day. Meetings with legislators will be pre-arranged for that day. At 9:30am we will walk to Capitol Hill and begin meetings until around 1pm.

Are you a student wanting to make a difference for athletic training?

Then join us for Capitol Hill Day! Young or old, you can make a difference by advocating for athletic training.

Everyone can make a difference! If you want to be a part of this opportunity to meet with our state leaders, click the button below or email us at tats.communications@gmail.com.

Join Us On The Hill!!!

Conference Engagement & Communication Tools


Every year at the TATS Annual Meeting, we try to improve upon the previous year's tools for keeping our members engaged and connected. This commitment to communication is for both the meeting and what is happening in the society throughout the year. Over the last 3 years we have used a tool called Edmodo to deliver conference materials, communicate with the meeting organizers, and connect with other attendees. While Edmodo has been useful in years past, there have been some issues and we hope to address these by some changes for this year's meeting. This year we will be using a new technology called Slack. A New Communication Tool Slack provides an improved communication interface that is easy and intuitive to use. It creates channels for very quick messaging and response from conference organizers and presenters. Slack also allows attendees a way to connect with one another individually, in groups, or with all attendees at the meeting. Slack can be used on any device, mobile or desktop, with a simple web interface or via native apps for your iOS and Android devices.

Pre-Conference Discussion & Networking We are also hoping that attendees to this year's meeting will take advantage of Slack's communication tools and the information already prepared in the Slack channels to better prepare for the meeting in advance. Slack can make for a great opportunity to connect with other attendees about upcoming sessions, ask questions that you hope will be addressed by presenters, and general make requests or offer feedback about how we can enhance the value of the meeting for you.

Getting Ready for TATS 2016 In order to use Slack for the event, you must be registered as an attendee. You should receive your Slack invitation shortly after your registration. We want everyone to feel comfortable with using Slack before the meeting. If you have any questions regarding Slack, please reach out via email.

In the sidebar at the right you will find some useful guides to help you familiarize yourself with Slack prior to the event. We look forward to connecting with you and seeing how you use Slack to network and become a better professional!



As I end my time as Chair of TATS Ethics and Compliance committee, it is appropriate to reflect at this time of passage. What did I learn in this position? What is important when we think about Ethics and athletic training? And what charge do I give to those coming after me? In nutshell, I have learned during the past three years that the athletic training community in Tennessee is alive and well when dealing with the ethical issues surrounding our profession at all times. I am proud of the support and responsiveness shown by so many others when we as an association had to deal with persons who mis-represented themselves as certified members and potentially endangered our athletes by trying to act in our stead.

On a different level, I have been so impressed with the new professionals entering this field from curriculum programs around the country. I work with several of them daily and I can see that as an old school ATC, I really have nothing to worry about. Athletic training actually will not dry up and blow away the day that I walk away.

And finally, my charge is simple and not a new thought: protect your self by keeping your license current, keep our practice act close at hand and refer to it when unsure, and support BOTH the NATA and TATS in voting and membership. They are our voice - We as a profession are constantly under assault by many other professions who want to take our place on the field and in the athletic training rooms. We must continue to improve our skills and knowledge and support this wonderful profession at every opportunity.

In closing, it's all pretty simple: Take care of your athletes/clients/patients and do the right thing.

By John Purdy, ATC - TATS Ethics & Compliance Committee Chair

2016 TATS Annual Meeting & Clinical Symposium


Annual Meeting Registration Now Open!!!

January 16th & 17th, 2016

Register Today!!!


The TATS Annual Meeting & Clinical Symposium is the premier event to kick-start the new year for athletic trainers in Tennessee. Our two-day conference boasts important educational opportunities (including evidence based practice CEUs), the society business meeting, career networking for professionals both young and old, as well as social outings hosted by the Young Professionals Committee.

The meeting will again be held on January 16th & 17th, 2016 at the GSO Auditorium on the campus of Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital in Nashville, TN.

The cost of the event is $99.00 for Early Registration. By attending the meeting you will be able to earn up to 11 CEU hours, with EBP approval pending on 4.5 of those hours.

Early registration ends on January 8th, so be sure to register prior to that day to avoid the increased fees for late registration. Registration will also be available at the door on the day of the event, but at the late registration fee cost of $110.00.

If you have any questions regarding the event, feel free to reach out to TATS at tats.communications@gmail.com.

We sincerely hope you can attend and look forward to seeing so many great healthcare professionals in January.

Register Today!!!

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Legislation

Heart-Logo On January 1st, 2016 new legislation related to sudden cardiac arrest prevention in Tennessee will go into effect. The new legislation was passed by the Tennessee State Legislature in April 2015. The legislation is similar in language and scope to the previously enacted concussion legislation in Tennessee. This legislation will have tremendous impact in preventing injury to the youth athletes of Tennessee at all levels. The impact to athletic trainers in Tennessee is also significant and requires that all ATs are extremely aware of these new changes in legislation.

Recently more details have been updated on the Tennessee Department of Health website, including resources for education of athletes, parents, coaches, and other school officials. The required forms related to this legislation have also now been made available. This information has been conveyed by the TSSAA to all secondary schools in Tennessee, however the legislation has broader impact than just at the secondary school level. TATS encourages all members and the general public to take time to review the available resources from the Tennessee Department of Health at http://www.tn.gov/health/topic/sudden-cardiac-arrest-prevention-act/.

