Graduate Certificate in Clinical Decision-Making
in Athletic Training
The Graduate Certificate in Clinical Decision-Making in Athletic Training is an online program providing advanced instruction in evidence-based practice, clinical outcomes assessments, clinical informatics and technology, and quality improvement.
The purpose of the program is to prepare practicing athletic trainers and athletic training educators with the clinical practice and educational competencies in clinical decision-making skills that will enhance the quality and effectiveness of patient care.
Graduate Certificate in Clinical Decision-Making curriculum overview
Program outcome: Upon completion of the Graduate Certificate in Clinical Decision-Making in Athletic Training program, students will be able to:
- Practice and/or teach athletic training in a manner that integrates clinical experience, patient values, and the best available evidence.
- Employ and/or teach clinician-based and patient-based clinical outcome measures to determine the effectiveness of athletic training services.
- Use and/or teach healthcare informatics and technology to communicate, manage knowledge, mitigate error, and support decision-making in athletic training practice.
- Implement quality improvement initiatives into athletic training practice.
Length of program: The certificate program consists of four courses that could be completed over a year’s time.
Graduation requirements: To earn a graduate Certificate in Clinical Decision-Making, all students must:
- Complete with a passing grade (“C” or better) all prescribed courses and clinical rotations;
- Discharge all financial obligations to ASHS-ATSU;
- File all necessary graduation forms with the ATSU Registrar’s Office, 800 West Jefferson St., Kirksville, MO 63501; 800.626.5266, ext. 2356;
Applicants for admission to the Graduate Certificate in Clinical Decision-Making in Athletic Training program must meet the following requirements prior to matriculation.
- Applicants are required to meet all ATSU and ATSU’s Arizona School of Health Sciences (ATSU-ASHS) general admission requirements
- Candidates accepted for admission to the program will have earned a bachelor’s or higher degree prior to enrollment from a regionally accredited institution.
- Candidates must have achieved a minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA (on a 4.0 scale) in their athletic training professional program or a minimum overall graduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
- Applicants must provide official transcripts from all educational institutions attended where a degree was conferred.
- Applicants to the certificate program must demonstrate Board of Certification (BOC) certification as an athletic trainer or substantial equivalence, such as credentialing from the Canadian Athletic Therapist Association, Athletic Rehabilitation Therapists of Ireland, Society of Sports Therapists, British Association of Sport Rehabilitators and Trainers. Verification of progress toward completion of all eligibility requirements to sit for the BOC certification examination will be accepted at the time of application, but BOC certification must be verified prior to matriculation.
- Candidates must submit an application form.
- All students are required to demonstrate proficiency in English when applying to ATSU-ASHS. See the ATSU-ASHS English Proficiency section of the University Catalog for more details.
- Candidates are expected to be computer literate and experienced in word processing. All curricula require extensive computer usage. Accepted applicants are required to have a personal computer prior to matriculation and have access to a high-speed Internet connection.
- See the Minimum Technology Specifications under the General Admission Requirements section.
ATRN 7110: Quality Improvement and Patient Safety* (C)(M)
Quality improvement is the consistent, combined effort of many to make changes in healthcare that will improve patient outcomes, system performance, and professional development. This course is designed to enhance the athletic trainer’s understanding of quality improvement, especially as it relates to patient outcomes (health), system performance (care), and professional development (learning). An overview of the history of quality improvement in healthcare will be provided to provide a global understanding of the value of quality improvement to the advancement of patient care. Additionally, the Model of Improvement will serves as the theoretical foundation for the course. Topics will include creating and managing interprofessional teams, identifying quality improvement issues, process literacy, data collection for continuous improvement, and implementing system changes. During the course, students will also be introduced to common tools used in quality improvement projects, such as process diagrams, cause-and-effect diagrams, run charts, and plan-do-study-act cycles. Achievement of course learning objectives will occur through readings, multi-media presentations, discussions, presentations, and individual and/or group assignments.
