January 13, 2013

It is a new year. That means that each state has begun a new legislative session. All bills that did not pass in the last session died and must be re-introduced. It is a fresh slate with many new faces in legislatures now. Not much has changed though.

Athletic training in 2013

The NATA is supporting practice acts in several states. Since Hawaii achieved regulation in 2012 we are almost there with every state having some form of regulation. I believe that 2013 can be that year. It is going to take considerable work, but nothing big has ever been achieved without collective work. Rome was not built in a day and was not built by one man (or woman). One example is the fight that Pennsylvania endured for years to achieve licensure. It is a great achievement that I hope will be achieved by many more states in the near future.

Athlete safety continues to be on the front burner in many states. Athletic trainers need to be actively involved and need to educate those that are making the rules. No profession is as much on the frontlines as athletic trainers. No profession has done as much for the safety of athletes. This is an important topic at the state level and at the federal level. We need to be the point person for our elected officials on this. If they don’t know you they will turn to someone that they do know. Make yourself known – they will appreciate it!

There are many ways that you, as an athletic training professional, can be involved. I will continue to help you understand them in the coming months. Meet with your elected officials (state and federal). Write a letter or make a phone call. Vote in the elections. Publcize our profession (PR is huge because everyone reads the news). Be active when the NATA or your state association goes to the Capitol.

We need you to be involved. I have talked about pushing a boulder. I can’t move the thing by myself as much as I try. Things will only happen when you come beside me and help me to push. If we can’t push it then we need more to push it. The more people that we have to push means the less effort that each needs to put out. However, the more effort that each puts out the further we can push it and the faster it will move. If we can get it moving together then the momentum will make it easier to accomplish what we need to.

Our profession’s best days are ahead. The progress that we make legislatively will help each one of us. We all need to be on board. We can all do something and be involved. Watch for opportunities from your state governmental affairs chair and the NATA.


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