Athletic Therapists are advocates for their clients and for overall improvements to health care and rehabilitation techniques. Advocacy has a long and deep tradition in health care. For ATs giving voice to the injured is a responsibility.
ATs have been active in giving voice in the area of concussion treatment. The OATA and a number of its members have conducted research in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, have been involved with Ontario government advocacy initiatives and legislation in the area of concussions through Rowan’s Law and numerous submissions and guidelines. The OATA was one of the early participants in the Concussion Working Group of the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation.
Other conditions for which ATs have advanced the need for best practices and new rehabilitation approaches include hip, knee and ankle joint replacement and treatments. The annual SUMMIT series of lectures and presentations, engaging multidisciplinary health profession rehabilitation experts with leading orthopaedic surgeons, have proven to be successful education and advocacy platforms.
The OATA also advocates on behalf of its own members. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the OATA advocated for the use of ATs in the frontline testing as ATs are well-recruited to do throughout the USA. ATs are certified as First Responders and are certified in Basic Live Saving. As point of injury specialists, the frontline of health care delivery is not new to Ontario’s Athletic Therapists.