YSU athletic trainers adjusting working from home to treat athletes

Even though the student-athletes are away, the athletic training staff at YSU continues to treat the athletes


by: Josh Frketic / WKBN FIRST NEWS

Posted: Mar 30, 2020 / 05:33 PM EDT / Updated: Mar 30, 2020 / 05:33 PM EDT

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – For some of us, working from home is pretty easy, but for others, it isn’t as simple.

“It’s different because as clinicians and healthcare providers, we are so used to using our hands,” said Youngstown State’s head athletic trainer Ethan Solger.

Now, he is trying to diagnose injuries via FaceTime rather than on the field.

“I had a FaceTime the other day with a kid that he was working, stepped out of his truck and rolled his ankle,” Solger said. “So he got on FaceTime with me and I am having him point to different boning landmarks on his ankle to try and see if he needs an X-ray because we may need to rule out that he fractured his ankle.”

Solger says athletes should be able to stay in shape while they are away from their normal routines by running and biking. But something that does concern him is strength training and workload.

“When you think about training load and volume,” Solger said. “If you take somebody that is used to doing a load of 100 for several months, and then when they come back in August and do a load of 1,000, that quick spike in volume, we are going to see an influx of injuries.”

It is not just athletes that can take a hit physically while doing these things though, we can too as we stay and work from home. So, Solger says doing the little things like stretching and maybe going out for a walk or run will keep us in shape while we work from home.

“Stretching, core work. You have to get back into a rhythm of your schedule,” Solger said. “Figuring out when you are going to get your work tasks done, some time for yourself, maybe go out for a walk or a run, you know, bike riding. You can only sit and stare at the TV or the computer for so long. Go out and be active and do something.”


OHIO professor Laura Harris named to Ohio Athletic Trainers' Association Hall of Fame

By Joe Higgins | March 31, 2020

Laura Harris, a clinical professor in the School of Applied Sciences and Wellness with the College of Health Sciences and Professions (CHSP) at Ohio University, was winding down after a long week.

She wasn’t thinking about awards or accolades and she didn’t want to answer the ringing phone — So, she didn’t. The phone rang again a few days later; this time a familiar name from the Ohio Athletic Trainers’ Association (OATA) appeared on the caller ID, and she decided to answer.  

The call informed Harris that she was going to be the newest CHSP member to be inducted in the OATA Hall of Fame.

“I was stunned. One hundred percent stunned,” Harris said. “This was not even remotely on my radar of something that would happen.”

Harris said she was touched to be nominated for the honor and specifically thanked Brian Hortz, one of her nominators, an OHIO alumnus and fellow member of the OATA Hall of Fame.    

“I am absolutely thrilled that Laura is receiving this award. She has dedicated her career to bettering the Ohio Athletic Trainers’ Association (OATA) and by extension, the quality of athletic training services provided,” said Chad Starkey, professor and associate director of Athletic Training the in College of Health Sciences and Professions, and also an OATA Hall of Fame member. “Just as her organization and planning skills are an asset to OHIO, they are perhaps more valuable in a large organization like the OATA.”

Harris began her career as an athletic trainer in 1995 but her love for the profession began before then. In her youth, she coveted working with horses, her father being a horse trainer at Scioto Downs. If she had not chosen athletic training, she likely would have become a veterinarian to continue working with horses. She was steered toward medicine when she suffered a knee injury as a gymnast. Her work with a physical therapist opened her eyes to the field of athletic training as well. The combination of medicine and the competition offered in sports fulfilled a need for Harris.  

Although she no longer actively practices as an athletic trainer and misses her time in the field, Harris has found satisfaction in helping the next generations of athletic trainers create their own careers. As a clinical professor she enjoys steering students through these waters, especially when the lightbulb turns on and the ability and understanding of the science connect. Harris’ research focuses on the psychological response to injury and concussion protocols involving adolescents.

Harris has impacted the lives of many as both an athletic trainer and a professor. When news of her induction hit social media, the positive responses and well-wishes poured in. Included in those remarks were those of Elizabeth Saunders, a 2017 graduate of the post professional program.

“I couldn’t imagine someone more deserving,” Saunders wrote. “You’ve made a lasting, positive impact on my life and career. The world of athletic training (and the world in general) is a better place because of you! Thank you for your years of hard work, dedication and compassion.”

Tags: CHSPAHSWAthletic Training