Archive for August, 2014

In-Depth Look: An AT for Omaha's Pro Baseball Team

Monday, August 25th, 2014


Dave Iannicca

Dave Iannicca, MSEd, ATC, CSCS, PES, CES

Name and title:
David Iannicca, MSEd, ATC, CSCS, PES, CES, Certified Athletic Trainer

Describe your setting:
I work in professional baseball with a Kansas City Royals Triple-A affiliate in Omaha, Nebraska.

How long have you worked in this setting?
Eleven years total. I worked two years with the New York Yankees, one year with the Atlanta Braves and eight years with the Kansas City Royals.

Describe your typical day:
My typical day for an evening game (7pm game time) begins around 12:00pm – 1:00pm with preparing the athletic training facility for the day, planning players’ rehab and injury prevention programs, and catching up on other duties such as organizing and preparing for our upcoming road trip, etc.

Players generally start reporting to the stadium around 1:00pm – 2:00pm. Treatments and rehab programs are conducted, in addition to assisting with our strength and conditioning coach for player workouts. Batting practice starts at 4:00pm. During this time I will conduct any on-field functional rehab progressions players may have; otherwise, I am out on the field in case an injury occurs during pre-game. After batting practice I will continue with player treatments/rehab as needed and get players ready for the game. Typically games last from 2 ½ hours to 3 ½ hours on the field.

After the game I’ll continue with post-game injury prevention routines and finish up any last minute treatments before players leave the stadium. Once my work in the athletic training facility is complete, I will enter all my daily notes into the MLB electronic medical records system and send out an end-of-day report to the Kansas City Royals front office, team physicians and other various staff. I generally am finished for the night around midnight.

What do you like about your position?
This is a fast-paced and demanding work environment that challenges you to have a strong work ethic and stay current on the latest research and medical information out there to utilize on our athletes. It provides the opportunity to work with elite players who are looking to improve their athleticism and skills in the game of baseball.

This position has also given me an opportunity to travel all over the United States and visit many cities and states I probably would have never seen or visited. The team and Royals organization are like a family, with the ultimate goal of the players and staff to advance their career to the major league level.

What do you dislike about your position?
The hardest part about this work setting is the time away from home. My family and I reside in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and although they make several trips to visit throughout the season, my job has me traveling away from home for 6-7 months a year for Spring Training in Arizona and to Nebraska for the current season.

What advice do you have about your practice setting for a young AT looking at this setting?
My biggest advice would be to apply for an internship with a professional baseball team through the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS) internship program to get a true experience and understanding what this job setting is like and if it’s something you would really like to pursue. There are a lot of hard working and knowledgeable Athletic Trainers in this work setting who have a real passion for the sports medicine field. A young Athletic Trainer just starting out can learn a great amount from them.


In-Depth Look: An AT for Major League Umpires

Thursday, August 7th, 2014



Mark A. Letendre

Mark A. Letendre, ATC

Name and title: Mark A. Letendre, ATC, Director of Umpire Medical Services, Office of the Commissioner, Major League Baseball (MLB)

Describe your setting:
I work from Scottsdale, AZ, and am responsible for the health and welfare of 74 Major League and 22 Minor League Call-Up Umpires. This is a year-round job with primary duties as a Medical Navigator charged with responsibilities that include pre-employment physicals; umpire specific functional activity assessments; lifestyle management and nutrition; handling stress, sleep, travel, injury and illness; and head blow awareness.

In addition, I have an acute sense of workers’ compensation and personal insurance rules and regulations, as well as familiarity with labor relation laws and working with a collective bargaining unit.

I work alongside a primary care/sports medicine physician, Dr. Steven Erickson, and Minor League Coordinator of Umpire Medical Services, Mark Stubblefield, ATC, to oversee the virtual medical network in place – from Seattle, WA, to Miami, FL, and Boston, MA, to San Diego, CA, and Major League cities in between, including Toronto, Canada.

How long have you worked in this setting?
I am presently in my 15th year in this position and 37th overall in professional baseball.

Describe your typical day:
I am on call 24/7, from the first day of Spring Training games in early March until the conclusion of the World Series in late October. I have set up a phone texting program with Major League Baseball Advance Media Group for immediate alert of an umpire illness or injury on the field as well as video clips of any ball, bat or bodily contact with an umpire. The video clips are emailed for review the next day.

Daily responsibilities include the following:

·         Work hand and glove with home team medical staff that is charged with triaging any acute injury or illness. Once an umpire is diagnosed, he either continues with home team medical staff for care or enters the MLB Virtual Medical Care Network
·         Set up appointment(s) for care and provide any support that is needed within the Medical Network for an umpire unable to work
·         Work daily with Director of MLB Umpiring Randy Marsh to make sure if a replacement umpire is needed, he will arrive in time for the game and estimate how long the MLB umpire will be out. MLB always wants to start a game with four umpires
·         Text, email or phone an umpire who may have sustained an illness or injury and communicate with the attending health professionals as well as with Dr. Erickson
·         Assemble all medical records and enter into Umpire Electronic Record Program
·         Process bills for treatments, supplies and services not covered by workers’ compensation
·         Work with medical provider billing departments so bills for services are earmarked correctly for processing
·         Prepare Mid Week Umpire Health Status Report for weekly Umpire Department conference call
·         Submit End of Week Umpire Health Status Report to Umpire Department supervisors and administration staff and the umpire union, World Umpire Association
·         Attempt to stay current with ever-changing sports medicine care information, particularly in concussion care, heat illness, sleep deprivation, stress and protective equipment

What do you like about your position?
I enjoy every day because it has new challenges that require multi-level problem solving. I am blessed knowing that I am contributing to the health of individuals who are charged with the integrity of our national pastime. Sharing all the health information that we Athletic Trainers have acquired empowers the umpires to be knowledgeable about themselves and make the correct calls more often than not!

