DEIA: A Roadmap for Athletic Trainers

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With the NATA's recent commitment to DEIA, it is imperative for athletic trainers to be knowledgeable about ways to directly engage their current practice in an equitable way. The purpose of this presentation is to provide athletic trainers with background, knowledge, and action steps regarding ways to implement DEIA initiatives in their professional, social, and personal lives. This presentation will include historical perspectives regarding DEIA in the athletic training profession, current national initiatives and future action steps to challenge athletic trainers to take the next steps.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify and explain the need for inclusive practices in the athletic training profession
  • Identify barriers to implementing DElA commitments to their current setting
  • Develop and apply DEIA initiatives and strategies to their current work setting


Domain 1: Risk Reduction Wellness and Health Literacy 
Domain 5: Health Care Administration and Professional Responsibility

0.75 Category A

Keywords: DEIA Commitments, diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility

Rebecca Lopez, PhD, LAT, ATC

Dr. Rebecca M. Lopez is a Professor in the Athletic Training Program at the University of South Florida’s Morsani College of Medicine and a Fellow of NATA. Dr. Lopez is currently serving as an Assistant School Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the School of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences at USF. She also serves as Co-Chair of NATA’s DEIA Task Force. Through her leadership as a Co-Chair of this task force, she has been working to ensure the profession of athletic training continues to grow as health care providers by embracing diversity, cultivating an inclusive and welcoming environment, and reducing the health and health care disparities of underrepresented groups. 

Research interests include exertional heat stroke and other exertional heat illnesses, cooling methods for hyperthermic athletes, ergogenic aids and thermoregulation, hydration and exercise performance, exercise heat tolerance issues with American football uniforms, sickle cell trait & the athlete, preventing sudden death in sport, return to activity following heat stroke, youth sports injury, and diversity, equity & inclusion in athletic training.

Trevor M. Bates, DHSc, AT

Dr. Bates holds a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training from Millikin University, a Master of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a Doctorate in Health Sciences from AT Still University of Health Sciences. His most recent tenure in academia includes serving as President of Mercy College in Ohio, President of Wilmington College, as Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty at Mercy College of Ohio, and as Founding Associate Dean of Health Sciences at Heidelberg University. Outside of higher education, Dr. Bates served as Executive Vice President of Strategy and Innovation for True Empowering LLC.

In addition to his professional achievements, Dr. Bates is actively engaged in various volunteer appointments in healthcare and has been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including the 2024 Outstanding Educator Award from the Great Lakes Athletic Trainers’ Association and the 2022 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign - College of Applied Health Sciences. Dr. Bates is also currently the National Athletic Trainers' Association's DEIA Council Chair. 

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