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The First Aider

Give it up for the University of Cincinnati ATEP: Recipient of the 2017 Bill Cramer Award

November 6, 2017

Congratulations to the Athletic Training Education Program of the University of Cincinnati--the 2017 winner of the Bill Cramer Professional Development Award, created following the death of Bill Cramer in 2007 to honor his passion and enthusiasm for athletic training education. The annual $2,000.00 prize helps cover expenses for students attending local, regional, and national professional development programs.

Jeromy M. Alt, ATC, 
Athletic Training Clinical Coordinator at the University of Cincinnati, wrote the letter of application for the award. He notes, “Having the opportunity to have known Mr. Cramer, I believe the commitment to the profession and to service exhibited by our students truly represents his values and dedication.”

Cincinnati currently has 49 students with a 3.3 cumulative university GPA in its program. Many have received scholarships and grants, and collectively they have completed more than 33,000 clinical hours. “Over the past year the students in our program have worked very hard to balance their commitment to the program, their clinical requirements, and professional and community service,” Jeromy says in his letter. Nearly all of the athletic training students participate in professional and community service activities, giving their time to organizations including Ronald McDonald house, Relay for Life, a local food pantry, the Honor Run Half Marathon, and the Crosstown Concussion Crew that provides concussion education to local high schools.

Jeromy writes, “We encourage our students to be active professionally and all of them are members of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and Greater Cincinnati Athletic Trainers’ Association. Not only do the students participate, they also take leadership roles when possible. The leadership positions held are REHABCATS officers within the University, Ohio Athletic Trainers’ Association student representative, and Greater Cincinnati Athletic Trainers’ Association student representative. Collectively, REHABCATS won the GCATA’s NATA Month Challenge for promoting the profession.”

Last year, the program’s 13 seniors studied for the BOC exam while working 30-40 hours per week at internships. In February, they all passed the BOC exam on the first attempt. Graduates of the University of Cincinnati’s ATEP are pursuing a variety of paths including attending graduate school; working in high schools, colleges, and professional sports; and continuing their allied health education to combine with the BOC credential.

All students in this program are encouraged to attend professional development symposiums and conferences, and Jeromy says that these opportunities have led to many great relationships, volunteer opportunities, internships, and employment over the years. “We simply provide the opportunities but the students are the ones to do the work and make the connections,” he says. “Most hold part-time jobs to help pay for their education and perform fundraising activities to support their attendance at professional meetings. With this award, more students will have the opportunity to grow professionally through attendance at meetings and events.”

All of us at Cramer send our heartfelt congratulations to Jeromy and the entire faculty, staff and students of the University of Cincinnati’s athletic training program! Read More

Athletic Trainer Spotlight: Joe Davies, ATC

November 6, 2017

Growing up in Westfield, N.Y., Joe Davies was influenced by his father, brother, and uncle, who were committed to volunteer fire service. Joe got involved with this vitally important community service at age 14 through a junior explorers program, and soon realized he wanted to be a doctor or pursue some other healthcare career.

A few years later, Joe learned about the profession of athletic training because his best friend’s sister was an athletic training major at State University of New York (SUNY) in Cortland, N.Y. He recalls, “The career appealed to me because athletic trainers seemed to do a little bit of everything. Then a year or two later, I injured my knee and went through rehab. They got me back to the activities of daily living, but I couldn’t kick a soccer ball or jump really well. I had decided I wanted to be an athletic trainer and was taking a personal health and fitness class that my high school offered. As part of that class, I created a conditioning plan that got my knee back to normal.”

Joe graduated from high school in 1999 and was accepted to SUNY Cortland to study athletic training, adding health education as a second major during his sophomore year. He volunteered for their first responders' program after arriving on campus and soon had his EMT certification. Joe moved up through the ranks of that organization, and by his senior year assumed the role of Chief.

After graduating, Joe decided to return to SUNY Cortland to get a master’s degree in health education. While in grad school, he worked as the principal athletic trainer for the U.S. Women’s Handball team, a rewarding position that provided opportunities to travel to Brazil, Europe, and Canada. Going into his third year with the handball team, Joe accepted a job teaching health and doing part-time athletic training at a local high school, Homer Senior High. “That was a busy year,” Joe says, “but after that, the handball team relocated to Georgia. I could have moved with them, but wanted to stay in Cortland to finish my masters and continue working at Homer.”