I am also proud of the fact that the Office of the Commissioner chose an Athletic Trainer over a physical therapist, chiropractor, physician assistant or medical doctor to set up and be in charge of the first ever professional sports Umpire Medical Services Department!

What do you dislike about your position?
Not many dislikes.  Not part of my DNA!  I do miss the hands-on work and connection that evolves between an AT and his or her patients, and I miss seeing all the wonderful people who have come through my life because of professional baseball.

What advice do you have about your practice setting for a young AT looking at this setting?
VOLUNTEER your time to attain more experience in whatever setting you set your goal for. Heck, had it not been for my volunteering for an American Legion baseball team in my college summer months, perhaps I would not have been as attractive to my first employer, the New York Yankees.

VOLUNTEER for a task, a work group or committee. Sure you will make mistakes, I do every day! However, ask yourself: “What’s the worst that can happen to me? Get fired from volunteer work?” You can’t pay enough for experience.

Go out of your way to “meet and greet” yourself.  There many amateur officiating associations that would love the wealth of information you possess!

Never lose your curiosity. Every person is an industrial athlete, much like the MLB and MLB (Minor League Baseball) umpires, so how do you find them to work with?




The BOC Seeks Physician Director

Monday, August 4th, 2014

The Board of Certification (BOC) for the Athletic Trainer is accepting applications from individuals who may qualify for, and be interested in, serving as the Physician Director for the BOC.  Athletic Trainers (ATs) are healthcare professionals who collaborate with physicians. The services provided by ATs comprise prevention, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions.  For more information, please visit  The job description can be found on the BOC website. It concisely outlines the responsibilities of a Director.

Applications will be reviewed by the BOC Nominating Committee; the Committee will forward qualified nominees to the BOC Board of Directors (Board) for appointment.  The nominees are to be reviewed and an appointment made by the BOC Board in November 2014. The new Director will be expected to attend the February 2015 and July 2015 meetings and will officially assume their duties January 1, 2016.  The term is three years with the possibility of one reappointment.

If you or someone you know are interested in the Physician Director position, please submit a letter of interest and a resume to the BOC office no later than September 15, 2014:

Fax:  (402) 561-0598
Mail:  BOC
Attn: Physician Director Position
1415 Harney St, Ste 200
Omaha, NE  68102

If you have questions regarding the position, please contact Shannon Leftwich at  Thank you for your consideration.

Additional Information

Job Description

BOC Bylaws: Article III, Section 6 Qualifications:

All Directors

(a)  A person shall be eligible for election or appointment as a Director who:

(1)  Does not hold elected or appointed office on a state, provincial or national regulatory board, and;
(2)  Does not serve on the CAATE Commission, NATA, Inc. or NATA Foundation, Inc. Board of Directors, and;
(3)  Demonstrates experience with oversight boards (e.g., NATA, CAATE, state athletic training organization).

Any person shall be eligible for appointment as a Physician Director who:

(a)  Is licensed as a Medical Doctor or Doctor of Osteopathy, and;
(b)  Is currently recognized in good standing by the governmental authority responsible for licensure of his/her profession, and;
(c)  Demonstrates interest in health and safety through a willingness to be a physician medical advocate for consumers of athletic training services.

How Do You Stay Current Despite Limited Time, Access and Funds?

Friday, August 1st, 2014

By Stacy Walker

Staying current in the fast-paced healthcare profession is vital to providing the best patient care. All Athletic Trainers want to provide the best possible care. However, staying current can be difficult and little information is available about access to resources such as apps and medical journals. I started pondering this while I was collaborating on an article about the beliefs and use of evidence in the practice of athletic training. One of the findings is that Athletic Trainers want more resources. Then I wondered, what exact resources were being alluded to? Of course all of the athletic training based ones were mentioned (i.e., continuing education courses, “Clinical Bottom Line” in the NATA News, Evidence-based Practice in Athletic Training web-based course, Journal of Athletic Training, NATA Foundation’s Building Blocks for Clinical Practice). What about other resources? One of my specific questions was about those Athletic Trainers in the high school setting.

ATs in the high school setting may have no or limited access to medical journals other than the Journal of Athletic Training. It must be difficult for Athletic Trainers to stay current with such little access. Where does the responsibility of the employer come into play in terms of offering resources such as apps, subscriptions or access to medical journals? I do not have an answer but wanted to pose the question.

To describe the many types of apps for healthcare providers to stay current is beyond the purpose of this blog post, but I did want to show one very cool one, UpToDate®.

UptoDate® is a service that provides evidence based clinical decision support information. Group pricing is offered. ATs could go to their employers and describe the benefits of staying current with the evidence to provide the best patient care and ask the employer to pay for this. It’s a stretch, I know, but we really need to start exploring more options other than the free ones.

So what do you think? What resources do you find helpful to help you stay current and provide the best care for your patients?


*The BOC does not endorse or recommend UpToDate® and has no business connection with the company. The product is mentioned only as an example.