Vereen Athletic Trainers Receive Awards from State Athletic Training Association

Colquitt Regional and Vereen Rehabilitation Center are proud to announce that two of their own employees recently received recognition at the state level from the Georgia Athletic Trainers’ Association (GATA).

Jaclyn Donovan, MBA, MS, LAT, ATC, CSCS, and Kathleen Rubino, ATC, were both presented with awards at the Honors & Awards Ceremony as part of the recent GATA Annual Meeting and Symposium in Athens, Georgia.

Donovan, a certified athletic trainer with over 20 years of experience, received the Warren Morris Sports Medicine Person of the Year Award. Considered a great advocate of athletic training, she has a broad range of experience across the high school, university, and clinic settings as an Assistant AT, Head AT, Athletic Director, and AT Coordinator. 

In 10 years, she has brought in over 40 newly certified athletic trainers and has given them a place to develop and grow their healthcare philosophies while providing care to schools where an AT has never been before. 

Donovan has worked as the GATA Public Relations Chair for the last five years, curating content to educate, celebrate, and advocate for athletic trainers across the state. For her large influence and leadership in athletic training, her colleagues believe she is the embodiment of all that the Warren Morris Sports Medicine Person of Year Award should represent.

This award is named after Warren Morris, a long-time athletic trainer at the University of Georgia and a staunch advocate for athletic training in the state. Morris was a pillar of the profession, serving as Southeast Athletic Trainers’ Association (SEATA) President and chair of the SEC Sports Medicine Committee, all while receiving many career honors. Most notably, Morris was the Chairman of the Board of Georgia Athletic Trainers and worked tirelessly for the initial legislation of licensure in the state – he was AT#000001 in Georgia.

“This is a huge honor not only for Jaclyn and Kathleen, but for the Vereen Center as a whole,” said Colquitt Regional President and CEO Jim Matney. “They bring great value and expertise to the team and are both known for their immense work ethic. These awards are greatly deserved and I thank the GATA for recognizing their efforts.” 

Rubino, a University of North Georgia student serving as an athletic trainer with the Vereen Center, received the Lori Mobley Groover Leadership Award and scholarship. Her passion for the field and commitment to service are evident in her interactions with athletes and staff as well as the positive energy she pours into every task.  

While at the Vereen Center, she found a new love for the profession in the high school setting while also expanding her skills outside the traditional roles of an athletic trainer. Rubino is a strong advocate for the profession in her community and the relationships she has fostered help her provide better care for her athletes. 

Upon graduation, she will be staying on at Colquitt County High School as the first graduate assistant to transition to a full-time hire for the Vereen Center. 

The Honors and Awards Committee selects the recipients based on academic record, athletic training experience, and an essay. Each student application must also include a recommendation from a certified athletic trainer (ATC) who supervises the student.

“Everyone at Vereen is extremely proud of Jaclyn and Kathleen,” said Assistant Vice President of Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine Services Scott Romanowski, PT, OCS, OMPT. “Jaclyn has been an integral part of our Athletic Training Program and Kathleen’s recognition is proof of the caliber of ATs that we train here at Vereen.”

Vereen Rehabilitation Center is a state-of-the-art facility that offers a variety of treatments including physical, occupational, speech, aquatic, and hyperbaric oxygen therapies. The team of highly trained professionals provides one-on-one care, focusing on the individual during treatment.