Call for Nominations - TATS 2016 Awards


The Tennessee Athletic Trainers' Society Honors & Awards Committee is pleased to announce its call for nominations for all TATS Awards for 2016. Award categories include the following:

  • Sports Medicine Person of the Year
  • Joe Worden Clinic / Professional Athletic Trainer Award
  • Sandy Sandlin High School Athletic Trainer Award
  • Eugene Smith / Mickey O’Brien College Athletic Trainer Award
  • Backbone Award
  • Jerry Robertson Educator Award
  • Corporate Award
  • Lifesaver Award
  • TATS Hall of Fame (This requires a separate nomination process - See Below.)

The 2016 TATS Honors & Awards will be presented to our honored recipients at the 2016 Annual Meeting & Clinical Symposium held on January 16th & 17th, 2016. If you know of a deserving individual, please take a few minutes to recognize this person for their outstanding achievements and dedication to the athletic training profession.

Additionally, the TATS Scholarship Committee is pleased to announce the call for applications for the Undergraduate and Graduate Athletic Training Student of the Year awards. The recipient of the Undergraduate and Graduate Athletic Training Student of the Year Award will each receive a $1,000.00 scholarship. The applications for all Student of the Year awards can be found by visiting the Scholarship Committee Page. UPDATE: Nominations are no closed

You can learn more about all of the honors and awards presented by TATS or you nominate a deserving individual by visiting the Honors & Awards Committee page.

The deadline for nominations is November 15th, 2015.

Thank you in advance for your nomination and we look forward to hearing of all the amazing work that athletic trainers have been doing throughout Tennessee this year.

Need EBP CEUs? Here's another opportunity!


The Hughston Foundation, in conjunction with Rutherford County Schools is providing athletic trainers with a one day opportunity to earn up to 10 EBP continuing education credits. The event will be held on Tuesday, July 14th, 2015 at Central Magnet School. To find out more details click here.

2015 TATS Election Results



TATS Executive Board Nominations & Elections were held throughout April and May. We had good participation in this year's election process even with all nominees running unopposed. The results from this year's Executive Board elections are as follows:

  • President - Scott Byrd
  • Vice President - Peggy Bratt
  • Secretary - Clint Sanders
  • Treasurer - Therese Sparn
  • East TN Representative - Mike Van Bruggen
  • Middle TN Representative - Tim Hoskins
  • West TN Representative - Tripp Turner

Congratulations to the incoming Executive Board members who will begin their terms to serve TATS and its members at the Annual Meeting next January.

Decisions Made Regarding Future of Athletic Training Education

AT Strategic Alliance Logo  

Last week the AT Strategic Alliance announced changes to the entry level degree for athletic training. Much of this change was influenced by discussions between CAATE and NATA members from an open comment survey in March. This decision will have major impact on our profession for years to come. The NATA and AT Strategic Alliance have put together some information related to these changes that every athletic trainer should read. This information can be found through the links below.

AT Strategic Alliance Statement Degree Change FAQs

2015 UT Sports Medicine Symposium Recap


2015 UT Sports Medicine Symposium Attendees On Monday, May 4th, 2015, University of Tennessee hosted its second annual Sports Medicine Symposium in conjunction with a TATS East Region Meeting. The free event was held on the UT Knoxville campus in the Anderson Training Center and featured presentations on rehabilitation of hip arthroscopies and concussion management. Three Evidence Based Practice CEUs were earned by attendees.

Dr. Chuck Thigpen of Proaxis Therapy in Greeneville, South Carolina provided insight into the rehabilitation of intra-articular hip injuries, primarily femoral acetabular impingement and labral tears. Dr. Thigpen said of hip rehab, “I think it is challenging because it is a fast-evolving approach of how we manage that within the athletic training room and rehab facility as we get kids back to sport.” For him, it was a bit of a homecoming, having played football at UT-Chattanooga and graduating the Physical Therapy program at East Tennessee State. Additionally, Dr. Thigpen previously served as an intern at UT. “I have a strong connection to East Tennessee. It’s really exciting to get to come home.” he said.

UT Team Physician Dr. Christopher Klenck presented information on current trends in concussion management. He gave an overview of UT’s concussion management plan, highlighting new research findings and concepts that should be considered when developing management strategies. Next, UT Director of Sports Medicine Jason McVeigh provided a number of case studies related to concussion and facilitated a lively discussion among attendees.

At the conclusion of the symposium, TATS East Tennessee Representative Mike Van Bruggen provided an update of TATS business to the membership in attendance. He reported that the 2016 TATS Annual Meeting and Symposium will be January 16th and 17th in Nashville. Mike also described the “Hit the Hill” activities of TATS members on April 7 in which TATS members met with Tennessee legislators in Nashville about a host of issues. Mike specifically identified two upcoming pieces of legislation related to sports activity for Athletic Trainers in the state to monitor. SB0985 and HB32 – both titled “Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act”—require education of coaches, administrators, parents, and youth athletes about the risk and symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest and set forth return to play guidelines similar to Tennessee’s Sports Concussion Law. He also reported that TATS representation was present at the Tennessee Interscholastic Athletic Administrators conference in Murfreesboro in April and will also have a booth at the Emergency Medical Services meeting in July. Mike recognized Cocke County High School and Cosby High School as recipients of NATA’s Safe Sports School award, bringing the number of Tennessee schools having received that honor to eight.

Lastly, Mike reminded the TATS members in attendance that elections are begin held now for all TATS executive board member positions and encouraged participation in voting.