NATA District 7 Bi-Monthly Director Newsletter


March 2016


I hope this newsletter finds you and yours happy and healthy. I was certainly excited when my spring sports season yesterday started and I got the opportunity to go outside. After three and a half months of being indoors during winter season I start feeling a claustrophobic.  

I hope you all are making plans to attend RMATA 2016 in Albuquerque, New Mexico next month.  From what I have seen on the preliminary agenda there will be some great educational opportunities available.    I am looking forward to going and seeing some old friends and putting faces with names of people I have met through email and phone this year. 

Below you will find RMATA News and Announcements (BLUE), and a few communication nuggets from our state associations (GREEN), district representatives to NATA committees (GREY) and NATA committee announcements (RED). I have also included a few tidbits from the NATA National Briefing. (PURPLE)   Below is my contact information. Please feel free to reach out to me about a specific question, comment or concern.  

Following this short intro letter I have included a document from the NATA Committee on Practice Advancement regarding NPI Numbers.  You will be seeing a further push from the NATA on this issue in the upcoming months and they asked if each district director could include this document in his/her newsletters.  

Chris Mathewson
NATA, District 7 Director


Why an NPI?

The National Provider Identifier (NPI) is a unique 10-digit number that individually identifies all healthcare providers. Prior to 2004, the primary identifier for healthcare providers was either a state license number, or a unique physician identification number (UPIN). Because different healthcare providers used various types of identifiers, Medicare required NPIs for all healthcare providers. All HIPPA compliant healthcare providers, including athletic trainers, are required to use the NPI as their identifier in all EMR systems when transmitting health information.

The athletic training profession is positioned to be the leader in healthcare reform, as our team based approach to healthcare is the model on which the future is based. As the healthcare industry adopts prevention as a key component of patient care, athletic trainers must be at the forefront of this trend. Missing this opportunity would be extremely detrimental to the future of our profession.

As healthcare providers, athletic trainers must have an NPI, regardless of setting. The reasons are varied:

  • AMA recognition—A little over a decade ago, the profession of athletic training was recognized by the AMA, a recognition that was not setting specific. We had battled for years to obtain this recognition, and yet have been unable to progress further while the healthcare arena has continued to evolve.
  • CMS recognition—CMS considers approved providers based on a number of factors, but one of which is the penetration of the provider throughout the country. The most commonly searchable data is the NPI of the profession. If our entire 37,000 members all had NPI numbers, our market presence would be more impressive to those accessing the data. However, we currently only have 54% of certified members who have obtained their NPI.
  • Regulatory—As with CMS, when regulatory agencies or legislators are attempting to identify the market presence of a particular healthcare profession, an NPI search is the industry standard.
  • Value and Credibility—As mentioned above, there is strength in numbers. Using NPI statistics in discussions with various entities gives athletic trainers more power in legislative, regulatory, and healthcare initiatives, increasing our worth and value in the healthcare arena and profession.
  • Third Party Reimbursement--The most commonly understood reason to have an NPI is its necessity when billing third party payers for services performed by a healthcare provider. Any claim submitted to an insurance company must identify the athletic trainer by an NPI or the claim will be rejected.
  • NATA/COPA/COR—Multiple attempts to increase NPI participation have been carried out on the national, regional, and state levels. Yet, to date, there has been only an 8.8% increase in overall member NPI enrollment, most of those occurring in the recent graduate population.

The NATA Board of Directors believes that it is imperative that every athletic trainer obtain an NPI. As the credentialing agency for athletic trainers, the BOC is in a unique position to require the NPI as part of the credentialing and credentialing renewal of all athletic trainers. In doing so, every BOC certified athletic trainer will be counted in activities where NPI is the identifying factor, increasing the power in our initiatives designed to advance the profession. The NATA Board of Directors respectfully asks the BOC to consider requiring all athletic trainers to have an NPI when gaining or renewing their credential.

 News & Announcements

NATA Award Winners

Five members of District 7 will be presented NATA awards in June in Baltimore.  I would like to offer my heartfelt congratulations to all of them. 

