MOULTRIE, Ga. – Each March, healthcare organizations across the country celebrate athletictrainers for National Athletic Training Month. This year’s theme, decided on by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), is “ATs provide healthcare everywhere.”
This theme is particularly significant in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. ATs everywhere had to adjust their schedules and training at the start of the pandemic in March 2020.
Vereen ATs have worked in various settings over the course of the pandemic, lending a hand when departments were experiencing severe shortages or an influx of patient volume required extra hands. Some worked, and continue to work, at Sterling Group Outpatient Laboratory, helping collect paperwork, gather COVID-19 tests, and transport tests to and from the lab. Others played a vital role as screeners at the main entrances of the hospital, when it was required for visitors to have their temperature taken before entrance to the facility and they helped document and monitor the amount of visitors allowed for each patient.
“Our ATs have gone above and beyond their typical duties throughout the pandemic,” said Colquitt Regional President and CEO Jim Matney. “Many worked in areas that they were not familiar with and performed tasks they had never done before. We are grateful for their dedication to not only this hospital, but to their profession and rising to the challenge during difficult times.”
The COVID-19 pandemic hit the athletic training program especially hard, because schools shut down for the entirety of the spring and summer of 2020 and sporting events were cancelled.
Athletic trainers are highly qualified, multi-skilled health care professionals who render service or treatment, under the direction of or in collaboration with a physician, according to the NATA. On a daily basis, ATs provide a variety of services, including primary care, injury and illness prevention, wellness promotion and education, emergent care, examination and clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention, and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions.
Students who wish to pursue a career in athletic training have many different avenues they can take to accomplish their goal. However, The Vereen Center has established an intensive, immersive program for ATs who want to go a step further in their education and training, which is led by Vereen Center Athletic Training Services Coordinator Jaclyn Donovan, MBA, MS, LAT, ATC, CSCS.
“When our ATs enter our program, they are already nationally-certified athletic trainers and licensed by the State of Georgia to practice,” said Vereen Center Assistant Vice President of Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine Services Scott Romanowski, PT, OCS, OMPT. “By joining our team, they get the experience of functioning as a full time AT, along with obtaining their master’s degree in kinesiology. The program really is a win-win for them, because they get to further their training and education at the same time, under the tutelage of highly-qualified professionals at the Vereen Center.”
The ATs at the Vereen Center focus specifically on sports medicine and work with athletes in Colquitt County and surrounding counties during their sports seasons. In addition to their time with school athletics, they also provide coverage to various community organizations, such as Moss Farms Diving, YMCA Gymnastics, and other community-related sports events.
The current class of ATs at Vereen include Dyshon Carr, Bryson Bradley, Hunter Mitchell, Katie Riney, Tiffany Roberts, Kathleen Rubino, Sawyer Foss, and Madeline Bills.
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.