August 31, 2011

Medical Center Campus Education Union Enhances the Student Experience

Saint Louis University's new Education Union on the Medical Center Campus has already improved the quality of life for our students.  Opened in July 2011, it houses: a state of the art auditorium that is designed for interprofessional interaction, a student lounge (which includes group and quiet study areas), computer workstations, a cafe/snack bar and clinical teaching labs.

Exterior View of the Education Union.

The Education Union sits in a beautiful setting on the Medical Center Campus.

Student Lounge with Computer Work Stations

Cafe/Snack Bar
State of the Art Auditorium with tables and seating designed for interprofessional interaction.

August 26, 2011

Welcome to our new students!

Classes begin on Monday, August 29th and Saint Louis University is in the middle of Welcome Week, where the new students move-in and get to know the campus and each other better.  There is a flurry of activity as everyone gets situated.

On Friday August 26th, a New Student Convocation was held at Chaifetz Arena, where the Administration, Faculty and Staff of SLU formally welcomed the students to campus. After the Convocation, each college or school held a luncheon for their new students. The Doisy College of Health Sciences hosted their students in the Simon Recreation Center.

Stephen Bolger, Makenzie Lockwood-Meier and Brady Moore

Dr. Tony Breitbach with Dustin Jamboretz and his parents Mary and John.

August 23, 2011

SLU AT Faculty Member Voted President-Elect of MoATA

Congratulations to Dr. Katherine "Kitty" Newsham! 

It was announced today (8-23-11) that she was voted President-Elect of the Missouri Athletic Traininers Association (MoATA).

Dr. Newsham is an Assistant Professor in the Athletic Training Education Program at Saint Louis University. She will serve on MoATA's Executive Board until she takes over as President in June 2014.

For more information go to: 
For her bio sketch go to:

August 20, 2011

SLU AT Program Director Named to National Athletic Trainers Association Executive Committee for Education

Anthony Breitbach PhD, ATC
August 19, 2011
by: Maggie Lillmars
(314) 977-8698      
Anthony Breitbach, Ph.D., director of the Saint Louis University Athletic Training Education Program, was recently named an at-large member of the Executive Committee for Education (ECE) of the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA).

Breitbach has been the director of the SLU Athletic Training Education Program since 2007. Prior to that he was the head athletic trainer from 2000-2007.

Housed in the Doisy College of Health Sciences, the Athletic Training Education Program is one of approximately 25 entry-level master's programs nationally accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Athletic Training Education.

About the Executive Committee for Education (ECE) of the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA): 
 The Executive Committee for Education sets the direction for athletic training education. Emphasizing a commitment to improving patient care through an evidence-based approach, the ECE proactively influences best educational practices that reflect the profession's interdisciplinary nature and commitment to learning across the professional's lifespan. The Executive Committee for Education is comprised of members from the Continuing Education Committee, Professional Education Council, Post-Professional Education Council, Post-Professional Education Review Committee, the Athletic Training Education Journal editor and liaisons to the Board of Certification, Inc (BOC), the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE), and the NATA Research and Education Foundation (REF). The Executive Committee for Education was formed in 1996 in response to recommendations from the NATA Task Force on Education.


August 19, 2011

Jacob Blasingame, Welcome to the Team!

Jacob Blasingame in the Chaifetz Arena Athletic Training Room.
We are happy to announce that Jacob Blasingame MAT, ATC, LAT (SLU Class of 2012)  has taken a new adjunct position shared between the SLU Athletic Training Education Program and SLU Billiken Athletics.  He will serve primarily as the Athletic Trainer for Field Hockey this fall and will also serve as a Lab Instructor for MAT 524 - Musculoskeletal Assessment and Management I and MAT 530 - Therapeutic Modalities.  He will also fill other duties as a clinical instructor and in athletics as needed.

Welcome Jacob!