Hall of Fame

Scott Linaker, MS, ATC


Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer

Eric L. Sauers, PhD, ATC, FNATA

Tamara C. Valovich McLeod, PhD, ATC, FNATA

Athletic Trainer Service Award

Jennifer D. Dougherty, MA, ATC

Bart Peterson, MSS, ATC


Diana Padilla Selected to Serve as District Representative to NATA College and Universities Athletic Training Committee

Randy Cohen will finish his term as chair of the NATA CUATC in June. Terry DeZeeuw of Colorado State University has been selected by NATA President Scott Sailor to serve as the next committee chair.

Several very qualified candidates applied for the open position.   Randy, Terry and I thoroughly reviewed and discussed all of the candidates.  Following phone interviews and final discussions with Randy and Terry I have appointed Diana Padilla of Arizona State University to serve as the next District 7 Representative to the CUATC.    

I know Diana will do a great job representing District 7.   I also would like to thank all of the other candidates who applied.  I very much appreciate everyone’s willingness to serve.   

Appointments for Three District Representatives for NATA Committees Are Progressing Along

I had planned to announce who had been selected to serve as  district representatives for three NATA Committees (Ethnic Diversity Advisory Committee,  Committee on Professional Ethics, and Committee on Practice Advancement).  Unfortunately the process has taken a little longer than I had hoped.   It has something to do with that all of who function in these roles as directors, committee chairs, district representatives have these pesky things called "jobs" and "families"  and none of us have found a way to create the 27 hour day.  

We are currently in the application review and interview process for all three positions.  I hope to have the positions filled in the next two weeks.  

 State Associations

AzATA Winter Symposium and Annual Business Meeting brings great Arizona Turnout           

Offering9 CEUs and 4.5 EBP CEUS, Arizona’s athletic trainers came out to attend our annual meeting in Phoenix on January 23, and 24th.  Over 250 members attended the two-day event.  In addition, this was the third meeting that the AzATA has teamed up with AzHOSA to offer a Sports Medicine Regional Competition which brought out over 100 HOSA students from high schools around the state to take part in the high school seminars and competitions.

Saturday night, the social was held in conjunction with our Second Annual Casino Night Fundraiser for the AzATA Governmental Affairs Committee.  Over 70 attendees played casino games and had the opportunity to win prizes such as medical bags and equipment, sports memorabilia, massages, and family outings. The AzATA wants to thank those who took part in the weekend’s activities.

Athletic Trainers Loud on HB2613

ThursdayFebruary 4th, the AzATA received notice that HB2613 would eliminateregulation of the athletic training in the state.  In addition, ATs were to be removed from theConcussion Statute.  With a predominatelygrass roots effort, ATs rallied.  Througheblasts, phone calls, and social media, information was shared from the AzATA’sGAC with the membership.

Yourvoices were heard!  On Thursday February11, a contingent of ATs was asked to attend a Stakeholders Meeting at theCapitol.  We were told that the Governor,his advisors, and the sponsors of HB2613 got the message.  They were removing mention of athletictrainers and athletic training from the bill. In addition, they shared that they had been inundated with phone callsand emails from our members and supporters of athletic training for the pastweek and wanted it to end.  In fact oneof the Governor’s advisors named a few ATs by name that had went above andbeyond in supporting the amendment.  Thatshows the power that each member of the AzATA can bring in a time of crisis.

TheAzATA Board of Directors thanks each and every AT, parent, physician, schooladministrator, clinic director/owner and everyone else who supported ourlegislative efforts.  Without yourvoices, this may not have run so easily.

AzATA Day at the Capitol

February23 was our Day at the Capitol Event. Many athletic trainers had the opportunity to meet their representativesand discuss the profession and the current bill, HB2501, which will affect theArizona Board of Athletic Training. After the surprise of HB2613, this was a great way to educator ourlegislators on our profession.  The HouseHealth and Human Services Committee met that afternoon and athletic trainerswere asked to participate in the educational discussion on the topic of suddencardiac death.

Plan Ahead:

TheAzATA Summer Meeting will be July 16-17, 2016 in Flagstaff.  The AzATA Professional Education Committee isdiligently working on the lineup of featured speakers.  Stay tuned to http://azata.netfor an update.

 NATA Committees

Joint Committee Meeting

For the third consecutive year, NATA hosted the Joint Committee Meeting, which brought together the board of directors and volunteers from the majority of the association’s committees. More than 200 members traveled to Dallas for the 3-day event, which included updates from each group on their current committee activities, initiative overviews from staff, individual committee meetings and networking opportunities. Your association is busier than ever working on initiatives to improve the profession, and hearing about the many projects volunteers and staff are working on was both exciting and energizing for all involved!



