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2011 PATS Capital Hill Day

On Tuesday, April 12, 2011, several members of PATS traveled to Harrisburg to visit several State Senators and Representatives.  As a member of the PATS PR committee, I decided it would be a good opportunity for me to give back to the profession of athletic training.  There were 5 teams organized and each team had different tasks.  4 of the 5 teams had face to face meetings scheduled with up to 3 Senators and Representatives.  My team’s task was to visit about 20 Senators’ and Representatives’ offices and drop off information about 2 bills being introduced effecting athletic training in the state.  These Reps. and Sens. wer all members of the Licensing Board and their support of the bill will aid in getting it passed and into law.  The team was Jason Erlandson, Guy Sanchioli and myself.  Jason and Guy are also secondary school ATs and both are PATS Regional Representatives for the PATS Executive Board.

In the House of Representatives, HB 930 and HB 932 has been introduced by State Representative Readshaw.  This bill will change athletic trainer certification to licensure.  38 states already require state licensure for athletic trainers protecting the public from unlicensed ATs.  PA citizens do not have much recourse to punish non-credentialed ATs from practicing within the state.  2 house bills are necessary to cover licensure under the Board of Osteopathic Medicine and the Board of Medicine.

In addition to these 2 bills in the House of Representatives, HB200 has been introduced to House Committee by Representative Briggs.  Jason, Guy and I were priviledged to have a face to face impromtu meeting with Rep. Briggs and he appreciates and values athletic trainers as well as the work we were doing that day.

On the Senate side of the Capital, SB 957 has been introduced by Senator Tomlinson.  This bill also changes state certification to licensure.   SB 200 and HB 200 are the Sports Safety Bill introduced to regulate concussion management requiring athletes suspected of a concussion to obtain clearance from an MD, DO or AT before returning to play.

The day at the Capital was incredibly hectic because not only was PATS at the Capital, so were thousands of school students and teachers who were rallying for the SB 1 – School Choice bill.  Additionally, there was a ceremony to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.  There was also a rally of nurses and ER physicians asking for more money for their cause.  All of these rallies took place on the majestic center staircase in the Capital Rotunda just a few feet from the PATS display.  These events allowed PATS an opportunity to educate many within the general public of the importance and value of an athletic trainer.

Since the Capital is within our borders of the CPATA, I urge you to consider taking a few hours next year to volunteer for PATS Capital Hill Day 2012.  I was recognized by a few staffers within the offices because of my position at Lower Dauphin.  I am sure many of you would also be recognized by former athletes, parents, family, etc. because of the high profile athletic trainers have within the school community.

I hope to see you next year, you won’t regret the experience!

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