Athletic trainers within OHIO’s College of Health Sciences and Professions to gain valuable clinical insight, experience via new partnership with the Cincinnati Reds
ATHENS, Ohio (March 25, 2019) — A new, forward-thinking partnership between Ohio University’s College of Health Sciences and Professions (CHSP) and Major League Baseball’s Cincinnati Reds will provide athletic trainers in CHSP’s Division of Athletic Training with the opportunity to gain valuable professional experience and work with many of the country’s current and future baseball stars.
In the coming months, select CHSP students will ultimately be chosen to become part of the program’s inaugural cohort. They will join the Reds in June at the team’s spring training facility and one of its minor league affiliates. Licensed, professional athletic trainers who are working to earn their post-professional master’s degree with CHSP are eligible to apply for the new program.
“The goal of a post-professional degree program is to lead into advanced clinical practice,” said Chad Starkey, associate director for the division of athletic training. “The coursework makes them better clinicians, better problem solvers and better able to use science and literature to drive decision making. Now, these students will get to do all of that in a professional sports setting.”
Starkey noted that, in addition to developing a new post-professional degree, they are working to transition some of the program’s current coursework to an online environment to help accommodate the busy work days that students will encounter with their respective teams. He also said the partnership, currently slated to run through 2021, will open the door to collaborative research with clinicians from the Reds and could provide a blueprint for establishing similar educational partnerships with more professional sports teams.
“Working with an organization like the Cincinnati Reds will be incredible for our students and faculty,” said CHSP Dean Randy Leite. “Our students will have an opportunity to learn in an organization known for the high quality of its sports medicine department and our faculty will be able to engage with the Reds’ staff to undertake cutting-edge research with elite athletes.”
After their first semester of coursework in the traditional master’s program, CHSP students will head to spring training where they will then join with a Reds minor league team in Arizona, Kentucky or Montana. Second year students will stay with the assigned teams through September.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for both OHIO and the Reds,” said Charles Leddon, director of sports science initiatives for the Reds. “We’ll have students who are already certified come out to work with us and it gives them a lot of experience to see a setting they normally wouldn’t get a chance to see and earn some real-life experience in professional sports.”
Leddon mentioned that getting to know the students and having a hand in their experiences would also help the organization make decisions on potential future employment opportunities.
“It’s definitely a win-win for everyone,” he said.