March 22, 2012

SLU Inducts Students to Athletic Training Academic Honor Society

On March 20, 2012, as a part of National Athletic Training Month, the Saint Louis University Athletic Training Education Program inducted new student members into the Alpha Iota Chapter of Iota Tau Alpha, the National Athletic Training Academic Honor Society. The induction ceremony took place in the Multipurpose Room of the Allied Health Building and the Iota Tau Alpha members were also addressed by special guest Kim Tucci, founder of The Pasta House, Co.. Mr. Tucci, a graduate of SLU, is very active in philanthropy at SLU and in the St. Louis region.  He served as a student athletic trainer with NATA Hall of Fame member Bob "Doc" Bauman in the 1960's. He is the Honorary Chair of the campaign for the new Bauman Memorial Scholarship in Athletic Training at SLU.  Iota Tau Alpha members who will graduate with the Master of Athletic Training degrees were also given a special gift by Chapter President Libby Deiters.
2012 Iota Tau Alpha inductees in front row (L to R) Bridget Quirk, Kayla Kelley, Sarah Schaefer and Kelley DeGreeff. In back row are Vince DiRenzo, Katie Schneebeck, Kathleen McGovern, Sarah Hall and Ryan Vallo.

SLU Iota Tau Alpha members attended the ceremony.

March 17, 2012

SLU AT Faculty Members Speak at District Meetings

Dr. Kitty Newsham and Dr. Tony Breitbach, faculty members in the Saint Louis University Athletic Training Program, were busy making presentations at the District athletic training meetings.  Dr. Newsham presented at the both the Mid-America Athletic Trainers' Association (MAATA) meeting in Topeka, Kansas and at the Great Lakes Athletic Trainers' Association (GLATA) in Wheeling, Illinois.  At the MAATA meeting on Friday March 16, 2012, she gave a presentation titled: "Evidence-Based Practice in Athletic Training: A Fad or A Fixture?" and at the GLATA meeting on Saturday, March 17, 2012 she gave a presentation titled: "Recruit the Glute: The Importance of the Gluteus Maximus in Rehabilitation".

Dr Breitbach presented at the MAATA meeting on Saturday, March 17, 2012.  The title of his presentation was: "Connecting Art & Science in Decision-Making Regarding the Use of Therapeutic Modalities in Athletic Training".

March 15, 2012

SLU AT Professor Awarded MAATA Research Grant

SLU Receives Grant for Pilot EID Study
By: Casey Critchlow (

Saint Louis University Athletic Training faculty member Katherine Newsham, PhD, ATC was awarded a research and education grant from the Mid-America Athletic Trainer's Association (MAATA). Her proposal, titled "Evaluation of Exercise Induced Dyspnea in Athletes," will evaluate the efficacy of various diagnostic measures used for exercise induced dyspnea (EID) and vocal cord dysfunction (VCD) in athletes. This is a multi-disciplinary project, including providers from pulmonology and speech pathology, in addition to athletic training.

According to Newsham, exercise induced dyspnea (difficulty breathing) is a relatively common complaint among athletes. When this reaches the point that the athlete seeks medical care, he or she is often diagnosed with exercise induced bronchospasm. Unfortunately, as many as 40 percent of these diagnoses are inaccurate, meaning some other condition is causing the problem. The inaccurate diagnoses contribute to increased physician visits, increased medical testing and increased cost of managing the condition to say nothing of the frustration experienced by the athletic patient.

"We believe that a diagnostic testing protocol that emphasizes 'point of care' testing and minimal specialized equipment could provide the athletic health care team with objective measures to guide the development of an appropriate plan of treatment while minimizing costs and time often associated with evaluation of EID," said Newsham, who is an assistant professor in the athletic training education program.

"This grant provides us with funding to purchase test kits that evaluate exercised induced bronchospasm and we are utilizing the facilities, equipment, and expertise of the SLU faculty in various disciplines to evaluate other conditions, including vocal cord dysfunction," Newsham said.