ATRN 7120: Evidence-Based Practice* (C) (M)
This course is designed to enable the athletic trainer’s clinical decision-making process in a manner that integrates clinical experience, patient values, and the best available evidence. It is also intended to build on entry-level evidence-based practice courses with the use of informatics and technology to access the medical literature. The course will cover advanced topics related to the EBP process, framing clinical questions to enhance clinical decision-making, searching the literature, critical appraisal, integration and evaluation of the evidence, grading levels of evidence and strength of recommendations, patient values, and statistical terminology related to EBP.
ATRN 7130: Patient-Oriented Outcomes* (C) (M)
Advanced Patient-Oriented Outcomes is designed to enhance the athletic trainer’s ability to employ clinician-based and patient-based clinical outcome measures for the determination of effective clinical decision-making through the practice of providing patient-centered whole person healthcare. Discussion of disablement models and outcomes research as the foundations to evidence-based practice will be provided. The use of disablement models as a framework for whole person healthcare and the evaluation of health-related quality of life will be presented. This course builds upon the basic components of clinical outcomes assessment by providing advanced content related to clinician- and patient-oriented outcomes. Instruction on the selection, implementation, and use of single- and multi-item, general and specific patient-rated outcomes instruments will be given. Details regarding the concepts of measurement properties, including assessment of measurement change, will be provided. Opportunity to develop an outcomes study through creation of a clinical question in PICO format will be provided and discussion of using practice-based research networks as means to conducting outcomes investigations will occur.
ATRN 7140: Health Information Technology* (C)
The purpose of this course is to provide the athletic trainer with a survey of relevant concepts, tools, and systems of healthcare informatics and technology that may be useful throughout the clinical decision-making process. An understanding of informatics concepts and skills related to the use of technology has been identified as critical for all modern healthcare professionals. Moreover, informatics and technology provide several distinct advantages to the modern healthcare system, including, but limited to: cost savings; error detection; quality improvement, and; improved patient outcomes.
Review tuition and fees for the Graduate Certificate in Clinical Decision Making in Athletic Training program. Please note tuition and fees are subject to change.
Endowed Chair for Sports Medicine and Professor
Tamara McLeod, PhD, ATC, CSCS, is the John P. Wood, D.O., Endowed Chair for Sports Medicine, Professor and Director of the Athletic Training program at A.T. Still University in Mesa, Arizona. Dr. McLeod completed her doctor of philosophy degree in education with an emphasis in sports medicine from the University of Virginia. She is the director of the Athletic Training Practice-Based Research Network and her research has focused on the pediatric athlete with respect to sport-related concussion. Her current work is investigating the short- and long-term effects of pediatric sports concussion as well as recovery following concussion on traditional concussion assessments and health-related quality of life. Dr. McLeod also has research interests regarding gender differences in lower extremity function, specifically neuromuscular control, and postural stability and studies these areas through an injury prevention approach in younger athletes. Dr. McLeod was a contributing author for the NATA Position Statement on the Management of Sport-Related Concussion, the lead author on the NATA Position Statement on the Prevention of Pediatric Overuse Injuries, and a consultant and contributing author on the Appropriate Medical Coverage for Secondary School-Aged Athletes. Dr. McLeod serves on numerous editorial boards, and publishes frequently in the athletic training and sports medicine journals and is a NATA Fellow.
Associate Professor and Director of Research Support
Alison Valier, PhD, ATC, is a BOC certified and state licensed athletic trainer, serves as associate professor in the Department of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences and Assistant Director of Research Support through the Office of Research, Grants, and Information Technology Systems. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and physical education from Whitman College in Washington and her Master of Science degree in exercise physiology at the University of Toledo in Ohio. In addition, she received her Ph.D. in exercise science from the University of Toledo, where she majored in applied physiology and completed a minor in human anatomy. Most recently, Dr. Valier completed a Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship in Clinical Outcomes Research, awarded to her by the NATA Foundation. Dr. Valier’s teaching emphasizes the assessment of clinical outcomes and evaluating the end result of healthcare services and she instructs in both the Post-Professional Athletic Training and Doctor of Health Sciences programs. Her primary research area of interest is in measuring the outcomes of various athletic training interventions as well as evaluating HRQOL of high school and college athletes who suffer sport-related injury. Another interest of hers is the use and development of patient-based outcomes instruments for the purpose of outcomes assessment and measuring the end result of healthcare services. During her doctoral studies, Dr. Valier taught in the athletic training education program at the University of Toledo for four years. In addition, she has served as an athletic trainer with Health South and outreached to Whiteford (MI) High School and Summerfield (MI) High School. Dr. Valier is a member of the NATA Outcomes Advisory Panel and serves on the Arizona Governmental Affairs Committee. Additionally, she is a grant reviewer for the NATA Foundation and a reviewer for the Journal of Athletic Training, Journal of Sport Rehabilitation Research, and Athletic Training and Sports Health Care.