August 16, 2011

SLU AT Faculty Member Quoted in Suburban Journals Article on Concussion Rules

By Sarah Baraba
Posted: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 12:00 am

Cody Spanberger had a concussion every year at Granite City High School. Three he got playing football. The other he had during baseball season, which he didn't report.

"We didn't really tell anyone about that," said Spanberger, "because it was not likely to happen again."

That attitude might not cut it this year. A new state law is requiring that any student athlete even suspected of having a concussion get an OK from a doctor before playing again. The law is meant to curb the kind of serious — even fatal — brain injuries that young athletes can get after repeated, jarring blows to the head on the playing field.

But with football season moving into high gear, some are questioning how the new rule will be applied — and whether it will have a real impact on the rough-and-tumble world of student sports.

"Kids can be competitive to a fault," said Collinsville High School Athletic Director Chris Kusnerick. "Our hope is that they'll be honest and our trained medical professionals will be able to recognize when a condition warrants attention."

Put me in coach

The law Gov. Pat Quinn signed late last month essentially forces coaches to remove any player who might have had a head injury during a practice or game. It applies to all sports and all ages and mandates that school districts work with the Illinois High School Association on developing plans to make sure the rule is followed.

The onus is put on coaches, trainers, players and referees to spot signs of a concussion, which the legislation broadly defines as "loss of consciousness, headache, dizziness, confusion or balance problems."

Jason Bennett, a St. Louis University athletic trainer and physical therapist, said concussions have gone overlooked for far too long because the injuries aren't taken seriously.

"If an athlete can get up and run around, and there's no obvious injury, there's a less serious sense of urgency," he said.

He said athletes who head back to the field before a concussion is healed run the risk of 'second impact syndrome." The potentially fatal condition can result from even a mild blow that rattles the brain, stopping its ability to regulate blood flow. This can cause swelling, permanent brain damage or death.

Of the 138 traumatic deaths of high school football athletes over the past 30 years, 17 were attributed to second impact syndrome, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Former Collinsville High School quarterback Austin Hails is familiar with concussions: He sat out four varsity games last year after a rough play.

"I hit my head and I remember standing up and doing the signs for a play," Hails recalled.

But other than having a case of the giggles and forgetting who his opponent was, Hails said, his head was in the game.

"I was ready to go back in way before they said I was OK," he said.

I'm ready to play today

Hails and Spanberger, who both graduated in May, highlight the potential challenge of enforcing the new rule: It's sometimes difficult to tell when someone has a concussion. In his experience, Hails said, players would rather risk further injury than ride the bench.

"There was one kid on my team who was having some head pain and he didn't want to sit out," he said. "So he didn't say anything to the trainer."

Coaches say keen eyes of trainers, refs and physicians will be key to making the new legislation work. Many area teams keep trainers and physicians on the field during varsity matches to help them spot suspect symptoms that players might not be aware of, or trying to cover up.

"My biggest fear is when the underclassmen go on the road, they may not have trainers on the field," said Joe Iorio, Columbia High School athletic director.

Coaches say teaching proper technique early on also helps.

"If I don't think a kid is ready for contact, they won't put on pads and a helmet," said Jeff Hasty, who coaches 6-year-olds for the O'Fallon Little Panthers Sports Club.

The minute a player complains of a headache or other concussion symptom, Hasty pulls them off the field until they've been checked out.

In the end, education will be key to making sure kids stay safe while not altering the spirit of the game, said Eddy Harkins, president of the Tri-County Junior Football league, which has teams in Madison, St. Clair and Monroe counties.

"It's an impact sport, a collision sport. We encourage that," he said. "It's safe when we teach it properly."