The team working with Newsham on the grant includes Ethel Frese, DPT, PhD of the Program in Physical Therapy; Blakelee Noyes, M.D., of Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center; Dennis Fuller, Ph.D., of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders; and Richard McGuire, Ph.D., also of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.

Newsham was notified that her proposal was selected for funding Feb. 15, and she will formally accept the grant March 16 at an awards dinner in Topeka, Kansas.

Long a leader in educating health professionals, Saint Louis University offered its first degree in an allied health profession in 1929. Today the Doisy College of Health Sciences offers 13 diverse undergraduate programs and seven post-baccalaureate degrees. The college's unique curriculum prepares students to work with health professionals from all disciplines to ensure the best possible patient care.

March 02, 2012

SLU Works With Brain Injury Association of Missouri to Host Concussion Seminar

Hundreds attended the seminar on concussion.
On March 1, 2012, Saint Louis University found a great way to kick off National Athletic Training Month on our campus by working with the Brain Injury Association of Missouri to host a seminar in the Multipurpose Room of the Allied Health Building.

The free seminar, Sports Concussions: Facts, Fallacies and New Frontiers, was designed to educate youth and high school team coaches, athletic program administrators, athletic trainers, school nurses and school administrators about concussions in an effort to protect young athletes.  

The keynote speaker was international concussion expert Dr. Ruben Echemendia, and many other health care providers presented to the group.  Seminar content included the signs and symptoms of a concussion, current approaches in evaluating a possible concussion and appropriate management of a concussion, Missouri’s sports concussion law.

A highlight of the event was a panel of former athletes including: Mike “The Tackle” Jones, former NFL player and Lincoln University Head Football Coach; Todd Ewen, former NHL player and Saint Louis University Head Ice Hockey Coach; and Eva Luck, former SLU Field Hockey player who is currently working as a nurse at DePaul Hospital in St. Louis; who shared their personal experiences with concussion.

Exhibitors highlighted community resources.

March 01, 2012

March is National Athletic Training Month!

The Saint Louis University Athletic Training Education Program will be commemorating National Athletic Training Month in March in many ways.  

Some important facts about athletic trainers:

Athletic trainers save lives
Sports injuries can be serious. Brain and spinal cord injuries and conditions such as heat illness can be life threatening if not recognized and properly handled. ATs are there to treat acute injuries on the spot. Athletes have chronic illnesses, too. People with diabetes and asthma can and do safely work and exercise, and the athletic trainer can help manage these critical health issues as they relate to physical exertion.

Not all athletes wear jerseys
There’s an emphasis on physical activity in America and with the graying of the population, there is an increased incidence of injuries. Boomers have been and will be physically active well into their senior years. Athletic trainers work with the recreational and professional athlete. Many jobs are physically demanding. The duties of a baggage handler, dancer or soldier all require range of motion and strength and stamina, and hold the potential for musculoskeletal injuries.

Athletic trainers are experts
Working to prevent and treat musculoskeletal injuries and sports-related illnesses, athletic trainers offer a
continuum of care unparalleled in health care. ATs are part of a team of health care professionals – they practice
under the direction and in collaboration with physicians. ATs are specialists; they work with physically active people to prevent and treat injuries and conditions. ATs aren’t personal trainers, who focus solely on fitness, conditioning and performance enhancement. ATs are health care professionals.
National AT Month banner hanging in the lobby of the Allied Health Building at SLU

The athletic trainer is the health care system for athletes and others

Athletic trainers are on-site. They work with patients to avoid injuries; they’re there when injuries happen and they provide immediate care; and they rehabilitate patients after injuries or surgery. It’s a continuum of care. Athletic trainers come to the patient, not the other way around. They know their patients well because they are at the school, in the theater or on the factory floor every day.

Athletic trainers take responsibility and lower risk
School administrators, athletics directors and coaches have their own jobs, which may pose a conflict of interest with athlete safety; they are not experts in managing injuries or sports-related illnesses, nor should they be responsible to do so. Handling injuries at school or at work, rather than sending the patient to the emergency department, saves money and time loss – and gets them back on their feet faster. Just as professional athletes do, recreational athletes should have access to professional athletic trainers.