Assistant Professor and Clinical Education Coordinator
Barton E. Anderson, DHSc, AT, ATC, is an associate professor in ATSU’s Athletic Training (AT) programs, serving as the primary clinical faculty member and clinical education coordinator for the Residential Post-Professional Master’s program. Dr. Anderson oversees all aspects of the Advanced Clinical Practice program (Clinical Education), including establishing and maintaining graduate assistantships, coordinating affiliated clinical sites and preceptors, and providing clinical mentoring to AT program students. Dr. Anderson holds a Level 1 Functional Movement Screen™ certification, and is an accredited Graston Technique™ clinician and Graston™ faculty instructor. He has extensive experience and training in therapeutic exercise prescription, fundamental movement patterns, and manual therapy techniques. Prior to ATSU, Dr. Anderson worked clinically for 10 years as an athletic trainer in the collegiate, high school, and clinical settings. He continues his clinical practice part-time throughout the academic year at a local sports medicine clinic. Dr. Anderson is a member of the CAATE Standards Committee, and also serves as the electronic medical record manager within the Athletic Training Practice Based Research Network, the chair of the Arizona Athletic Trainers’ Association Communications Committee, and the AzATA website coordinator. He earned his bachelor’s of science in sports medicine and athletic training from Missouri State University, his master’s of science in sports health care from ATSU, and his doctor of health science degree from Nova Southeastern University.
Cailee Welch, PhD, ATC, is assistant professor of Athletic Training within the Department of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences at A.T. Still University. Dr. Welch earned her bachelor of science degree in athletic training from Boston University, followed by a master of science in education degree in athletic training from Old Dominion University. She also earned her doctor of philosophy degree in human movement science with a special focus in athletic training curriculum and instruction from Old Dominion University, where she investigated the effectiveness of educational techniques to aid athletic trainers in learning the fundamentals of evidence-based practice. While at Old Dominion University, Dr. Welch served as an instructor for several undergraduate courses within the Health & Physical Education and Exercise Science departments, as well as a teaching fellow for numerous courses with the Post-Professional Athletic Training Program. Recently, Dr. Welch completed a post-doctoral research fellowship within the Center for Clinical Outcome Studies at A.T. Still University. As a part of her post-doctoral fellowship, Dr. Welch assisted with clinical outcomes and evidence-based practice courses within the Post-Professional Athletic Training Program. Currently, she serves as the Clinical Practice Site Coordinator within the Athletic Training Practice-Based Research Network, which includes conducting the education and training for athletic trainers across the country. Additionally, Dr. Welch currently serves on the CAATE Post-Professional Annual Report Committee, the BOC Evidence-Based Practice Review Panel, and is the Managing Editor for the Clinical Bottom Line in the NATA News. Dr. Welch’s research agenda includes two independent areas: capturing the concussed patient perspective for improving outcomes of patient care, and athletic training educational outcomes.
Kenny Lam, ScD, ATC, is an associate professor of clinical research within the Department of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences at A.T. Still University. He completed his bachelor of science degree in athletic training as well as his master of education degree in human movement at Boston University. He earned his doctor of science degree (Sc.D.) in rehabilitation sciences with a specialization in movement sciences from Boston University. Prior to becoming a faculty member, Dr. Lam completed a Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship within the Center for Clinical Outcome Studies at A.T. Still University that focused on patient-oriented outcomes assessment and evidence-based practice. His current line of research revolves around the prevention and rehabilitation of lower extremity injuries, with a special emphasis on sport-related knee injuries in the adolescent population. He is specifically interested in assessing the clinical outcomes of ACL injuries as it relates to health-related quality of life patient and the comparative effectiveness of rehabilitation techniques. In addition to his faculty responsibilities, Dr. Lam serves as the Director of Clinical Informatics for the Athletic Training Practice-Based Research Network (PBRN), where he oversees the day-to-day management of the relational database, supervises all aspects of education and training of clinicians, and acts as the liaison between the clinicians and administration of the AT-PBRN. Prior to attaining his doctoral degree, Dr. Lam practiced as a certified athletic trainer at Rutgers University – New Brunswick Campus (NJ), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MA), and Boston University (MA).
