Spring 2022 eNewsletter

This eNewsletter is published twice a year by the Far West Athletic Trainers’ Association for its members. For information contained in this newsletter or to submit articles/ideas, please contact the FWATA Newsletter Editor and District 8 Secretary, Cindy Clivio MEd, ATC at fwatasec@gmail.com

Lyn Nakagawa MS, ATC, CSCS

Aloha and Happy Athletic Training Month!  I cannot believe it is already March and the FWATA Annual Meeting and Clinical Symposium is just about a month away!  I’m so excited about the opportunity to be face to face again at an in person meeting.  The past couple of years with virtual meetings and symposiums have been great, but it just hasn’t felt the same.  I genuinely miss being able to interact with FWATA members, seeing colleagues from various regions in the district, meeting new ATs and students, and just being able to enjoy each other’s company.

This year at the FWATA AMCS, we will be recognizing several FWATA members as they conclude their service in their leadership positions.  I would personally like to thank Cindy Clivio who has served as District Secretary for the past 4 years.  Also, thank you to Kevan Murgia- Far West Student Leadership Committee, Melissa Montgomery- Research and Grants, Brian Cable- College/University Athletic Training Committee, Junior Domingo- Honors and Awards, and Sara Williamson- COPA.  I am so grateful for everything they have done over the past few years in their respective positions.  They were able to navigate the pandemic and still find ways to engage members and serve the profession and district.   Please help me welcome Kavin Tsang (District Secretary), Kara Radzak (Research and Grants), and Todd Hamburg (Honors and Awards) as they transition into their respective positions of the next few months.

This is always an exciting time of year, as we will also have the opportunity to recognize fellow athletic trainers for their exceptional service to the profession and students who have excelled in the classroom and ATP program.  Congratulations to Sierra Moreno (California State University- Fullerton), Jonathan Dicky (Azusa Pacific University), and Jennifer Vanderschaegen (San Diego State University) on their NATA Foundation Scholarships.  Also, congratulations to NATA Athletic Trainer Service Award recipient Jeffery Roberts.  Please help me in congratulating all of our District 8 NATA scholarship and award recipients who will be recognized in Philadelphia!

I am currently finishing up my 4th year as District Director and wow, what an amazing experience it has been.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve the profession and represent the district.  Before I begin my last year in this position, we need to identify the next District Director.   To be eligible for this position, you must have previously served as a District Managing Board member or as a chair of either a state, district, or national committee for a period of not less than 2 years, and the term shall have been served within the previous 10 years.  Interested candidates must submit an application including letter of interest/platform and vitae to me at lynhn@hawaii.edu by April 8th.  Platforms will be presented at the FWATA Business meeting in San Diego, with an election following soon thereafter.

I am excited and look forward to seeing everyone in the next few months in San Diego and Philadelphia!  Let’s have a great FWATA meeting in April and then we will head to Philadephia to meet up with the rest of NATA in June.  Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions, concerns, or feedback.  Take care everyone and I hope to see you all soon!

Cindy Clivio MEd, ATC

FWATA MEMBERS, Thank you for your continued membership and commitment to the profession of Athletic Training. District 8 has one of the highest retention rates of NATA members nationwide. We are grateful for our members and hopeful about future growth of the profession.  We are excited to reconnect with our district members in person  beginning with our FWATA AMCS in San Diego and then with our colleagues across the country in Philadelphia.

No matter where you are in your athletic training career, a membership with NATA is the best way to stay connected, grow professionally and help advance the profession.

NATA is working every day to ensure you have the advocacy, professional growth, connection, and support needed to keep athletic training essential to health care. By being a NATA member, you are investing in yourself, your profession, and your future. Please take advantage of your member benefits such as

  • NATA Professional Development Center, members receive 10
  • NATA Career Center
  • Discounted Registration fee for State, District, and National Meetings and educational events
  • Connection online through Gather and The Den geared to your specific areas of interest
  • Access to Salary Survey
  • Members only resources such as infographics, and tool kits
  • NATA Support—AT’s Care provides peer to peer support and crisis management training for any athletic trainers who are dealing with the aftermath of critical incidents

Advancing the practice of athletic training. Find resources to help demonstrate your value and worth through revenue models, improve your understanding of the business of athletic training, or get assistance in seeking reimbursement for athletic training services.

