Leading the way, University of Iowa consolidates athletic training programs in Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation

The University of Iowa has transitioned all components of its nationally recognized athletic training program to a new home in the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation in the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

The move took two years to complete and includes undergraduate, graduate, and residency athletic training education programs as well as staff athletic trainers who take care of Iowa Hawkeyes student athletes.

In the first step of the process, the undergraduate and graduate education athletic training program moved from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. This came in response to new guidelines issued by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education as well as an ongoing interest in consolidating all components of athletic training. The Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation already was the home of an athletic training residency program for post-professional athletic trainers seeking further education to work in a medical setting.

Athletic training education continues to be led by the program’s director, Megan Lundstrom, EdD, LAT, ATC, clinical associate professor of orthopedics.

The second step involved moving all athletic trainers who provide daily direct care for University of Iowa teams and athletes out of the athletics department and into the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation.

Brian Wolf, MD, MS, director of sports medicine and professor of orthopedics, says the University of Iowa is the first Big Ten institution, and among the first in the Power 5 conferences, to make this move, which ensures direct reporting of all sports medicine personnel through a medical chain, enhancing the care of student athletes.

“Everyone is excited about these changes and for us to be on the forefront of modern, high-level sports medicine at a Power 5 school,” says Wolf, who now supervises all athletic trainers who take care of University of Iowa athletes. “We believe this is the best way to operate sports medicine for college athletes by keeping medical care separate and distinct from the performance, coaching, and big business of college athletics. Our structural realignment also parallels recent recommendations by the NCAA Sport Science Institute that every attempt be made to have the entire sports medicine team be an independent entity from the athletics department. And our athletic trainers are an integral part of that sports medicine team.”

Gary Barta, director of University of Iowa Athletics, says the move demonstrates a commitment to the health of student athletes.

“Iowa athletics is thrilled to be a leader in the health care provided for our student athletes,” Barta says. “Our partnership with University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics continues to ensure our athletes receive the most up-to-date medical care available. Distinguishing between the medical and athletic performance needs of our student athletes is important to our success. We place great value on our relationship with Dr. Wolf and the University of Iowa Health Care team.”

Thursday, December 19, 2019