Petition to Keep Boston University's Athletic Training Program

Petition to Keep Boston University's Athletic Training Program

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Zachary Schmidt started this petition to Boston University Sargent College Dean Christopher Moore, PhD and

On April 15th, 2013 at 2:49 PM EDT, two pressure-cooker bombs were detonated near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Three people were killed, hundreds were injured, and 17 individuals lost limbs. Immediately after the bombs exploded, without time to think, brave AT students and several AT faculty and staff members from Boston University ran into the smoke and rubble to provide care to injured runners and spectators in what must have been the most terrifying experience of their lives. Surrounded by screams, and uncertainty of another bomb, the AT students and ATs tied tourniquets, applied pressure to wounds, and triaged patients based on the severity of their injuries. ATs are not only on the front line of Boston healthcare, but ATs are also on the frontline of global healthcare. 

On July 1st, 2020 at 4:40 PM EDT Sargent College Dean, Chris Moore, informed the Boston University Athletic Training Program of a disappointing decision to potentially discontinue the Master of Athletic Training program. This decision comes in the wake of financial hardships as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The novel coronavirus has spread rampantly across the world, leaving families shook, and healthcare workers running on fumes. With minimal coordination between state and national government, every single family across the United States has been impacted, some more than others. The BU Athletic training family shares a tight bond. Our critical thinking and healthcare capacity have been substantially molded by the brilliant and compassionate faculty and staff at Boston University. When classes were halted and everyone’s lives uprooted, the MSAT student leadership swung into action; this time we organized five different panel discussions with a total of 519 attendees from around the country via virtual platforms to continue to foster education, conversation, and professional development during a time of chaos. 

In uncertain times like these, it is difficult to remain optimistic, but Sara Brown, MS, ATC, Mark Laursen, MS, ATC, Kim Mace, DAT, ATC, Kathryn Webster, PhD, ATC, Chad Clements, MS, ATC, Jenn Chadburn, EdM, ATC, and the 100s of clinical instructors across the country taught us to be better. They taught us to be kind, to be compassionate, and most importantly they taught us how to be athletic trainers. In times like these, it is certainly difficult to be calm, however, we were taught to evaluate every scenario from an outside lens, to zoom out and get the bigger picture at hand. The bigger picture: in 2019, Boston University reported a surplus of $157.8 million and boasted an endowment of $2.3 billion dollars. Two days before Dean Moore sent his email announcing the potential discontinuation of the MSAT program, President Brown announced his plan for layoffs and furloughs. BU Today reported that the university is experiencing a $96 million shortfall (see citation). To put this in perspective, this deficit is less than 5% of the endowment reported in 2019. If BU wants to make an impact on this global health crisis, removing healthcare professionals from the workforce is the absolute worst decision they could make. Athletic trainers are combating this epidemic by conducting evaluations in person or over the phone, administering COVID tests, and collaborating with physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. Moreover, collaborating with university healthcare officials to ensure a safe and effective plan to re-open the university to staff, students, and student-athletes. Who is working hand-in-hand with Judy Platt, Director of Student Health Services, to ensure a safe return to campus? Brent Hamula, MS, ATC, an Athletic Trainer. 

The BU MSAT program is truly on the cutting edge of athletic training education and cutting this program would roll back decades of hard work done to advance the profession, not to mention the ongoing research. Boston is a city that prides itself on the advancement of all healthcare professions; removing this avenue for people of all ages to enter a profession that has given me a lifetime of gratitude during my two short years at BU would be a travesty. Discontinuing the BU AT Program would be a horrific mistake that would taint the legacy that Chris Moore so desperately wants to leave on Sargent College. Furthermore, Some physical therapists ruthlessly lobby against the advancement of the athletic training profession; removing ATs from the interdisciplinary collaboration efforts put forth by Sargent College will only further polarize these healthcare professions.  

Two years ago when we came to Boston and stepped onto campus for our first day of classes, Chris Moore greeted us with a big smile and a firm handshake. On that day, if he had told me that in two years a speech-language pathologist would be inadvertently lobbying against the advancement of the athletic training profession, I would have called him crazy. Today, I can say with absolute certainty, that he is crazy.

In an attempt to establish solidarity, we have invited Boston University AT alumni and people from across the country, including past and present patients, who have been personally impacted by this profession and the Boston University graduates throughout their time as practicing healthcare professionals. Please share this with anyone you know who's life has been changed by an athletic trainer. 

 

-Most D. Facing $96m shortfall, President Brown announces layoffs, furloughs. BU Today. http://www.bu.edu/articles/2020/facing-budget-shortfall-president-brown-announces-layoffs-furloughs/ Published June 29, 2020. Accessed July 1, 2020.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 7,500!
At 7,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get a reaction from the decision maker!