District 7 Contingent at NATA Joint Committee Meeting


 NATA Committee Announcements
Governmental Affairs Committee

Nominations are now open for two different legislative advocacy awards.  Please consider nominating an individual or group for one of these awards.  The applications are now online at each of the links below.  Both will be presented at the State Leadership Forum at the NATA Convention in Baltimore.

1.  The William T. Griffin Award for Excellence in Leadership and Advocacy

2. The Dan Campbell Legislative Award

Professional Education Committee

PreceptorDevelopment Modules (Master Preceptor Project)

Modules1-4 have been created. Modules 2-4 were reviewed and are now being revised based on feedback received from Module 1 beta-testing.  The project has been in development since 2013. Goal is to launch level 1 (modules 1-4) in June 2016. Level 2 launch date is early 2017 with Master Preceptor level going live 2018.

PEC critically examined pre-requisite coursework commonly required by peer professions as well as investigating current trends regarding the value and efficacy of transfer/application of the commonly accepted core science coursework on improving patient outcomes. Analysis was presented to ECE inFebruary 2016 and included in the second of three webinars in What’s NextWebinar Series.

ATTeaching Tip Talks are continually being developed and offered to NATA members.First tip was published January 4th inRange of Motion. Tips for January, February, March and April are lined up and ready to go. Tips will be posted in the NATA Blog and the AT Educators LinkedInpage.

PEC also has liaisons and begun committee work on several different projects including terminology, documentation, internships, development of the orthpedic specialty certification, and transition to practice.

PR Committee Update

National Athletic Training Month is just around the corner.  Please forward all projects done at the local, state, and district level to Justin Segotta at  Please include pictures, descriptions, and whatever else you feel like sharing.

The PR committee is constantly working to get news out to the national office.  Please submit any news that you may have to Justin Segotta at or Alisha Pennington at  These are things that we can put into the NATA news and get up on social media. 

Please like our Facebook page, Rocky Mountain Athletic Trainers Association and follow us on Twitter at @RMATAnews. You will be able to stay up to date on current news , get updates on symposium, and connect with other athletic trainers in the RMATA.  When you post items related to RMATA news and events please use the hashtag #RMATA.  

Specialty Awards Sub-Committee Report

Eve-Becker Doyle Leadership Award

  • Four applications reviewed and scored
  • 0 nominations from District 7

Gail Weldon Award for Excellence

  • 18 applications reviewed and scored
  • One nomination from District 7

Jack Weakley Award of Distinction (Formerly President’s Challenge)

  • Three applications reviewed and scored
  • 0 nominations from District 7

Honorary Member

  • Five applications reviewed
  • 0 nominations from District 7

Goals and Objectives for 2016

  • Will continue evaluation of Jack Weakley Award of Distinction scoring tool and make necessary changes
  • Continue education and promotion of Specialty Awards

Student Leadership Committee

We are seeking students to present on case studies/original research done as part of their athletic training education at the student session of the RMATA Annual Clinical Symposium. We ask that presentations be between 10-15 minutes in length, discussing a topic within the realm of sports medicine. Examples of a topic may be an interesting case study, research performed relating to sports medicine, research on an emerging practice or technique, or an analysis of current EBP standards for treatment or care of athletic injuries. All students are invited to submit an abstract for review. submissions should be emailed to . Please encourage any and all students to look into this opportunity to gain experience in public presenting.

 NATA National Briefing

Youth Sports Governing Body Meeting

NATA, along with the Korey Stringer Institute, sponsored a groundbreaking meeting in January that brought together members of the majority of youth sports governing bodies in the US. The purpose of this meeting was to develop a consensus statement addressing, National Recommendations for Health and Safety Emergency Standards in Youth Sports. This initiative is especially important because it is the first time safety recommendations have been developed for youth athletes ages 8-12. The final document is expected to be published this summer in the Journal of Athletic Training.

New Year New Look and a Milestone Celebration!

The NATA Foundation is proud to present an updated logo and a new website to kick off our 25th Anniversary Celebration! The current NATA Foundation was incorporated in 1991 and established with grants from the NATA and Johnson & Johnson. During these past 25 years, the NATA Foundation has awarded more than 260 research grants totaling more than $4 million dollars and awarded almost $3 million to 1,490 students through our scholarship program. Additionally almost 5,000 presentations (oral and poster) have been provided through the Free Communications program.