Garvin Tsuji, MS, ATC

Membership dues continue to drive our financial well-being. Attendance at the AMCS is an opportunity to support our district and utilize the benefits of membership.Please urge those who are non-members to consider joining because we are better together.

Ruem Malasarn MA, ATC

2022 FWATA Annual Meeting and Clinical Symposium

Registration is open!

The 2022 FWATA AMCS will be held in person at the fully renovated Town and Country Resort in San Diego, California form April 28 to May 1. Additional information related to room reservations, programming, and events is available here.

For exhibitor inquiries, contact Leroy Heu or Bill Chambers for more information.

The Paul Schechter Memorial Scholarship Golf Tournament will be held at the beautiful Riverwalk Golf Club on Thursday, April 28th! This even raises fund for athletic training student scholarships. For more information click here.

For sponsorships and inquiries, please contact Dennis Goebel at dennisg@cos.edu.

We look forward to seeing everyone in San Diego!

Junior Domingo MS, ATC

Congratulations to our 2022 FWATA Award Winners!

These individuals exemplify the service to our district and advancement of the profession that all can follow. It is with great pleasure to announce our awardees:

Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Awardee

Jason Bennett, EdD, ATC

“I have found Jason to be a highly motivated professional who promotes the profession of athletic training and education in an exemplary manner. His support at the state, regional and national levels has always been noteworthy.”

-Ky Kugler, EdD, ATC
California Athletic Trainers’ Association

Special Recognition Awardees

Michael Barreiro, ATC

“Michael has worked tirelessly on projects for the district over the years, dedicating a lot of his personal time and energy to FWATA, and deserves to be recognized for his hard work and commitment. Everything he does for FWATA benefits the membership at large.”

-Sarah M Lyons, MS, ATC, PES
Senior Associate Director Athletic Training
Stanford University Sports Medicine


Jamie DeRollo, DAT, MBA, ATC

“Jamie continues to amaze me in her growth and willingness to take on leadership positions, often multiple roles at a time. She is respected by her peers, Modesto Junior College administration, coaches, athletes and all of those who have the pleasure to work alongside her.”

-Alison Aubert, MS, ATC
COVID Director/Assistant Athletic Director
Solano College


Melissa Montgomery, PhD, ATC

“She is hard working, organized, and has a strong vision for our program and the athletic training profession. Although teaching virtually and making ongoing changes to clinical education and program administrative work related to COVID has not been easy, her humor lightens the weight of the workload and makes it fun to work together.”

-Tricia M. Kasamatsu, PhD, ATC
Associate Professor & Co-Coordinator of Clinical Education, Athletic Training Program
California State University, Fullerton


Mimi Nakajima, EdD, ATC

“In all her interactions, whether they be with students or colleagues, it is apparent just how much Nakajima cares about the wellbeing, development, and success of others. I honestly cannot think of a better role model for our young professionals to emulate and have faith in the next generation of FWATA clinicians and leaders due to her efforts.”

-Sean Rogers, DAT, LAT, ATC
Coordinator of Clinical Education & Associate Professor
Drake University

Congratulations to Jason Bennett, Michael Barreiro, Jamie DeRollo, Melissa Montgomery, and Mimi Nakajima! They along with our Scholarship and Research & Grants winners will be honored at the 2022 Awards Banquet held on Saturday, April 30, 2022 at 6:30 p.m. at the Town & Country Resort in San Diego, which will include a pre-banquet social at 5:30 p.m. Please join us as we celebrate our awardees.

On behalf of the Honors and Awards Committee, I would like to thank those that submitted nominations for this year’s awards. Also, thank you to the committee for dedicating their time.

Congratulations to our 2022 FWATA Award Winners! See everyone in San Diego.

