2021 PATS ELECTION
Candidate for Treasurer
Candidates for Southeastern Rep
Candidates for Southwestern Rep
Miranda Fisher, MS, LAT, ATC
My name is Miranda Fisher and I currently hold the position of PATS Treasurer on the PATS Board of Directors. I have been serving in this position since December 2018 and I am very eager to continue in this role. Professionally, I am the Assistant Director of Sports Medicine at Shippensburg University (SU) in south central Pennsylvania. Since becoming a Certified Athletic Trainer, I have worked in the collegiate setting starting out at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond and then beginning my current tenure at SU. My professional interests include student-athlete mental health and wellness, as well as injury rehabilitation. My personal interests include photography, baking and spending time with my St. Bernard, Rocky. I consider service to be a passion of mine that began as a student at Lock Haven University. I am currently the SU Advisor for the Tau Kappa Women’s Athletic Sorority, a member of the SU Student-Athlete Welfare Committee, and a member of the SU ONESHIP Committee which is committed to upholding the values of equity, justice, and inclusion by creating and sustaining an anti-biased and anti-racist environment in athletics and in our broader communities. Since my time at Lock Haven when I volunteered at the annual PATS Symposium, I have continued with my service to PATS in being a member of the Corporate Sponsorship Committee and now the Treasurer. I am thankful to those who came before me paving the way and advancing the profession and Society and I look forward to continuing to serve this profession and serving PATS and its membership.
Kyle Harris, MS, LAT, ATC
Hello, my name is Kyle Harris and it is with great enthusiasm that I am running for the Southeast Representative position on the PATS Executive Board. I am humbled by the nomination and am excited to have the opportunity to continue in this position which I was appointed to this past summer by President DiCesaro. I am proud to have represented the Southeast region for the last 9 months and have thoroughly enjoyed my time as a member on the executive board serving alongside such exceptional people.
Prior to my time on the Executive Board I have had a variety of roles within PATS including a member of PATS Annual Symposium convention committee where I helped with event logistics especially organizing many exceptional students and recent graduates to help moderate for convention sessions. I have also served recently as the chair of the Corporate Relations committee where I was able to help reimagine our corporate sponsorship structure in collaboration with our executive director Linda Mazzoli to help create long-lasting relationships with vendors which help financially support our society, and create exciting opportunities for our members.
Outside of my current commitment PATS, I work at Temple University where I am an instructor and the anatomy and physiology content coordinator. In this role I really enjoy teaching my large lectures (of more than 400 students per class) and mentoring our graduate teaching assistants, many of whom are recently certified athletic trainers. My employment at Temple has also given me the great opportunity of pursue my doctorate in the College of Education and I hope that within the next year I will complete my dissertation and graduate. I am also regular writer for Sports Med Research (www.sportsmedres.org) where the goal is to help make current research clinically applicable for practicing clinicians. Before coming to Temple, I was the athletic trainer and an assistant professor at Bucks County Community College following my education at Lock Haven University (B.S.) and Temple University (M.S.).
On a more personal level - I am married to my amazing wife Sarah and have 2 incredible kids (Charlotte and Declan). I love to workout, go camping, and play video games with my son (even if he is starting to beat me).
If elected, I would perform the duties of the position with passion and eagerness. I will strive to be a voice of advocacy for those in the Southeast region and do everything I can do disseminate information to our members in a clear and organized manner. As a board member, I will do all in my power to lend my voice to continue to build our society and advocate for this amazing profession. I thank you for your time and consideration for the PATS Southeast regional representative position.
William Mills, LAT, ATC
My name is William Mills, and most people know me as "Millsy." I have been working as the Head Athletic Trainer at Malvern Preparatory School since Fall 1993. I graduated from West Chester University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Athletic Training (student design). I earned a Master of Arts degree in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix. Currently, I am a doctorate student at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions, studying athletic training and specializing in postural control and head impact acceleration.
I have had the privilege to work at the beginning of my career at Bryn Mawr Sports Medicine. I worked in professional sports for the Philadelphia Eagles, NFL Combines, and the X-Games. Besides, I have worked in various lacrosse settings, such as the athletic trainer for the Philadelphia Wings, the medical director for Major League Lacrosse, and then the athletic trainer for the Philadelphia Barrage of the same league. Internationally I have worked as the athletic trainer for two world games for the USA Men's Lacrosse team.
Lastly, one of my most important roles has been as a preceptor for over 25 years for such distinguished schools as West Chester University, Neumann University, and Eastern University.
I currently reside in West Chester and have a daughter Christina, a fashion designer, and a son Ryan, a Sophomore studying English at Randolph-Macon College.
William (Bill) Ankrom, MS, LAT, ATC
My name is William (Bill) Ankrom and I am the existing Southwest PATS Representative. I have a long work history in the Southwest region working as a certified athletic trainer in a multitude of settings. My longest tenure in a position has been with UPMC Sports Medicine which began in 1994 as full-time employee up to my most recent appointment in academia as the Clinical Education Coordinator with the University of Pittsburgh, starting in October of 2015.