Joe stayed at the high school for seven years. As part of his health education program there, he created a one-semester class, Introduction to Sports Medicine, which he taught for three years. During his last year at the high school, he was on the sideline of a football game, with an opposing team that didn’t have an athletic trainer. During the third quarter, one of their players was hurt. Joe ran to his side and immediately recognized the severity of the injury. He rode in the ambulance with the student, who died of a head injury shortly after arriving at the hospital. “It was a very traumatic experience,” Joe says. “Shortly after standing next to a father who had just lost his son, I became a father. I was thrown out of balance, and by the end of that school year I needed to make a change for my well-being.”

After taking eight months off, Joe was offered an opportunity to work as for Onsite Innovations based in Mt. Laurel, N.J. The company provides onsite occupational health care, case management, wellness and ergonomics services, and Joe was hired to work as a subcontractor for a large food manufacturer. Five years later, the industrial setting has proven to be a great fit for Joe. “I’ve been challenged in ways I couldn’t have imagined,” he says. “I enjoy being out on the floor working with and getting to know employees. I handle wellness programming and treat occupational and non-occupational issues. It’s more of a clinical setting, but if an employee gets hurt I’m right there on the sidelines, so to speak. Sometimes I can identify a potential hazard and suggest a change before anyone gets hurt. It feels great when employees say they’re feeling better or getting more done.

“Athletic training is all about building relationships and trust, whether it’s on the field or on the floor,” Joe continues. “In football, we know how linemen position themselves and how they block and tackle, so we understand what they experience. In an industrial setting, we work right alongside the employees and learn about their jobs--what they do, what hazards they face. I might recommend a change in their grip or posture; identify a tool as simple as a stepstool that will help them reach, or suggest a hoist and trolley system to help with a lift. It’s a wonderful collaboration.”

Joe’s job also challenges him to understand the business side of things, and to search for solutions that provide a return on investment. “When on-site athletic trainers partner with a client’s safety teams,” he says, “we empower each other to create a better work environment for the employees. The result is typically a 30 to 40 percent drop in work-related injuries and a 30 to 70 percent decrease in workers comp costs the first year of the program.”

During his years with Onsight Innovations, Joe has received opportunities to grow along with the company. He was promoted to a management position after eight months, and promoted to director of athletic training services this past April.

One of the best aspects of his job, Joe says, is that the workweek structure allows him to spend time with his wife and boys, ages three and six. “Some of my managers and I were recently talking about how much we love working in the industrial setting. It is very fulfilling and affords us a good work-life balance. This job may not be for everyone, but it sure is a great fit for me.” Read More

Meet Hannah Goodwin: 2017 Recipient of the Jack Cramer Scholarship

November 6, 2017

Congratulations to Hannah Goodwin of Warrior, Alabama, the 2017 recipient of the Jack Cramer Scholarship. The $2,000.00 scholarship was established in 2006 by Cramer Products to honor the memory of Jack Cramer, who believed in mentoring high school students interested in the profession of athletic training. Jack, son of company co-founder Frank Cramer, died in 2004 at the age of 86. The scholarship is awarded to a graduating high school senior planning to become an athletic trainer and work in a high school setting.

Hannah graduated this past May from Mortimer Jordan High School, and is now attending the University of Southern Mississippi. She is excited about one day helping athletes perform their best, working as an athletic trainer at a high school.

Scholarship applicants submit an essay, and here is an excerpt from Hannah’s:

I did not choose athletic training as much athletic training chose me. I was born with Aortic Valve Stenosis. I had enjoyed a normal childhood with sports activities like everyone else. I was in sixth grade when I was told by my cardiologist that soccer and cheer would no longer be an option for me. I was devastated to never touch the soccer field again or learn a cheerleading routine. My world with sports was over, or so I thought. It just so happened that the “try outs” for athletic training were going on at my middle school and my mom thought that would be a great idea. I would still be involved with sports but in a new and different way and that is how athletic training became a part of my life. I did not realize at the time, that this would become my passion and career choice.

Education is the most important aspect of this career, but hands on experience is where you truly learn to be an athletic trainer. This is the best way to experience and learn any craft in life. There is nothing like being on the field when an injury has occurred and you are the first on the scene, your adrenaline is going and you know you are there to help. I personally have and will thrive in these situations. To take an athlete from injury, to rehabilitation, to recovery and hold that in my hands is what being an athletic trainer is all about. I hope to learn as much as possible and grow as a person and as an athletic trainer with all this knowledge and make a difference in the lives of athletes. I know the choice I have made and the sacrifices that will come with this responsibility and I know this is what I was always meant to do.

