Fall 2021 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 Fall!

I cannot believe we are already approaching the Holiday Season for 2021. Time is surely flying by, but it seems like forever ago that we have been able to see each in person. The past year and a half has been a whirlwind as the pandemic has affected every aspect of our lives. I genuinely believe that our skillset as athletic trainers has enabled us to adapt to continue to effectively provide care for our patients, while continuing to show our value and thrive in our various occupational settings. I realize that meetings and symposiums may never be exactly how we remember them to be, but I truly cannot wait until we are able to get together, trade crazy stories of the past few years, and celebrate the accomplishments we’ve had within our district. Fingers crossed that upcoming meetings are held as planned, because I cannot wait to see all of my fellow FWATA members!

Thank you’s and Welcome! In the past few months, we have named several new FWATA members to new positions. Please help me welcome Megan Wonderling (LGBTQ+ AC), Alejandra Merriman (EDAC), and Michelle Cleary (NATAPAC). I’m confident they will represent District 8 well and continue the amazing work being done by their respective committees. I want to send a huge thank you out to Sean Rogers (LGBTQ+ AC), Chris Litt (EDAC), and Stacey Ritter (NATAPAC) for their years of service to the NATA, FWATA and profession. Thank you!

Get involved! We currently have several NATA and FWATA positions we are looking to fill. We are looking for members who are interested in representing FWATA on the NATA Convention Program Committee and Post Professional Education Committee. We are also looking for someone to chair the FWATA Honors and Awards Committee.  If you are interested in either of these positions, please submit a letter of interest, and resume or CV (including NATA member number and NPI) to lynhn@hawaii.edu by December 15th. We hope to identify successors for these positions by January. For the NATA positions, this would allow some time for shadowing and onboarding, with official terms beginning in June 2022. The FWATA Honors and Awards Committee Chair position will begin after the FWATA AMCS in April 2022.

I hope everyone is able to take some time this holiday season to decompress and spend some well deserved time with family and loved ones. Please do not ever hesitate to reach out to me should you have any questions regarding FWATA or the NATA or if I can be of any support or assistance. Take care and I look forward to seeing everyone in the future either virtually or hopefully in person soon!

Cindy Clivio MEd, ATC

The National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) is the professional membership association for certified athletic trainers and others who support the athletic training profession. NATA has grown to more than 45,000 members worldwide today. Renew your membership to support the profession, and to receive a broad array of membership benefits. By joining forces as a group, as NATA members we can accomplish more for the athletic training profession than we can individually.

As a reminder, a membership with NATA is a one-stop shop, your dues pay for all three levels; NATA, district and state. NATA also has options in place to assist members who may be going through an economic hardship. Don’t let money get in the way of investing in yourself or the future of your profession. Renew today!”

Do you know all the benefits NATA offers? 
• 2021 memberships expire December 31,
• Members who renew by December 31, 2021 will receive 10 free CEU credits ($250 value) to use between February 1, 2022 – December 31, 2022
• NATA also has options in place to assist members who may be going through an economic hardship. Don’t let money get in the way of investing in yourself or the future of your profession.

Garvin Tsuji, MS, ATC

Our accounts continue to be well funded with the goal of being able to withstand a couple years of substandard income. Please note that the physical address and email address has changed on the reimbursement forms. If you have any questions, please email fwatatreasurer@gmail.com

Ruem Malasarn MA, ATC

The 2022 FWATA AMCS will be held in person at the fully renovated Town and Country Resort in San Diego, California. The meeting will run from April 28 to May 1. Registration will open in February. Additional information, details, programming, events, and special session will be available on FWATA.org.

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 event raises fund for athletic training student scholarships. For more information visit FWATA.org.

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


Nominations for FWATA Hall of Fame, Most Distinguished AT, and Special Recognition is now open.

  • Have they made an impact?
  • Should we honor them?
  • Only one way to find out, NOMINATE THEM!

For more information on the nomination process and/or awards, visit the Honors and Awards page FWATA.org The nomination period is open until January 15, 2022. Do not hesitate in nominating a colleague, peer, and/or mentor. We look forward to celebrating our award winners at the Annual Banquet on Saturday, April 30.

Connection & Engagement Committee

Kyle Wilson ATC

No Updates.




