Comments from Chad Abrams, Director:
August 1, 2011
Greetings to all,
I hope that this letter finds all of you in good spirits and much success in the 2011-12 school year. Another school year has ended and football season is just around the corner. We, here at the Fellowship, hope that all of you will have a restful Summer and somehow find some time for some rest and relaxation before this Fall. Although, these days, there are no more down periods. Most sports go year round with travel ball and camps for every sport imaginable. To our recent graduates Sara Mullinax, Brooke Jackson, and Erin Chatwin, we wish you much success in the future. Your service to us has been outstanding and I hope that you realize the positive impact you have made to the schools and athletes that you served.
We welcome the addition of two new fellows this year with Jason Seaton, and Stephen Taylor. Tamantha Wofford and Katie Varnado is returning for their 2nd year. These fellows are coming from all over the United States, and each one has displayed professionalism and the necessary competency to care for the student athletes of East Alabama in a first class manner.
The Kenny Howard Fellowship was created for several reasons, one was to provide sports medicine care to area schools who may not be able to afford sports medicine care of their own. Secondly, we were created to provide scholarships to ATC’s (Athletic Trainer Certified) seeking a master’s or doctoral degree at Auburn University, and thirdly, we wanted to expand and give our fellows opportunities to enhance their knowledge in Athletic Training so that they may go back to their part of the country and spread the knowledge that they have learned to others. Kenny Howard, our mentor and friend, has taught us the importance of not only sharing what you know, but to serve and treat others with grace and humility. It is our sincere desire to collaborate and form relationships with Auburn University, other fellowships, outreach clinics, and sports medicine facilities within East Alabama, all for the greater good of the community and the athletes that perform here.
Our youth are being pressured like never before to become more competitive. Therefore, it is even more important that qualified medical personnel are present at all games and even practices. The potential for injuries have increased due to greater numbers participating in athletics, and the size, skill, and abilities of our youth have gotten greater as well. There is practically no state that requires personnel to hold any certification beyond basic first aid and CPR in the high schools. The training that this provides does not address taping and bracing, or the rehabilitation of injuries. Often times the ATC’s are the only medical personnel that most of the athletes have access to or can afford. Most injuries can be treated safely without a doctor’s visit, thereby saving time and money going to a physician. Also, ATC’s traditionally communicate very well with physicians and they tend to coordinate treatment of athlete in an efficient manner.
It is our hope that one day ATC’s will be required for all sports programs. Professional and collegiate athletics have long recognized the need for athletic trainers and I know of none that do not have them available. Why do we not ask for the same level of care for our student athletes who have the least ability to pay for such coverage? I urge you to contact your local governmental leaders, (principals, school board members, superintendants, representatives, and senators, e.g.) and discuss your concerns. In the mean time, we here at the Fellowship will do what we can to provide as much care as possible to our community.
The Kenny Howard Fellowship is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Without generous donations to the Fellowship we could not continue to operate. We host an annual golf tournament every year that assists us in our fund raising efforts. If you or you know of anyone that has an interest in the health and welfare of our local athletes, or to provide scholarships to deserving ATC’s, and they would like to contribute to our program, please contact myself at the address below.
Thank you for allowing us to serve you and the physically active of East Alabama. It is my sincere wish that everyone have a great football season. See you in the Fall.
Chad Abrams, ATC
1199 South Donahue Dr., Suite C.
Auburn, AL 36832