Junior Domingo
Honors and Awards Chair

Connection & Engagement Committee

Kyle Wilson ATC

This NATA Committee had its inaugural virtual meeting on October 15, 2021. The charge given to the Connection and Engagement Committee (CEC) by the NATA Board of Directors is to be membership ambassadors by engaging and linking ATs with the resources, information, and support available from the national office. Additionally, the CEC will facilitate information flow and feedback across state, district, and national levels. The CEC participated in the NATA Virtual Joint Committee Meeting in late January 2022.

The first CEC project was engaging with Athletic Trainers to renew their annual membership with the NATA. Upcoming projects include assisting with the NATA Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access Commitment for our association, updating new member welcome information, assisting with non-member recruitment and improving group resources.

A virtual town hall/meeting in April or May, prior to the 2022 NATA Annual Meeting and Clinical Symposium will focus on new member, returning member and student member resources.

Brenda Valdez Nava ATC

Happy NATAM22!The 2022 FWATA Student Scholarship Application window has now closed. Thank you to all the nominating Athletic Trainers and mentors for your support on behalf of all our student applicants. The Scholarships committee will finalize review of applications and notify students via email on April 1st. Selected recipients are expected to confirm acceptance of award and submit a professional headshot to chair within the day.

The Committee will formally present the 2022 FWATA Scholarship Award recipients at our upcoming FWATA Annual Meeting & Clinical Symposium in San Diego.  We look forward to seeing everyone there!

Sara Williamson ATC

Greetings from COPA!  Looking forward to seeing some of you soon at FWATA in sunny San Diego!  If you are unable to attend or are looking for additional CEU opportunities geared towards the emerging settings, the national COPA Council is holding its second annual virtual COPACON.  Registration is currently open on the NATA website, under careers and education.  This year’s theme is “Driving Advancement Through Data” and will occur April 8-9th and be available through on demand from April 10th-May 9th.  Our district committee is still looking for interested members working in the capacities of Performing Arts, Public Safety, HealthCare Admin, Data and Analytics, Community Outreach, Private Practice and Military settings.  Please contact Sara Williamson at swilliamson@vallettaortho.com if interested.

Michael Barreiro ATC

The FWATA history and Archives Committee has been diligently working to continue producing the oral history videos with District 8’s most influential Athletic Trainers and Hall of Famers. As this year is marked as the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the FWATA History and archives committee has collaborated with the CATA to produce the “Title IX video tribute series”. These episodes share stories from our district’s past and look into the future of females in Athletic Training while also featuring some of District 8 greatest including: Julie Max, Carolyn Greer, Allison Minor, Hazel Ando and many more to come. We are thrilled for the amount of great content coming together and we are very excited to reunite with the district in person this April. Please enjoy some frames attached from our most recent projects and collaborations with the CATA.

Kevan Murgia and Caleb Rogers

The mission of the Far West Student Leadership Committee is to identify and address any and all issues and concerns pertinent to athletic training students in the collegiate and university setting. The committee is very excited for the upcoming AMCS in San Diego, CA (April 28th – May 1st). Please be on the lookout for information that will be released on our slate of speakers, as well as the student event. Our webinar series has been very successful with the following speakers in 2021-2022.

  • Jamie DeRollo, DAT, MBA, ATC (Advocating for Yourself)
  • Bridget Whelan, MPH (Concussion Tools & Data in Sports Medicine)
  • Junior Domingo, ATC (Thinking Like an Administrator)

Our next webinar is scheduled for March 24th @ 6PM PST, as we will have the duo of Randy and Sandra Harris speaking on “Making Mistakes as a Clinician & How to Grow From Them”. The link to RSVP for the webinar is in our LinkTree, located in our Instagram bio: @fwslc8.

We also wanted to give a shout out to the three students from District 8 who received NATA scholarships and congratulate them!

  • Sierra Moreno, CSUF, Jack Rockwell Scholarship
  • Jonathan Dickey, APU, Bill Chambers Scholarship
  • Jennifer Vanderschaegen, SDSU, Peter Demers Scholarship

Melissa Montgomery PhD, ATC

R&G is back! Come check out the posters at AMCS, highlighting the exciting research efforts going on in D8. Come visit authors at their posters on Friday and Saturday. Posters will be judged over the course of the conference and the top 3 students will received cash awards!