To access original article:
Contact reporter Sarah Baraba at 618-344-0264, ext. 105

August 12, 2011

AT Student Represents SLU at White House Event

A Special Way to Wrap Up a Busy Summer!
By: Adriana Black, MAT Class of 2013

There was only a week left of my 10 week summer session, which included Gross Anatomy and Principles of Athletic Training. At the time all I was thinking, eating and breathing was Gross Anatomy, because it is a rigorous course and was my only final exam remaining. One day after lab, I got a phone call asking me if I wanted to go to the White House. I was thrown-off base and just dismissed it and told them I would think about it and let them know. However, the White House needed to know by later that afternoon. I got home, checked my schedule, talked to my parents, and verified my trip with SLU’s administration. With anatomy being the only thing on my mind, I did not really have a chance to think about this impromptu trip to DC. 

Adriana Black and Leah Sweetman in front of White House.
As Saint Louis University’s Diversity Leadership Cabinet (DLC) Chair, a committee under the Student Government Association (SGA), I was appointed as the student representative for President Obama’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge ( Essentially, this is a nationwide call to service. The challenge is to create a more connected, pluralistic society.  It plans to bend society towards compassion and social justice.  The initiative is sponsored by the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, the Department of Education, Interfaith Youth Core, and the Corporation for National and Community Service.  We may not all believe the same things, but it should not matter.  We are all making a difference.  Interfaith service is what we do as Americans.  The United States has more volunteers through faith-based organizations than any other kind of organizations in the nation.

The visit to DC was an exciting opportunity.
With anatomy over and a couple days to decompress, I was on a plane to DC with SLU staff and faculty member, Leah Sweetman. Both of us a bit hesitant and not truly knowing what to expect, made it to DC the evening before the launch of this initiative. Tired, but eager, Leah and I got to the hotel and attempted to sleep early as our agenda was filled for the entire next day. 

Adriana with Eboo Patel, founder of the Interfaith Youth Core. 
The President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge White House convening, was held in the White House and at the George Washington University on August, 3rd, 2011. It was a whole-day event that I will remember for years to come. Over 250 institutions responded to President Obama’s call to service. More than half of the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities created a year-long plan to implement on their respective campuses to enhance community service and interfaith dialogue. SLU’s own plan builds on many existing events and organizations, but incorporates and intertwines them with a interfaith or spiritual topic. Two of the main ideas highlighted in SLU’s plan center around domestic poverty and educational opportunity as well as health services and healthy living.  These signature service opportunities will provide individuals of different faiths the opportunity to come together in service to address issues of poverty, education, and health.
SLU is not alone in realizing that health, community service, and interfaith work can all be blended into one cohesive event and platform for students to engage upon. That ideal partners so well with the foundational behaviors of athletic training. Of the seven, the one entitled cultural competence, discusses the ideology of equity – not all patients can be treated exactly the same. There are different ways and approaches to take when handling a patient with differing cultures, backgrounds, traditions, and in this case, religion. It was truly fascinating to see how all the schools were planning on tackling this concept that too frequently passes under the radar.

It was a true honor to represent Saint Louis University in our nation’s capital for an event that targets issues in our country that I am so passionate about. I can only hope that SLU, along with the rest of the schools participating can not only accomplish their proposed plans, but make them sustainable for years to come. I hope to use all the knowledge I gained at the conference and will gain throughout this experience, and incorporate it into my future profession within the athletic training domain.

August 09, 2011

SLU AT Program Director interviewed regarding minimalist footwear.

Dr. Tony Breitbach, Director of the Athletic Training Education Program at Saint Louis University, was interviewed for a story on minimalist footwear and barefoot running on KSDK-TV.  The story featured Dana Dean and ran on Tuesday, August 8, 2011 during the Today in St. Louis morning show.

August 08, 2011

Dr. Jason Bennett presents and wins award for dissertation project poster

Dr. Jason Bennett, SLU Athletic Training and Physical Therapy faculty member, presented his dissertation research at the sixth annual Evidence-based Practice Symposium on August 5, 2011 in Provo, Utah.  Hosted by Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions, he presented his research as both a poster and a platform presentatuion.  His poster was named as the outstanding poster of the symposium.

Dr. Bennett also participated in the commencement ceremony, where he was granted a Doctor of Philosophy degree.