In the application, Hannah was asked to describe her vision for her future athletic training program. Here is an excerpt from her response:

If my future in athletic training concludes at the high school level, I hope to have a program like the one I have experienced for the last six years. I believe that I have belonged to one of the best high school programs out there. I have had my Emergency Medical Responder certification since I was a freshman and renewed every year. I am required to complete an application, have and maintain a 3.5 GPA, score 90 or above on medical terminology exam and work 30 plus hours a week. I feel a sense of accomplishment from the program I have been involved in especially when my brother, who is playing baseball at a D1 program, says he misses his high school athletic trainers. That is when you know you have been involved in a great program that impacted an athlete’s life. I hope to one day run that kind of program and make a difference in a young person’s life.

Christopher King, ATC, is head athletic trainer at Mortimer Jordan High School. In his letter recommending Hannah for the scholarship, Chris writes, “The dependability to always be on time, to show up early, and to finish the job before going home is a mark of a strong future. But Hannah goes a step further by preparing for the things that are not seen and for those things that might come up. She is always ready when she is on the job and will make an outstanding athletic trainer.”

Everyone at Cramer is so proud of all that you have already accomplished, Hannah! Best of luck as you continue on your journey to a career in athletic training. Read More

Cramer’s Performance Short: Wearable sports medicine equipment

November 6, 2017

Cramer’s new Performance Short is a perfect garment for athletes who want enhanced core support and muscle performance during training and competition. The body of the short is made of 78 percent nylon and 22 percent spandex, and the elastic is 90 percent polyester and 10 percent spandex.

The short’s elastic cross band and the lightweight fabric promote endurance and mobility. When the Performance Short was first introduced, Michael Chan, ATC, head athletic trainer at Wayne State University, asked his players to try it out during football season. The short was a hit, Mike says. “We had 12 pairs, and the guys were asking me for them all the time. So I bought them for the entire team the next season, and continue to use them. This is our preferred performance-type short for our athletes.”

Mike says some of his athletes had previously worn another brand, and found the Performance Short to be comparable in every way. He adds, “The short provides support in the hip region where it’s needed most, and serves as a prophylactic type of product, similar to the way an ankle brace provides stability to an ankle. It’s comfortable, especially after the first wash when it softens a bit. Our guys wear them when they’re working out, lifting, and practicing—they wear them all the time, whenever they’re active.”

The Performance Short comes in black and white, and with five sizes (small, medium, large, extra large, and double XL), you’ll find the right fit for waist circumferences from 26” – 44”.

“From an equipment standpoint,” Mike says, “I see the Performance Short as sports medicine equipment rather than an athletic garment like shoulder pads or pants. The shorts are a preventive measure to keep athletes healthy. For example, when an athlete is working his way back to activity following a hamstring or hip flexor injury, the short’s compression retains heat, helping the muscle stay warm throughout activity.”

What can Cramer’s Performance Short do for your athletes? Check it out here! Read More

FROM THE ARCHIVES From the October, 1953 issue of The First Aider

November 6, 2017


So-called staleness may come from a mental complex – a lack of being able to concentrate 100% on the game. It could be trouble at home or with the girlfriend, or worry over studies, or squad friction.

Staleness may come from other causes – overwork, bad teeth, a lack of sleep, irregular eating habits, over-confidence or an inferiority complex, or injury – all resulting in a loss of enthusiasm.

If an entire squad seems stale it very likely comes from overwork or a lack of variety in practice – a monotony of repetition, which dulls the mental processes.

Quite often youngsters take offense at some comment or criticism regarding their play. Psychologically, they build up a complex, which takes a part of their time and energy. In college they gripe to the athletic trainer and it’s his job to placate them. In high school they just continue to stew.

Staleness has become one of those intangibles of sports. It is experienced in tennis and golf – without any obvious reason. Even coaches suffer with it on occasion – especially when they lay awake nights dreaming up plays.

It is unquestionably contagious, and the alert coach is constantly on the lookout for it and tries hard to combat it, usually by eliminating routine and monotony for a few days.


Without exercise muscles become flabby and bulky. They do not hold their shape.

Exercised muscles cling closer to the bone structure and are more compact.

With exercise, nerves and blood vessels function with daily increased tone to build and to replace burned up tissues.

With exercise, the tendons of the muscles increase their efficiency and their origins and insertions build resistance to pulls and strains.

With exercise, the ligaments and capsules of the joints grow stronger, more resistant, less brittle, better able to cope with added daily work.

With proper daily defense against changing weather conditions, consistent exercise builds a machine of championship proportions.


Eddie Wojecki, head trainer, Rice Institute, when lecturing at the Kansas Coaching School, said:

“You, as a high school coach, must decide whether a player is in poor condition or has poor health.

“Bad teeth, an asthmatic condition, improper elimination, poorly fitted equipment, dissipation in eating and sleeping – any one or all of these may cause a deterioration of physical condition.

A weight chart, properly kept from day to day, will single out these cases. Improperly kept up, it is a waste of time.”

Read More