My interest in the profession, like many others, stemmed from my participation in high school athletics and seeing the need for athletic healthcare in the 80’s. The most impactful moments that fueled my interest in the profession were seeing my high school football teammates play with untreated injuries and dealing with pain. If we were lucky, there was a team physician who would attend and be on the sideline for a home football game on a Friday night. My mind was often consumed with wanting to know how we could get players back the quickest and safest means possible on the field, an assistant coach would typically make these decisions. My senior season progressed in 1988 with many of my teammates having untreated and mismanaged injuries, many were serious but not really known at the time. A friend had multiple seizures, even once during a game. There were multiple concussions, me included. One injury of significance was a femur fracture that occurred on the practice field one day after school. We stood there helpless and waited as an ambulance arrived to help our teammate as he was lying on the field in extreme pain in what seemed like forever for them to arrive. This was in rural Greene County, limited access to healthcare at the time much like many other schools. Much has changed in my home district and the schools like this, we still have significant improvements that can be made.
My professional path began at California University of PA as a first-generation college attendee where I earned by BS degree in Athletic Training in 1994. I was fortunate to have some great mentors and guidance as a young man in Dr. Bill Biddington and Dr. Bruce Barnhart and others while in the ATP pursuing my dream profession. After becoming certified in 1995 and working as an AT for a few years, I returned to school at the University of Pittsburgh in 1998 earning my graduate MS Degree in Sports Medicine. My early years of clinical practice occurred in the secondary school settings through outreach sports medicine, all were in large high schools in the Pittsburgh region. However, my most rewarding experience was my graduate assistantship position (1998-2000) in graduate school through the University of Pittsburgh as a Graduate Assistant AT within the Pittsburgh Public School System, providing care for two schools (Langley and South Vocational). To this day, there hasn’t been a more rewarding experience of working hard to provide care with so little resources all while being accepted in an environment that I didn’t necessarily fit. They appreciated me and I truly enjoyed serving them, it was a match that I did not expect. During my twenty plus years working for UPMC Sports Medicine, much of my time was in an administrative or managerial position which occurred through advancement or promotions. I have had the good fortune to see this program grow immensely through visionaries like Dr. Freddie H. Fu who are fully vested in promoting AT services and Sports Medicine services in the region. The profession of Athletic Training is alive and well within the Southwest region of PATS with very healthy competition in hospital-based healthcare systems, physical therapy based AT employers, DME distribution companies and many collegiate/ universities all who all employ certified athletic trainers. The diverse employment opportunities coupled with five AT educational programs, really bolsters the profession of Athletic Training.
In 2015, I accepted my current, full-time faculty position appointment at the University of Pittsburgh in the Athletic Training Education Program, my introduction to academia other than a few classes that I taught as an adjunct at Waynesburg University. I work as an Instructor and Clinical Education Coordinator within the Sports Medicine and Nutrition Department in the School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences. I have the great fortune of working with some of the best clinicians and faculty members in the profession, they truly keep me professionally motivated.
Over these working years, I have grown professionally in different ways through PATS, EATA and the NATA. I make a personal, concerted effort to attend all of the symposiums and conferences offered. I work to try and convey this with ATS at the University of Pittsburgh, this process has rendered some great experiences for me with these young professionals. Within PATS, I have served on the COPA Committee for approximately six years and have also previously been the PATS County Delegate for Greene County, my home territory for about eight years. My recent appointment as the Southwest Representative serving on the PATS Board of Directors for the past four years has been a personally satisfying and rewarding experience and looking forward to the potential of three more years if re-elected. I encourage everyone to find a way to contribute to the PATS Organization, it is our profession to improve in the Commonwealth of PA, we need everyone.
If re-elected as the Southwest Representative, my goals are simple for the region; to promote the mission and vison of our organization, assist with advancing our profession through supporting legislative initiatives to further advance our profession, communicate PATS related activities and initiatives to you the members of the Southwest region, work with each of the PATS Southwest County Delegates to address the local needs and to also create educational opportunities for members within the region.
Outside of my professional life, I am a father of two daughters and married to Amy, my lovely wife of twenty-four years. We live in a small rural town of Rices Landing along the Monongahela River in Greene County, approximately fifty miles south of Pittsburgh, yes I make that commute. We have a dog (Augustus) and a cat (Merl) who are also part of our family. I am an avid outdoorsman and passionate about fishing, hunting, camping and boating with my family on the river. I am very active in my church, Hewitt Presbyterian Church of Rices Landing. I proudly serve my Lord and Savior in the church as an active member, elder and as a youth group leader when needed. The balance of my personal time is usually consumed by family activities, assisting with coaching athletics, home remodeling projects, restoring old furniture with my wife, or attending my children’s athletic events.