Brenda Valdez Nava ATC

The FWATA Scholarships Committee would like to congratulate and announce the 2021 District 8 Scholarship recipients:


  • Kevin Bravo, California State University, San Diego Bill Chambers Scholarship
  • Jonathan Dickey, Azusa Pacific University, Daniel D. Arnheim Scholarship
  • Fabio Villa-Arroyo ,University of Nevada Las Vegas, Felix Rivera Memorial Scholarship
  • Thuy (Billy) Tran, California State University Long Beach, Scott Sailor Scholarship
  • Abigail Abiva, California State University Long Beach, Gail Weldon Memorial Scholarship
  • Taimane Ku’uleialoha Kamaka, University of Hawai’i at Manoa, HATA Scholarship
  • Michaela Lopez, California State University Fullerton, Julie Max Scholarship
  • Melany Joanna Menjivar, University of Hawai’i at Manoa, Lewis Crowl Memorial Scholarship
  • Sierra Moreno, California State University Fullerton, Mark Ando and Ito Family Scholarship

Sincere regards,
Brenda Valdez Nava

Sara Williamson ATC

After a successful inaugural COPA-CON stand alone conference this past spring, the National COPA Council is pleased to announce the 2nd COPA-CON conference coming in March; dates TBD.  Last year’s program included sessions geared to the advancement of the physician practice and healthcare administration settings for a total of 11 CEUs.  This year’s program will again focus on the physician practice setting and will also include sessions highlighting data associated with analytics and outcomes to help promote revenue across the settings, so look forward to receiving information regarding that program.  The FWATA COPA committee continues seeking members across the different emerging settings to include physician practice, private practice, rehabilitation and ergonomics, industrial, outreach, healthcare administration, performing arts, public safety and analytics and outcomes.  Please contact Sara Williamson, MS, ATC at swilliamson@vallettaortho.com if interested in joining the committee.

Michael Barreiro ATC

No Updates.


Kevan Murgia and Caleb Rogers

No Updates.



Melissa Montgomery PhD, ATC

Free Communications abstracts submission period is open. Abstract submissions are now being accepted for the 2022 Free Communications program. The deadline for submission is February 1, 2022 at 11:59 PM Pacific. Abstract decisions will be emailed out by March 1st. If accepted, authors will present their work in person at the FWATA Annual Meeting and Clinical Symposium in San Diego, CA. For more information, click here.

Research grant applications are now being accepted. The R&G committee welcomes grant proposals for funding up to $3000 from District 8 members. The deadline is March 1, 2022 at 11:59 PM Pacific. For more information and instructions, click here.

Open Call for R&G committee student member. The Research and Grants committee welcomes applications from post-professional (certified) students interested in serving on our committee. Responsibilities include participating in monthly conference calls, attending the FWATA Annual Meeting, and promoting District 8 R&G activity on social media. Benefits to you? Learn about scholarly activity (research methods, writing, the review process, etc.), networking with researchers across the district, and mentorship from committee members.

Interested District 8 members should submit a CV and letter of interest to R&G chair, Melissa Montgomery (memontgomery@fullerton.edu) by December 15. Applications will be forwarded to the FWATA Managing Board for review and ultimate approval.

Brian Cable ATC

The NATA and its Intercollegiate Council for Sports Medicine offer a variety of helpful resources for the college/university setting including presentations, sample protocols and studies. These resources can be found on the NATA website.

Topics include:

  • COVID-19 Resources
  • Body Image Resources and Relationship with Nutritional Supplements and Name, Image and Likeness
  • Medical Care Guidance for Away Competition
  • Reminders and Recommendations for Sport Following Transition Periods
  • Inter-association Recommendations: Best Practices in Strength and Conditioning
  • Preparing for Heat Illness: Athletic Trainer Checklist
  • What ATs Should Know About the Cures Act
  • Mandatory Reporting FAQ
  • NATA ICSM Mental Health Toolkit
  • ICSM Appropriate Contact with Minors Document

Alejandra Merriman, DAT, ATC, CES

Greetings!  I am excited to serve as our new FWATA EDAC representative. I am a secondary school AT and Career Technical Education educator in South Central Los Angeles, CA at Dorsey High School. This is my 10th year as a certified and 7th year as a SSAT. Although we are in one of the most diverse districts, one of my goals is to become more inclusive and become more active and I plan to do this using the REAL framework:

  • Reveal relevant opportunities
  • Elevate equity
  •  Activate diversity
  • Lead inclusively.

