Campus Collaborators Making Big Impact on Florida State University Campus

December 08, 2016

Angela Sehgal, EdD, LAT, ATC
Program Director, Athletic Training
Program Director, Pre-Health Professions Learning Community
Graduate Faculty Member, Sports Sciences
Florida State University

The Beginning
Several years ago at Florida State University (FSU), the question was asked…why don’t the campus recreation athletes receive the same treatment and care as the student-athletes do in the Athletic Department? The answer to that question served as a catalyst for dialogue between the Athletic Training and Sports Sciences faculty from the FSU College of Human Sciences, Director of University Health Services, Medical Director of Health and Wellness Center, and the Director of Campus Recreation and affiliated staff. Specific strategies started to emerge about the possibilities of comprehensive, on-campus, sports medicine care for all FSU students who were physically active.

The Partners
As synergy and momentum began to build regarding sports medicine care on campus, each entity began to offer resources toward an effective solution. The collaboration was established in 2012 as follows:
1. College of Human Sciences MS Sports Sciences Program: offer tuition waivers to Board of Certification (BOC) certified and licensed (State of Florida) athletic trainers who were enrolled in the Sports Sciences graduate program. The waivers include 9-12 credit hours of tuition costs per semester at in-state rate (total value $10,000-$15,000/yr). These graduate students also serve as preceptors for the undergraduate AT Program.

2. University Health and Wellness: provide a Medical Director physician for supervision, scope of practice protocols, education, referral, facilities, equipment, and support staff (scheduling). The FSU Athletic Training/Physical Therapy clinic was built with state-of-the-art treatment modalities and rehabilitation equipment. The graduate athletic trainers evaluate, diagnosis and treat the general student body in this facility for 20 hours per week. Since concussion management has become so prevalent in sports medicine care, the FSU Campus Recreation Athletic Training concussion protocol includes careful triage of the neck and spine, activation of the Emergency Medical Services (911) system if necessary, management and diagnosis on the field by the athletic trainer, referral to the campus Medical Director and/or referral to the local concussion specialist and final medical clearance in writing before the student returns to play or activity.

3. Campus Recreation: provides the stipend payment (approximately $16,000 per year) for each graduate assistant athletic trainer. They also invested $20,000 for startup costs at the field sites to get the program going with an additional $5,000 spent for medical supplies annually at the various sites.
FSU Athletic Training Collaborative Highlights:

2012-2013 1 Athletic Trainer
2013-2014 3 Athletic Trainers
2014-2015 4 Athletic Trainers
2015-2016 4 Athletic Trainers
2016-2017 4 Athletic Trainers
* All personnel are screened through the Sports Sciences Program academic graduate admission process and then are interviewed and hired through Campus Recreation.

1. Recreation SportsPlex which includes an Athletic Training Room – 21 outdoor fields on 100 plus acres
2. Tully Gymnasium – indoor sports
3. Main Campus Fields – outdoor fields
4. Combative’s Room-martial arts
5. Harkins Field – lacrosse and field hockey
6. University Health and Wellness – Athletic Training/Physical Therapy Suite with treatment rooms, rehabilitation equipment and offices

Athletes/Teams/Extra Events Served per Year (approximately)
1. 40 sport clubs
2. 15 Intramural sports
3. 2,700-3,500 athletes
4. 50 total extra, university sponsored campus recreation events

The Future

The future of this unique collaboration between the College of Human Sciences Sports Sciences program, Campus Recreation, and University Health and Wellness at Florida State University is bright. Short and long term strategic plans include the following:

1. Expand the existing Athletic Training Room space at the Recreation SportsPlex within the next two years
2. Hire 1-2 Full-time Athletic Trainers for sports medicine care, education, and research
3. Increase coverage for sport club home events
4. Collect data on injury trends, satisfaction surveys, and cost benefit analysis

The Impact
The impact of this unique collaboration is yet to be completely realized on campus in terms of medical care and costs, risk management, and overall student health. The students on the campus of Florida State University now have access to advanced sports medicine care practitioners, facilities, and supplies that compare to university athletic departments. One Sport Club athlete said about his athletic trainer after nine months of rehab “Hey scoring that goal was one of the most satisfying feelings I have ever had playing lacrosse and I owe it to you!. And I don’t thank you enough. You’re the best…”
Contributing to this article, both from Florida State University:

Christopher Schmoldt, MS
Assistant Director Campus Recreation, Intramural Sports

Pattie Malarney, MS
Senior Associate Director, Campus Recreation

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