The Missouri State High School Activities Association has released the 2014-2015 Interscholastic Youth Sports Brain Injury Report. Missouri is, currently, the only state that collects information on concussions suffered by high school and junior high students involved in sports and activities. In addition to concussion information, MSHSAA reports on athletic trainers and other medical support used by schools. The MSHSAA report presents a more accurate accounting of schools with access to AT services than the CATCH-ON study, as it represents more of the secondary schools. CATCH-ON, the study conducted by the Kory Stringer Institute, represented a tremendous undertaking. Unfortunately, only 50% of Missouri public schools responded to that survey; the response rate for the MSHSAA report was 70%.
The MSHSAA report indicates that 27% of schools have Full-Time ATs (up from 23% the previous year) and 40% of schools have part-time access to ATs (present at games, primarily). We have 30% of schools with no AT services, down slightly from 32% in 2013-2014. The report states that 42% of schools have an ambulance on-site at varsity football contests. Consider that in 2010-2011 only 4% of schools reported employing an AT in a full-time capacity (practices and contests), another 5% had an AT at all contests, while 38% had an AT at certain contests (21% paid; 17% volunteer). Forty percent of schools had no access to an AT.
Continue to do good work – people are noticing! Yes, having ATs available at every school is a goal. We are making progress. And we are making this progress because people realize the importance of having a qualified health care provider present and are finding ways to make this happen – not because of a state mandate for all schools to hire ATs.