I want to identify the most relevant opportunities for change in our district and opportunities for service through subcommittees. If you are interested in serving in any capacity, please email me at alejandramerriman@gmail.com. I also want to elevate equity because without equity the efforts to promote diversity and inclusion are not sustainable. As aforementioned, as one of the most diverse districts we will continue to activate our diversity by celebrating and honoring our individual characteristics, values, beliefs, and backgrounds, but we must lead through inclusivity. Inclusivity requires active, intentional, and ongoing efforts and I plan to put forth many action items to ensure that everyone has a sense of belonging. Lastly, through all these four things, I want to rebuild our communities within our states and communicate more frequently with any needs we see from our members, being as transparent as possible. Know that all of your voices and the voices of our members are important and all suggestions and concerns will be heard and addressed.

I am looking forward to greAT change in our district, please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.

Early Professionals Committee

Sanam Rezazadeh MS, ATC

The NATA Young Professionals Committee has been restructured into two components, Early Professionals and Career Advancement.
Sanam Rezazadeh will continue as our FWATA  Early Professionals Chair and Ariel Guldstrand is our new FWATA Career Advancement Chair.

Career Advancement Committee

Ariel Gulstrand ATC

No Updates.




Mark D’Anza MEd, LAT, ATC

Hello everyone!  My name is Mark D’Anza and I am your District 8 chair for the SSATC.  Please allow me to introduce the current members of our committee. From Hawaii, we have Marissa Fukunaga and from Nevada, Dustin Hopfe.  A long time committee member, Heather Harvey, has transitioned into a different setting and is no longer a representative on our committee.  We would like to thank Heather for her tireless efforts on behalf of the secondary school ATs in California and FWATA.

I would like to invite any members that are interested in getting involved with this committee to please email me and provide a letter of interest.  I would like people that are interested in assisting with monthly virtual meet ups.  We have fallen off of those recently and I hope to reinstate that practice in December.  If you are interested in helping out, please email me at mark.j.danza@gmail.com.  It does not matter what state you are from, if you are interested in contributing we would love to have you aboard to share ideas.  I would ideally love one person that is interested/skilled in using social media to join our committee (you do not even have to be from the secondary school setting).  I would like to use social media platforms to help distribute local and national information in a quicker manner.  Students are also welcome to join our group.

I mentioned above that I would like to get back into a monthly virtual meet up.  Based on a survey I released earlier this year, Sunday was actually mentioned as the best day to hold these informal meet ups.  We have had a variety of guests join us from around the country to discuss all matters from dealing with COVID to helping understand diversity in our patient populations.  I hope to continue these meet ups and bring in more guests to help improve our practice.  If you are interested in joining us for these meet ups please provide your contact information in this survey.

From the NATA you may have noticed a little more involvement on the Gather portion of the NATA website.  There is a community dedicated to SSATs and we have been encouraging more involvement.  Some posts are serious and some are fun.  If you need help finding this community, please feel free to reach out.

Mike Collins of Turlock High School in California was awarded a Safe Sports School 1st team award, congratulations Mike!  If any of you have been recognized as a Safe Sport School winner, please send me a picture of your banner (and you).  The NATA is looking to promote you all for helping provide protection for our students.  For more information about Safe Sport School Awards, please visit NATA.

Lastly, thank you for all you do.  The position of the secondary school AT has been thrown in many directions over the past couple years.  I admire the work you are all doing.  You have an impact on the lives of many young athletes and may provide them their first interactions with a healthcare provider.  Please always remember to keep that in mind while you provide the best possible care to all your patients.  Have a great day, my inbox and phone are always open if you need anything.

Meghan Wonderling, ATC

Hello Everyone,

I just wanted to take the opportunity to introduce myself as the new LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee chair. My name is Meghan Wonderling, I live in Nevada and I graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with my BS in Athletic Training in 2018 and my Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in 2021. I started as a member of the FWATA LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee in early 2020 and I am very excited to move into this new role. I would also like to give a big “Thank You” to Sean Rogers for helping me to get started in this new position.

Please let me know if you have any questions about locating resources, setting up Safe Space Ally Training, or if you have an interest in joining the committee as we are always looking for more members that are interested in helping further our committee mission of “advocating for an environment of inclusion, respect, equity and appreciation of differences in both athletic trainers and their diverse patient populations”. Please let me know if I can be of any help to you or if you have an interest in joining the committee at meghanwonderling@gmail.com

Jamie Adams M.Ed, ATC, CES

My name is Jamie Adams and I am the new Governmental Affairs Committee Chair. I am very excited to begin my tenure and work to towards our collective legislative goals!

