Ohio House Passes Athletic Training Modernization Legislation

Cindy Abrams Home | Cindy Abrams Press

June 10, 2020

COLUMBUS – State Reps. Cindy Abrams (R-Harrison) and Rick Carfagna (R-Genoa Twp.) today announced the House passage of House Bill 484, legislation that modernizes the practice act for Ohio’s athletic trainers. The updates made in HB 484 will reflect the current practice of athletic training, and allow them to keep pace with other health care providers.

“Ohio was the first state to license athletic trainers, and it’s been nearly 30 years since their practice act was updated,” said Abrams. “This legislation better reflects the current practice and changes in the athletic training curriculum so our healthcare system can fully utilize their skills and expertise.”

There are currently over 2,300 licensed athletic trainers (ATs) in Ohio. Athletic trainers are licensed healthcare providers of physical medicine and rehabilitation who partner with physicians to provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions.

“As we continue to explore ways to keep healthcare costs low and identify effective pain management techniques in response to the opioid crisis, expanding access to the expertise provided by athletic trainers will help to keep Ohioans of all ages and abilities healthy and active,” said Carfagna.

H.B. 484 updates the Ohio Athletic Trainer’s Practice Act with the following provisions:

  • Modernizes the definition of athletic training to better reflect their training and education

  • Codifies the current best practice of athletic trainers operating in direct collaboration with a physician

  • Eliminates language in current law that restricts ATs by only allowing administering of “topical” care

  • Allows an AT to provide care for a visiting team through a referral from one AT to another AT, under the guidance of the collaborating physician


In Ohio, Athletic trainers are severely limited by their current practice act. House Bill 484, when enacted, will allow Athletic Trainers to practice at the top of their licensure in Ohio and continue to provide important care for our increasingly active population.

The bill now heads to the Senate for further consideration.

UT chooses alum to lead its College of Health and Human Services

The Blade, Toledo, Ohio

June 9, 2020

An administrator from Ohio State University’s College of Medicine has been tapped to head the University of Toledo’s College of Health and Human Services.

Mark A. Merrick, who holds bachelors and doctoral degrees from UT, is scheduled to assume his new role as dean July 1.

“We’re excited to welcome Dr. Merrick back to The University of Toledo. He brings valuable leadership and experience to the College of Health and Human Services,” said Karen Bjorkman, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, said in a prepared statement. “Throughout this pandemic, we’ve seen the value of public health and allied health fields. Dr. Merrick will be a great asset to the college and the University.”

The majority of Mr. Merrick’s academic career has been spent at Ohio State, where he was the founding director of the university’s new Athletic Training Division, a position he has held for two decades. He previously held faculty positions at Xavier and Indiana State universities.

“It's great to return home and have a chance to give back to the place where my professional life began,” Mr. Merrick said. “The College of Health and Human Services has a strong and dedicated faculty who are working to make a difference for people in our community and world. Their passion and enthusiasm are evident in not only what they do and how they do it, but also in the students in whom they are so invested.”

Mr. Merrick earned a bachelor’s degree in athletic training from UT, a master’s degree in athletic training from Indiana State and a doctorate in exercise physiology from UT. He also is a certified and licensed athletic trainer.