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ATI holds party for ‘Littles’

March theme at ATI is ‘Every Body Needs an Athletic Trainer’

BOLINGBROOK — The Sports Medicine Department at ATI Physical Therapy is celebrating National Athletic Training Month by sharing its time and passion with those in need, supporting this month’s theme “Every Body Needs an Athletic Trainer.”

Each year, March is dedicated by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association to bringing information and awareness to the role of certified athletic trainers.

ATI kicked off celebrations by hosting a “Big for a Day” roller skating party with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Will and Grundy Counties, spending an afternoon with 18 Littles.

“I am grateful to ATI for hosting this activity for the kids waiting to be matched with a Big Brother or a Big Sister,” said Lisa Morel Las, chief executive officer for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Will and Grundy Counties. “The kids had so much fun bonding with a mentor, and it gave the ATI employees an opportunity (to) experience the ‘big’ impact a mentor has on a child.”

The staff also hosted a blood drive at the corporate office in Bolingbrook, Illinois, donating a total of 26 units to Heartland Blood Centers.

ATI Physical Therapy is the largest employer of certified athletic trainers in the country, providing on-site sports medicine services for over 140 universities, high schools, clubs, and professional athletic teams nationwide. ATI’s certified athletic trainers work at all levels of sports, and are experts at preventing, evaluating, diagnosing, treating and rehabilitating injuries.

Jason Pequette, senior director of sports medicine at ATI Physical Therapy takes pride in this month every year. “I am especially proud of the members of our sports medicine department this year in their celebration of National Athletic Training Month. They have taken time to go into their communities and have found opportunities to give to those in need. These actions truly show the love they have for their profession, and their passion to help others.”

The ATI Sports Medicine Department’s in-house committee is facilitating events and education in celebration of National Athletic Training Month. This includes the distribution of information to athletic directors, coaches and staff at athletic affiliations, bulletin board postings at local schools, clubs and ATI Physical Therapy clinics, as well as useful tips posted on ATI’s Facebook page throughout the month.
Additionally, this is a time for athletic trainers at ATI to share their love and passion for their profession, as well as the personal impact their role has on the communities they serve.

“Being hands-on with the athletes is the favorite part of my job,” said Melissa Ackley, athletic trainer at Marquette High School. “Knowing that I am giving my athletes the best care so they can return to their sport and do what they love is so fulfilling for me.”

Often times, the difference in the professions of athletic training and personal training can be blurred.

There is, however, a difference between the two. Athletic trainers are considered allied health care professionals, and must meet qualifications set by the Board of Certification, Inc., and the state licensing board. They coordinate care under the direction of a physician and other health care professionals, and are members of a health care profession recognized by the American Medical Association. All certified athletic trainers must have a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited college or university in order to practice athletic training.

ATI Physical Therapy is a nationally recognized orthopedic rehabilitation provider, specializing in physical therapy, sports medicine, work conditioning/hardening (F.I.R.S.T.™), functional capacity assessments, aquatic health, hand therapy, and women’s health. With over 200 clinics in seven states (Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin, Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania) ATI is known for its motivating staff, hands-on, personalized treatment programs, exceptional results and innovative research-based programs.

ATI remains committed to giving back to the communities we serve. The ATI Foundation, a non-profit organization, provides funding and resources to physically impaired children.

For a complete list of ATI’s sports medicine affiliations, clinic locations, services, and the ATI Foundation, visit Or, contact Jason Pequette at 630-296-2222, extension 7181.

For more information about the athletic training profession, visit the National Athletic Trainers’ Association website at

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