The CATA GAC completed the NATA Legislative Bootcamp in August 2021. Deanna Kuykendall and Amy Callender from the NATA were in attendance to lead the conversations. It was helpful as they were able to identify their goals for the upcoming session and have already started improving their strategy to gain licensure.

The NVATA is looking to create a new governmental affairs committee. If you are in Nevada and are interested in joining, please contact NVATA President Mike Sepiol at mssepiol@gmail.com.
If you have any GAC questions or concerns please feel free to reach out to me at Jamie.adams@gcccd.edu

State Updates

Dr. Ky E. Kugler, ATC | CATA President

Greetings from the State of California! Even though 2021 has been a challenging year, I am happy to note that your CATA Managing Board has continued to make real progress during 2021 on numerous issues.

If you have not heard, the CATA unveiled a brand-new program called CHAMP: Colleagues Helping ALL Members Prevail, which offers a ‘hand up’ to CATA members in need of help paying their NATA dues.   The formal application process is now open and can be found here.  Your CATA leadership team is very proud of this new effort to assist CATA certified and student members.

Another new CATA initiative is the formation of the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee (constitutional vote forthcoming), chaired by Dr. Monica Ohkubo. As many of you know, our CATA social media accounts have had many outstanding posts about underrepresented groups, information, and events, which are directly attributed to the new EDI committee’s work.  The EDI committee has been active in assisting with the upcoming 2022 CATA Clinical Symposium and will lead future efforts targeting EDI-focused issues relating to all ATs, their patients, and their communities.  The CATA MB is considering a proposal by the EDI Committee to fund scholarships for future CATA Annual Symposiums for certified and student CATA members. In the future, consideration will also be given to creating an Equity in Healthcare Leadership Academy, with the goal of recruiting, training, and mentoring AT students and young professionals, with the hope of increasing diversity and representation within the CATA leadership ranks.  Stay tuned, as many of these EDI initiatives are in the early planning stages and will be on the agenda for the CATA MB at the February,2022 CATA Clinical Symposium.

Speaking of the 2022 CATA Clinical Symposium, we are currently scheduled to be live, and in-person in Sacramento on February 26 and 27th, 2022. Registration details for the symposium, hotel registration at the Embassy Suites and PAC event will be e-blasted to all members soon. So, stay tuned for an exciting in-person event (finally!) in a few months. If, by chance, we need to go remote due to changes with the COVID 19 pandemic, the symposium committee, chaired by Adam Cady and Charles Ramos, is prepared to pivot accordingly. All registration monies will be applied to a remote, virtual event if the need occurs. Hotel registration refunds are being solidified and negotiated as this is being written. Special thanks to Liana Groel, who serves as our registration chair on the symposium committee, and Jeff Roberts, CATA Treasurer, for their many efforts and oversight they bring to making the symposium a learning and financial success. The CATA PAC event will include a wine and cheese social with the unveiling of another new project headed up by Tom Abdenour and Zach Norton-Martinez titled The Legacy Video Series, paying tribute to the 50th Anniversary of Title IX in 2022. Not only will we unveil the Legacy videos of California AT legends, but an informal conversation will occur during the event, with our guests of honor sharing their experiences on where the AT profession has been and where they see it going.

Due to the pandemic, we will not have a “Hit the Hill Day” in 2022, as the state capital is still having restricted access, but the Governmental Affairs Committee, led by Nick Harvey, is diligently working with our new lobbyist in finding a new author for and writing a new AT licensure bill for the 2022 legislative year. Besides the new AT licensure bill work, the GAC is actively trying to develop a larger healthcare presence in Sacramento by actively supporting or opposing other healthcare legislation. In addition, beyond trying to become a larger presence, the CATA and GAC are taking new approaches in establishing equal and accessible healthcare for ALL patient populations, delivered by CATA members in all patient settings.

Two days prior to our clinical symposium, CATA and the Korey Stringer Institute (KSI) will be hosting a two-day Team Up for Sports Safety (TUFSS) with key stakeholders for high school athlete health and safety. We are hopeful that by providing research, education, advocacy, and consultation, the CATA, KSI, NFL and NATA can influence policy to ensure the children of California can participate in a safe environment. Kudos go out to Sarah Lyons from Stanford University for her leadership in planning for this event.

