A blog post published by the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) features the research of UW–Madison’s Mayrena Hernandez, a doctoral candidate in the School of Education’s Department of Kinesiology.
The article is among a series of posts on the NATA Now blog that will honor National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 to Oct. 15) by highlighting some of NATA’s Hispanic/Latinx members who are advancing the athletic training profession through research.
“Taking two areas of passion and combining them for a better future for youth sports is how Mayrena Hernandez, MPH, LAT, ATC, is working to progress the athletic training profession,” begins the blog post.
After obtaining her bachelor’s degree in athletic training and master’s degree in public health, Hernandez decided to pursue a career in research. She will be defending her dissertation in the Department of Kinesiology in early spring.
“I’m passionate about bringing equitable health and health care to low socioeconomic and underserved families,” Hernandez tells NATA. “I want to make sports safe for all kids and families so they can enjoy lifelong physical activity … and can enjoy sports in a safe manner. This is important to me because I was a low socioeconomic status minority athlete.”
The National Trainers Athletic Association is a professional membership association with over 45,000 members worldwide. The organization’s mission is to represent, engage, and foster the continued growth and development of the athletic training profession and athletic trainers as unique health care providers.
“We definitely need more Hispanic/Latinx ATs (athletic trainers) to relate to athletes who are also Hispanic/Latinx and come from different backgrounds,” says Hernandez. She urges ATs to “keep advocating for diversity and cultural competence in athletic training. The athletes and patients are diverse, and we, as ATs, need to match up to that.”
To learn more about Hernandez, read the full post on the NATA Now blog.