WVATA Annual Sports Medicine Conference Convenes At Concord - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

WVATA Annual Sports Medicine Conference Convenes At Concord

The Concord University delegation at the recent WVATA conference includes, front row, left to right: Casey Gerber, Alison Hall, Dr. Joe Beckett, Kara Broughman, Sami Spertzel, Meghan Kinkead, Erin Asbury, Samantha Clement, and Kat Naglee. Back row, left t The Concord University delegation at the recent WVATA conference includes, front row, left to right: Casey Gerber, Alison Hall, Dr. Joe Beckett, Kara Broughman, Sami Spertzel, Meghan Kinkead, Erin Asbury, Samantha Clement, and Kat Naglee. Back row, left t
ATHENS, (Press Release) – The 2013 Annual Sports Medicine Conference of the West Virginia Athletic Trainer's Association (WVATA) brought approximately 90 athletic training faculty members, physicians and other medical professionals and students to Concord University March 22 and 23. This is the first year "The Campus Beautiful" has hosted the event and organizers are pleased with the outcome.
Conference coordinator and host Dr. Joe Beckett said the quality of the speakers and the student presentations were especially noteworthy. Beckett is professor and director of Concord University's Athletic Training Education Program.
Along with organizing the conference, Beckett also received a special honor at the event by being voted as the West Virginia Athletic Training Educator of the Year.
"Dr. Beckett has devoted 23 of his 32 years in higher education to establishing, creating, developing, organizing and growing both quantitatively and qualitatively ATEPs in West Virginia," his nomination materials state. The nomination goes on to say that Beckett's commitment to students is demonstrated by, among other things, the "great deal of time (he spends) communicating with and mentoring students about leadership qualities, professional aspiration and ambition, and ways that students can positively impact the athletic training profession."
"Anytime your colleagues select you for this, you are very honored," he said.
Beckett, who is a 1976 graduate of Bluefield High School, was joined at the conference by other local presenters and BHS alums. "The local folks all had outstanding presentations," he said.
They include Dr. Dan Martin, chair of the graduate athletic training program at West Virginia Wesleyan College; Mike Goforth, head athletic trainer at Virginia Tech; Dr. Philip Branson, Princeton physician who sees many of the orthopaedic injuries sustained by Concord student-athletes; and, Dr. James Kyle, clinical professor and medical director of the Concord ATEP.
Kyle is an Athens High School graduate and lead team physician for the Concord Mountain Lions. He also serves as regional medical director for Region I with the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau for Public Health, Office of Emergency Medical Services. 
Kyle moderated a session in which "Game Day Medical Time-Out" was discussed. This initiative, aimed at making high school athletics safer, consists of a checklist that coaches, emergency medical service personnel (EMS), athletic trainers and team physicians, school administrators and law enforcement representatives go over in a meeting 30 minutes prior to the start of the athletic contest.
Among the items discussed are the availability of equipment and procedures and ways of communicating in the event of an emergency.
Kyle is spearheading the effort in the southern West Virginia counties of Region I and plans to implement the emergency care plan at Mountain Lion football games during the 2013 season.
"Medical Time-Out takes prevention and management of emergency situations to a whole different level," Beckett said.
Other topics presented at the conference include: trends in concussion management; should injured athletes play; examination and management of neck injuries; exercise collapse in sickle cell trait; sports trauma in cheerleading; update on the status of athletic training coverage at West Virginia's secondary schools; examination of the aging athlete; functional foot evaluation and gait analysis; and emerging and alternative techniques in treating athletes and returning them to play.
In a video message to conference attendees, U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va. addressed the risk for concussions faced by athletes.
"As athletic trainers, you are on the front lines when it comes to protecting our student athletes from injuries including a specific injury…concussions," Rockefeller said. "As you know our young people are at risk for concussions each time they play a sport whether it's football, soccer, cheerleading, baseball or basketball."
"Recently, we have learned more information about the risks and dangers of concussions in sports," he said.
Rockefeller is chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee. "I held a hearing on concussions and the market of sports equipment recently, where experts discussed important facts about what concussions are and what can be done to protect athletes," he said.
"Your job as an athletic trainer can be challenging when an athlete who has been injured but wants to get back in the game," he said. "If a concussion is suspected, I'm glad to know that you follow the phrase ‘When in doubt, sit it out.' "
"Safety should always be the top priority," Rockefeller said.
Beckett was also impressed with the student component of the conference. Concord University students participated in the quiz bowl, poster presentations and oral presentations.
"From a student perspective, the quality of student poster presentations was a lot better," he said. "We established more rigorous standards for posters."
CU student Brent Roark, one of four students statewide participating in the oral presentations, placed second in the competition.  Roark, a Princeton, W.Va. resident, discussed "Clavicle Fracture in a Football Player."
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