Poster award winners and research grant awardees will be announced at the Awards banquet on Saturday night.

Brian Cable ATC

ICSM has continued to develop and grow since its implementation. This year they added a member to the council that will be held by a Historically Black College & University (HBCU).  The ICSM has welcomed Janah Fletcher, EdD, LAT, ATC, associate athletic director of student athlete health and sports performance at the nation’s largest HBCU, North Carolina A&T State University, to this position.

Do not miss out on ICSM committee lecture this summer at NATA.  Jamie DeRollo, DAT, MBA, ATC will present on Debunking Race Based Medicine Thursday, June 30 at 10:20am.

In February the ICSM & EDAC hosted a town hall that was well attended.  There was also a Korey Stringer Institute held in February to look at heat stroke in linemen.

Some new initiatives that ICSM is working on are: salary workgroup, bias action plan, adding a council member to represent United States College Athletic Association (USCAA), and head AT town hall discussion with collaboration with Career Advancement Committee.

We currently have 4 members of our District that are serving on the NATA ICSM but they are always looking for volunteers to work on their committees. There are current openings to represent the NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, and NAIA colleges and universities. To volunteer for this or any other NATA committees register here or click here.

Alejandra Merriman, DAT, ATC, CES

This past February 26th and 27th in Sacramento, CA, the 12th Annual CATA Clinical Symposium was held where Cal State Long Beach Program Director Dr. Mimi Nakajima gave a talk on “Safe Space Ally Training”, Dr. Alejandra Merriman from Dorsey High School spoke on the “Social Determinants of Health and the Role of the Secondary School Athletic Trainer”, and Dr. Nirav Pandya from UCSF spoke on “Healthcare Disparities in Orthopedic Surgery” and addressed disparities in sports medicine. Virtual opportunities were also available for CATA members who attended the symposium covering talks such as “Clinician Mental Health During COVID-19 Pandemic: Psychosocial Considerations and Strategies for ATs” and “Developing a Health, Wellness and Injury Prevention Program within Public Safety”.

At the beginning of the school year, in collaboration with Cedars-Sinai and Team HEAL, the Los Angeles Unified School District hired its first certified athletic trainers. The five full-time athletic trainers include Dr. Alejandra Merriman, DAT, ATC, CES at Dorsey High School, Arnold Figueroa, ATC, CSCS at Westchester High School, Daniel Dongo, MA, ATC, CSCS at Carson High School, Ellen Kelly, MA, ATC at Crenshaw High School, and Vicki Lim, ATC at Banning High School. In addition to adding five full-time board-certified athletic trainers, LAUSD hired Kirsten Farrell, MS, ATC as the LAUSD Athletic Training Coordinator after working at Venice High School for the past 20 years as a board-certified athletic trainer and Career Technical Education teacher.

“We are looking forward to watching the growth and development of certified athletic trainers and sports medicine programs in the second-largest school district in the nation. It is exciting to be on the forefront of student-athlete health equity in Los Angeles.”-Kirsten Farrell

Early Professionals Committee

Sanam Rezazadeh MS, ATC

Hi All! As we start to emerge out of all the restrictions surrounding COVID-19 we are most excited to gather IN PERSON and we are hosting a social on Thursday April 28th 2022 8pm-11pm at Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar (1202 Camino Del Rio N San Diego, CA 92108). Follow along our social media platforms for reminders as we get closer to.

As mentioned throughout the past year the Young Professionals Committee has now split into two committee the Early Professionals and the Career Advancement Committee. With three of our members joining the CAC, we will be looking for a couple more members to fill out the committee in the months following FWATA symposia.

Career Advancement Committee

Ariel Gulstrand ATC

Formerly a part of the young Professionals Committee, the newly functioning FWATA Career Advancement Committee aims to address the needs of Athletic Training Professionals in year 7 through 12 of certification experience. Ariel Guldstrand is currently serving as Committee Chair and working alongside the Early Professionals Committee to develop initiatives and programming for professionals earlier in their careers. If you are interested in serving as a committee member, please reach out to aguldstrand@athletics.ucla.edu. Stay Tuned for social media information coming soon.

