Governmental Affairs Committee
Purpose is to monitor state and federal legislation; develop strategic relationships with external organizations; monitor the AT Practice Act; provide society members with current policy, regulatory and legislative information; and foster members involvement in legislative activities.
February 1st, 2023
IATS Opposed to HSB89
“We are opposed to any legislation that reduces the preparedness of coaches to safely oversee the youth of Iowa during Sport” Iowa Athletic Training Society President Vic Miller stated in response to learning that HSB89 had made it out of the House Education Subcommittee meeting Wednesday morning. Iowa House Study Bill 89 is the ‘Bill for an act relating to concussion and brain injury training for renewals of coaching authorizations by the board of educational examiners.” The current legislation requires annual concussion training by all Iowa coaches who hold valid coaching authorizations. HSB89 seeks to remove the language requiring annual training.
Proponents of the bill and Subcommittee Chair feels that ‘there are EMTs on the sidelines for football games so that is more than enough medical attention’. IATS President Miller responded with the statement that "The current system of annual concussion education training for coaches in the State of Iowa not only serves as a means to educate but also provides for an annual touching point to remind coaches to be aware and what to do in the event a concussion is identified. Concussions can happen during training sessions, practices and games, they can occur in all sports, and coaches are the most likely person to recognize a change in behavior in their student-athletes that may represent the signs and symptoms of concussion. It is more than just holding a participant out; it's about getting them to be properly evaluated and treated.” He goes on to point out that the original bill and current legislation is not only opposed by the Iowa Athletic Training Society, but also by the Brain Injury Alliance.
Past IATS President Jason Viel who has been working with high school athletics for almost 23 years notes that he is “extremely concerned about the bill and while he and his school district are lucky to have Athletic Trainers at most of the games played (along with EMTs and paramedics at football games) most schools in the state are not as fortunate.” According to a recent survey, only 25% of the schools in the state have full-time athletic training services and 54% have part-time services. EMTs and paramedics are usually only present for football games. This means that for most games and practices, it is usually a coach who is the first person to see and identify a concussion.
Please keep up with IATS social media and eblasts for updated information. And please be sure to email or call your Representative to oppose HSB89
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