Athletic coaches and New York state lawmakers unite to back two bills

The New York State Athletic Trainers’ Association (NYSATA) and the Brain Injury Association of New York (BIANYS) partnered Tuesday to support bills mandating continuing education requirements for New York athletic trainers and improving concussion management and response protocols update school.

Because March is both National Athletic Training Month and Brain Injury Awareness Month, the organizations took this opportunity to work together on causes affecting their members and athletes in the state.

The first bill is the Athletic Training Licensure Act, co-sponsored by Rep. Michaelle Solages (D-Elmont) and Sen. Rachel May (D-Syracuse).

The bipartisan bill requires the title of “certified athletic trainer” to be changed to “licensed athletic trainer” after individuals meet additional educational requirements.

“It’s not a law to me,” Solages said. “This is a sensible initiative that we can undertake to ensure active people have access to excellent care. Health professionals like athletic trainers do so much and as a state we have to be smart by law and get this done this year.

The other proposed legislation is the Concussion Management Awareness Improvement Act, co-sponsored by Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan) and Rep. Charles Fall (D-Staten Island).

It updates previous legislation that set standards for concussion management by requiring trained personnel to treat concussions. It also recommends that all schools with athletes hire licensed athletic trainers and updates best practices on when students with concussions should return to school and play sports.

“The reality is that about half of all brain injuries in New York State go unreported,” Hoylman said. “So our legislation … will state that we need stricter measures to protect our students and children and to help them transition back into the classroom.”

Certified athletic trainers from professional sports teams also attended the press conference to support the bills and express concern that their work should be taken more seriously.

“We don’t want to be doctors, but we need the support of the state to realize that we really are professionals,” said Bud Carpenter, a board-certified athletic trainer and former director of athletic training services for the Buffalo Bills football team. “And it’s not just about us in professional sports, it’s important for people to recognize the day-to-day athletic training duties of high school.”

“We’re a hands-on nurturing group who deserve a license because of the work we do and the respect we deserve,” Carpenter said.

Comments are closed.