Mark D’Anza MEd, LAT, ATC

Hello everyone.  Here is a roundup of some important secondary school information.

The NATA is looking for pictures to feature on releases and social media of you in action.  Please use this link to submit any pictures you would like to see featured.

ATLAS can always use some updating.  If you have not yet this year, please click here to fill yours out.  It is recommended that we fill out ATLAS at least every other year to keep our data as up to date as possible.

The Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association was able to secure 120 Kestrel Wet Bulb Globe Thermometers through a grant from the NFHS Foundation for the high schools of Nevada.  This grant was approved by the NFHS Foundation in February and units should be arriving in either the spring or early summer.  This article provides more information about the grant.

We hope to have an in person meet up at FWATA in San Diego in April.  Tune in to our next virtual meet up to find out more details about that.  If you are not receiving the link for our virtual meets and would like to join, please email me at mark.j.danza@gmail.com.

Finally, I have learned a lot speaking with many SSATs in our district and from around the country.  I can tell this has been a year that has provided new challenges for us all.  The return to activity has been easy on no one and your service does not go unnoticed.  You make a difference in your students’ lives and for that I thank you.

Meghan Wonderling, ATC

Happy NATM! During this month, I’d like to encourage you to sign up for the NATA inclusion email newsletter to receive quarterly updates and information from the NATA LGBTQ+ advisory committee. Please find the link here. Additionally, if you know of any athletic trainers that may benefit from this newsletter, please encourage them to sign up as well, as they do not need to be a NATA member to receive the E-newsletter.

As always, please let me know if you are interested in joining our FWATA committee! We are always looking for new members to assist with promoting the committee’s mission of “advocating for an environment of inclusion, respect, equity and appreciation of differences in both athletic trainers and their diverse patient populations”. I am also always available to assist with arranging safe space training, locating resources, or acting as support. Please let me know if I can be of any help to you: meghanwonderling@gmail.com

Jamie Adams M.Ed, ATC, CES

The GAC state committees continue to work on behalf of our states.  Right now there is nothing big to promote but please make sure you are reading your emails from your state associations as there could be a Call to Action needed from you.  We hope that when you get your Call to Action that you step up and support the cause.  We make it as easy as possible!

If you have any governmental affairs questions or concerns, please reach out to me at Jamie.adams@gcccd.edu

State Updates

Dr. Ky E. Kugler, ATC | CATA President

In celebrating National Athletic Training Month, we want to celebrate you! Please send your photos of ATs Providing Health Care Everywhere! We are looking for photos showcasing our skills beyond taping and hydration. Photos may be used on the CATA website and social media. Email pics to Chloe Kipnis, prchair@ca-at.org. Chloe is also looking for those interested in serving on the PR Committee, contact her if you are interested!

The CATA is recognizing some of our profession’s pioneering women as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the enactment of Title IX. Our CATA Title IX Video Series features some women who led us in the past and whose shoulders we stand on still today and those who will lead us into the future. Videos will be presented weekly during NATM and periodically through the rest of the year subsequent to that. Check out the California Athletic Trainers Association (CATA) YouTube channel for the series introduction video featuring Julie Max! New videos will be released Monday at 7am!  Past CATA President, Hazel Ando is our 2nd video presentation.

This past February 26th and 27th in Sacramento, CA, the 12th Annual CATA Clinical Symposium was held to over 100 participants IN PERSON for the first time since 2020.  Numerous presenters spoke on a variety of EDI subjects and clinical learning. Virtual opportunities were also available for CATA members who attended the symposium after the live symposium for an addition 5 CEUs. Congrats to the symposium committee headed up by Dr. Charles Ramos and Adam Cady!

On February 24th, before the 12th Annual California Athletic Trainers’ Association (CATA) Clinical Symposium, representatives from the CATA, sports medicine physicians and other key stockholders like Doug Casa, Rebecca Stearns, Dr Cindy Chang, Assemblymember Tasha Boerner-Horvath, and CATA’s GGC lobbyist, David Gonzales met with the Korey Stringer Institute (KSI), a national sports safety research and advocacy organization supported by the NFL, as part of its “Team Up for Sports Safety” initiative to develop a policy roadmap to advance medical practices proven to reduce sport-related deaths.