Jason Edsall, PhD, LAT, ATC
Jason was born and raised in Southwestern Pennsylvania and has spent the most of his adult life in the region working and advocating for the athletic training profession. After earning his degree in athletic training from Slippery Rock University Jason worked as a graduate assistant AT while completing his Master’s degree at Salisbury University in Maryland. He started his career at a rural single A high school in Maryland and after three years he returned to Southwestern Pennsylvania working clinically at Seton Hill University and working for two major health systems in the region. While working as a full time AT he began his PhD in athletic training and completed his degree while employed at California University of Pennsylvania in a split faculty/clinical position. He later accepted a full-time academic position as program director at Marywood University (Scranton, PA) and returned to the region after two years to build a new entry level MSAT program at Chatham University (Pittsburgh) where he has been for the past 5 years. His current role at Chatham has afforded him the opportunity to work closely with students, clinical faculty and preceptors while working closely with a third major health system in the region. Throughout his career he has had the opportunity to experience athletic training at a variety of levels clinically, academically, direct hired positions and working for health networks. He understands athletic training at various levels and the similarities, differences, and support needed at each. Jason continues to work closely with certified athletic trainers working clinically in a wide variety of settings, and in academia. He has served at differing levels with the Board of Certification Exam Development Committee and as reviewer for various academic journals and conferences. He is focused on developing future athletic trainers and providing current certified athletic trainers opportunities to advance in their career and education. Jason is passionate about expanding the profession while maintaining the founding strength of the profession in the traditional settings. He is an advocate for advancement of the profession nationally, regionally and most importantly locally.
Margaret (Peggy) Fillinger, MS, LAT, ATC
I have been a certified athletic trainer for 34 years. Most of my career has been in the collegeiate arena. I was assistant professor during my first 20 years and loved educating future athletic trainers'. I did however take a brief stint in the Orthopedic surgery arena for 6 years. During that time, I advanced to become a certified ortho tech. I applied casts and braces, helped the surgeon in the operating room with patient position and holding surigical tools and helped close the surgical wound. I just wanted to get back to on site athletic training. Since I have been certified, my motto is "to make a difference in young athletes lives". I have treated my profession as my passion, not a job. Have never regretted my decision to become a certified athletic trainer even 34 years later.
Jessica Johns, MEd, LAT, ATC
I am very excited and honored to accept the nomination to run for PATS Southwest Representative. My time with PATS began when I was an undergraduate student at Duquesne University. I was encouraged by Dr. Paula Turocy and Dr. Jason Scibek to be a student volunteer at the PATS symposiums and Hike to Harrisburg (2010 and 2011). After graduating from Duquesne University, I took a graduate assistantship at North Carolina State University (NCSU). During my two years in North Carolina, I volunteered as a Mid Atlantic Athletic Trainers’ Association (MAATA) symposium volunteer and a District 3 Young Professionals Committee Member-At-Large.
After graduation from NCSU, I returned home to Pennsylvania where I worked at Saint Francis University (Northwest PATS region) for 5 years. During my first year back in 2015, I joined the PATS Public Relations Committee of which I remain an active member as well as the liaison to the Technology Committee today. My time on the Public Relations committee has been very rewarding. I have aided in the development of annual National Athletic Training Month (NATM) student and social media competitions while also contributing to the publication of several PR Webs. Public Relations plays a vital role in how the Executive Board can reach the membership. My experience with The PR and Technology Committees has allowed me to connect with membership through material collection and relatable distribution. This gives me a unique skill set to bring to the Executive Board on how we can expand our initiatives in these areas.
In 2016, I joined the Young Professionals Committee (YPC) and am still currently a member. The YPC has made tremendous growth over the past 5 years, and I am proud to have been a part of several initiatives in collaboration with the committee chairs. As a committee, we understand and appreciate how the young professional experiences plays into professional retention. The YPC has taken special care to give young professionals a voice through the mentorship program and increased networking opportunities around the state. Our committee has an ongoing commitment to creating ideas and events that provide support to the young professionals in PA. For example, I planned and secured an event sponsor for the first YPC district social in 2018. Sponsorship is a vital tool to create partnerships within and outside of our profession, and one goal I would have as the Southwest Representative would be to work with our corporate sponsorship committee on initiatives specific to our region. While the pandemic has put a lot of these plans on pause, the YPC continues to adjust and conquer our strategic plan. Our continued work can be seen in our adaptation to the cancellation of our annual symposium as we have recently been working on beginning a webinar series. The series will allow access and CEU opportunities while discussing important topics facing athletic trainers (all while done at a safe distance!). Another goal we had was to offer professional head shots at the symposium but shifted to an infographic on how to take quality head shots from your smart phone at home.
In 2018, I began a new position at Duquesne University and was soon after promoted to Associate Head Athletic Trainer. I also serve as a liaison to the CAATE-accredited education program and serve as a Preceptor for athletic training students from both Duquesne University and Gannon University. Having spent most of my life in Southwest Pennsylvania, I have an intimate knowledge of the area, work settings, and educational programs. My goals for the Southwest Region would first be to represent all members as a positive and dedicated member on the Executive Board. I would work closely with county delegates on initiatives important to our region. I plan to encourage network and CEU opportunities for the membership throughout the year that include emphasis on current evidence-based practices. I would also work to develop more initiatives including diversity, equality and inclusion within our region and membership. Most importantly, I would serve as a sounding board to the Southwest Region on issues athletic trainers are facing and how PATS can support them during these challenging times. I would strive for a stronger connection among our regions members and to further integrate young professionals in the Southwest so our membership and involvement continues to grow and flourish.