Federal Legislation and Regulation

H.R. 921: The Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act, has 113 co-sponsors, and the Senate version, S. 689, has seven co-sponsors.

H.R. 829: The SAFE PLAY Act, has 45 co-sponsors, and the Senate version, S. 436, has one co-sponsor.

H.Res. 112: The Secondary School Student Athletes’ Bill of Rights, has 36 co-sponsors, and S. Res. 83 has one co-sponsor. 

Contact your member of Congress to ask for support on these bills!

NATA signed on to a coalition letter in support of the comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act in advance of a Judiciary committee markup. The bill aims to reduce prescription opioid abuse and promote treatment options.

NATA signed onto a letter which supports the CDC’s National Center on Environment Health’s Health Community Design Initiative (HCDI) or Built Environment and Public Health Program. Congress eliminated the funding for the program; the letter NATA signed onto asks the CDC to continue funding for the program out of other discretionary resources. 

The CDC has reached out to the NATA to discuss partnering together on the development of a concussion surveillance system. President Obama included a $5M line item in his proposed budget for the creation of the system. Also included in the President’s budget were programs to address the prescription drug and opioid abuse epidemic. A conference call with the CDC is planned for the near future.

We conducted a phone meeting with Kiah L. Stokes, with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Partner Relations Group. This is part of our ongoing efforts to build relationships with CMS.

State Legislative Affairs

Members in Colorado continue to focus their efforts in the state Senate where discussions have focused on which committee will hear their bill and restore the regulation of athletic training in the state. A favorable committee assignment would be a crucial first step to passing the legislation.

Quiz Center

The center closed with its strongest year ever. There were 143,007 free CEUs used. This is by far the largest number ever used. The normal cost to a member per CEU in the center is $15. At that cost the value of CEUs that were free in 2015 is over $2,000,000. The increased usage is due in great part to the EBP category of CEUs available in the center.

Degree Transition – What’s Next

In response to the degree transition, the Professional Development Committee and Executive Committee for Education have begun rolling out on-demand sessions targeted to educators to assist with degree transition plans. Each session provides information that is based on best practices and provides tools to help frame critical thinking. The content is not prescriptive and is accompanied by a disclaimer that states this fact.

In response to a survey conducted by the Professional Education Committee several categories of interest were addressed by educators as to where they would like assistance. The most important thing was determining if they wanted to transition. Based on the feedback, an on-demand session was rolled out in December that introduces the use of a SWOT analysis and input from two programs that have made the transition. The session has been well-received.

The next session is now under development and will focus on organizational structure.

Leadership Development

In January, the BOD gave the go-ahead to a proposal for a revamp of the StarTracks program. Those currently enrolled in StarTracks will still be able to complete their program. During 2016, the new initiative will begin to rollout. While StarTracks has been well-rated and utilized by the scholars who have completed it, the purpose of the change is primarily to keep evolving our approaches to leadership development and to make the content fit the various learning styles of the participants. 

National Athletic Training Month

National Athletic Training Month kicks off March 1st with this year’s theme: “A safer approach to work, life and sport.” A number of PR tools are available on the NATA website (see the NATM section) to help you promote your job and the athletic training profession. If you haven’t started planning yet, check out the NATM toolkit filled with ideas, along with the downloadable logo and sample documents such as a press release, media alert and PSA.

You will also find information on how to participate in the NATM social media contest, which will offer another way to promote the profession as well as some great prizes. And once the month gets started, check the site for information on entering the annual NATM public relations contest for a chance to win free NATA logo merchandise and bragging rights!

 NATA Foundation

The NATA Foundation is committed to advancing the athletic training profession through research and education. Since our inception in 1991, we have awarded more than $2.5 million in scholarships and $3.5 million in research grants. Please support our efforts as we continue the professional tradition of athletic trainers helping athletic trainers.

Donate today!

NATAPAC is NATA’s nonpartisan federal political action committee.  Its purpose is to provide campaign contributions to candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives or Senate.  Through NATAPAC, you help support candidates who shape laws and regulations affecting the profession.


Donate today!

 Follow Us on Social Media


Powered by Wild Apricot. Try our all-in-one platform for easy membership management