As part of the initiative, KSI partnered up with Kestrel and Defibtech to donate a Kestrel Heat Stress Tracker and an AED unit to high schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second largest school district in the nation. The AED unit was donated to athletic trainer Preline Bonifacio, MA, ATC at John F. Kennedy High school in Granada Hills, CA and the Kestrel unit was donated to Samantha Islas, ATC at Taft High School in Woodland Hills, CA.


Check out:

KSI Rebecca Sterns on KHTK “Hot Talk” radio Sacramento


News segment on KCRA 3 NBC Sacramento 

Ky E. Kugler, EdD, ATC
CATA President

Hawaii Update

Nikki Awaya MEd, ATC | District 8 Representative


The Hawaii Athletic Trainers’ Association is looking forward to a fairly productive spring! To honor National Athletic Training Month, we will be doing a beach cleanup at Ala Moana Beach Park on March 20. On April 7 and 8, The Team Up For Sports Safety (TUFFS) meeting will be held on Kamehameha Schools Kapalama campus in Honolulu.  May 20 is when we will be teeing off for our annual golf tournament at the Leilehua Golf Course. And to round out our spring, we will be holding a virtual one-day symposium in June (date and time TBD). If you would like to know more about HATA please visit our site.

Mike Sepiol LAT, ATC | NEVATA President

Nevada Annual Meeting and Clinical Symposium

The Nevada Athletic Trainers’ Association managing board has decided that we are moving this year’s AMCS to early June 2022.  We are working on finalizing presentations for the new two-day event that is going to include our inaugural NevATA Golf Tournament.  Stay tuned for registration information coming soon!

NevATA Governmental Affairs

As discussed at our AMCS in December, the Nevada Athletic Trainers’ Association is looking for motivated members to help in the establishment of our Governmental Affairs Committee to better serve our members and help maintain and grow the practice of athletic training in Nevada.  Those looking to participate can send LOI’s to nevadaathletictrainers@gmail.com.

Kelsey Bains | District 8 Representatives

No updates.


Sierra Moreno | District 8 Representative

No updates.


Tricia Kasamatsu | District 8 Representative

No Updates


Melissa Montgomery PhD, ATC | District 8 Representative

No updates.


Carolyn Peters MA, ATC | District 8 Representative

No updates.

District 8 Representatives
Ky Kugler, EdD, ATC
Kavin Tsang PhD, ATC
Tom Abdenour DHSc ATC CES 

Hope this Spring newsletter finds everyone doing well and making the most of our return to normal as we move forward from the COVID 19 pandemic.  Here are a couple of reminders from me and the NATA Foundation. – Ky E. Kugler, EdD, ATC D8 Chair 


(No masks required)

During your FWATA Clinical Symposium registration, let’s show our support of the NATA Research and Education Foundation and the NATAPAC with a donation/contribution of $8 FOR D8. Your tax deductible $4 donation to the NATA Foundation will help fund scholarships, research grants as well as the Student Writing Contest, Free Communications, and Faculty-Mentor programs. The remaining $4 goes to the NATA Political Action Committee as they advocate for us in Washington DC and our respective state capitals. Investing $8 FOR D8 will pay dividends many times over for the NATA’s Foundation and PAC. Your support is genuinely appreciated.

Congratulations to the NATA Foundation Scholarship Award Winners. All 3 District 8 recipients are from California! Way to go Sierra, Jonathan & Jennifer!

Sierra Moreno – California State University Fullerton

  • D8 Jack Rockwell Scholarship

Jonathan Dickey – Azusa Pacific University

  • D8 William H. Chambers Scholarship

Jennifer Vandershaegen – San Diego State University

  • Pete Demers NHL Scholarship

Finally, it is also time to start thinking about Philadelphia and celebrating IN PERSON again.  Join the NATA Foundation for an evening of food, drinks, and entertainment at the Howl AT The Moon Dueling Piano Bar for a fun get together.  Reservations are required in advanced with your convention registration.

Michelle Cleary ATC | District 8 Representative

No updates.