Another accomplishment was the review and updating of the CATA Constitution and Bylaws. Many thanks are due to Jamie DeRollo and her crew, along with consistent oversight by CATA Secretary, Christina Scherr, in getting these much-needed documents update and ready for membership vote at the CATA Clinical Symposium in Sacramento.

As you can tell, we have been busy, and I want to thank all the MB members and the many committee chairs and members for their many contributions throughout the past year when I took over as President in January 2021. As Andy Paulin would say, “Nothing is ever accomplished but by the ATs in the trenches”. So, thank you again, and the door is always open for a conversation, an email, or a phone call.

Take care and be greAT, each day,

Ky E. Kugler, EdD, ATC

CATA President

PS – Beginning in 2022, look forward to a re-imaged CATA web site. Same web link and brand ca-at.org but a fresh new look with new information and content.

Hawaii Update

Nikki Awaya MEd, ATC | District 8 Representative

No Updates.




Mike Sepiol LAT, ATC | NEVATA President

In October, the Nevada Athletic Trainers’ Association had the pleasure of volunteering with the NATA and President Kathy Dieringer to support The Shaquille O’Neal Foundation and Icy Hot in the refurbishment of the Doolittle Basketball Courts in Las Vegas.  Our athletic trainers and support staff helped lead warm up activities to nearly 200 youth athletes as well as educated the participants, their families, and high-ranking city officials about the importance of the athletic trainer’s role in health care and athlete safety.  Thank you to Brittany Backofen, Paul Backofen, Ashley Smith, and Skylar Jimenez for making this event a huge success!

2021 NevATA AMCS

The Nevada Athletic Trainers’ Association’s annual meeting and clinical symposium will be held on December 12th 2021 starting at 8:00am.  We will be offering three CEUs for participation in this year’s event followed by our state meeting updates.  Check www.nevata.org for registration information.   We look to see you all there and have exciting news for future meetings!

Continuing Education Committee (AMCS)

We are looking for motivated individuals looking to support the further education of our members through the organization of multiple CEU events throughout the year (in addition to our State Meeting and Clinical Symposium).  If you are interested, please send a Letter of Interest to nevadaathletictrainersassociation@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 

Hello FWATA Colleagues, Students and Friends –

Let me start by saying THANK YOU for the FWATA members who took up the Virtual 5K Challenge.  District 8 finished in second place by one participant to D9.  But more importantly, we beat D3 by one participant on my direct video challenge, so my friend Marty Baker from D3 will have to endure the shame for the rest of 2021.  All fun aside, we raised additional unrestricted monies to pursue more position statements and research investments on behalf of our profession and members.

Next, you can help significantly in the mission of the NATA Foundation by registering yourself and all family members and close friends to Amazon Smile – The Foundation benefits from Amazon year ‘round, and when someone designates the NATA Research & Education Foundation as their “charity of choice”.  You shop, Amazon donates (nothing additional out of your pocket).  So, support the NATA Foundation through your holiday shopping.

The Foundation will be opening up  Health for the Holidays campaign (formerly known as “Holiday Fundraiser”.   Donors may purchase holiday e-cards in honor of or in memory of a friend, family member, mentor, colleague, anyone.  E-cards may be purchased from this direct link or NATA Foundation.  As an added plus, please visit the holiday greetings video from Dick Vitale on the Foundation website and become inspired.

And finally, Tuesday, November 30th is Giving Tuesday –   That’s right, Black Friday…..Cyber Monday…..Then Giving Tuesday.   Giving Tuesday is a “global day” designated to encourage donors to support their favorite non-profits during the holidays.  Of course, donors have the option of purchasing “Health for the Holidays” e-cards on Giving Tuesday too.

Well, that’s if for 2021 almost. Yes, another trying year.  Perhaps, not as bad as 2020 and hopefully a lead in to a better 2022, but none the less still a strain on our physical and mental health.  But, we ALL have been resilient and hung together by SUPPORTING ONE ANOTHER!  Please know that I, the District 8 Leadership Team, and the NATA Foundation appreciate ALL of you.  You make our profession greAT!  I hope your final 2021 service in giving back and moving it forward for 2022, will be honoring the good works that the NATA Foundation does on everyone’s behalf.

Stay safe,

Ky E. Kugler, EdD, ATC

Michelle Cleary ATC | District 8 Representative

No updates.