Sue Falsone, PT, MS, SCS, ATC, L-AT, CSCS, COMT, RYT, is an associate professor in ATSU-ASHS Athletic Training program. She teaches courses within the athletic training Master of Science degree program and online courses in orthopaedic rehabilitation foundation within the online Doctor of Athletic Training program. She also serves as a clinician scientist within the school’s Athletic Training Practice-Based Research Network.
Ms. Falsone’s many accomplishments include being the first female head athletic trainer in any of the four major American professional sports leagues, when she was named the head athletic trainer for the LA Dodgers in 2012. She also served as the head of athletic training and sport performance for the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team. She is known internationally for her expertise in sport rehabilitation and performance enhancement and bridging between physical therapy and return to sport.
An alumna of Daemen College, Ms. Falsone graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a master’s degree in human movement science; is owner and founder of Structure and Function Education, an educational company working to bring the concepts, philosophies and techniques of dry needling to the allied healthcare professional.
Dr. Rachel Geoghegan is the newest faculty member in the Department of Athletic Training, joining the faculty in 2023. She brings with her nearly two decades of full-time clinical experience in the college/university setting at locations across the country including Idaho State University, Gonzaga University, and Boston University. As a clinician, she boasts a contemporary clinical expertise in non-orthopedic conditions with a particular interest in female athlete health concerns and pelvic health. She originally hails from South Carolina where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Athletic Training from Erskine College in Due West, SC, and a Master of Human Resource Development from Clemson University in Clemson, SC. In 2020, she rounded out her education by earning her Doctor of Athletic Training degree from A.T. Still University. While new to academia, Dr. Geoghegan has experience as a clinical educator by serving as a preceptor for a number of institutions including Idaho State University, Whitworth University, University of Idaho, Washington State University, Boston University, and Chobanian and Avedisian School of Medicine. Dr. Geoghegan is also active in professional service at the local, regional, and national level and seeks to advance the profession any chance she gets. Her research interests include non-orthopedic conditions treated by athletic trainers, pelvic health among athletes, and female athlete health concerns. She is passionate about normalizing compassionate and appropriate conversations about pelvic health between athletic trainers and their patients.
Nicolette “Nikki” Harris serves as an Assistant Professor and the Director of Student Recruitment for the Athletic Training Programs at A.T. Still University. An alumnus of the ATSU Doctor of Athletic Training (DAT) program, Dr. Harris brings a wealth of clinical experience to this role. Prior to arriving to ATSU, she spent 6 years as the Coordinator for Athletic Training Services for Florida International University (FIU) where she worked to enhance the health care services provided to both FIU students and campus recreation participants. In addition, she served 3 years as the Head Athletic Trainer at Miami Booker T. Washington Senior High school providing care to secondary school athletes during their pursuit of 4 State Championship Titles.
In addition to her clinical practice, she has served as a Clinical Assistant Professor and Clinical Preceptor to athletic training students. Nikki actively engages in professional service at all levels, currently sitting as the NATA Career Advancement Committee (CAC) Chair Elect, the BOC Liaison to the Athletic Training Research Agenda Committee (ATRAC) as well as a member of the CAATE Education Committee. Dr. Harris values the effects of research on practice and education and has demonstrated a commitment to the advancement of diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice through her scholarly works.
Dr. Ann Lee Burch is the dean of A.T. Still University’s Arizona School of Health Sciences (ATSU-ASHS). Dr. Burch received her doctor of education from Columbia University, Teachers College in 2005. She received her masters of public health from Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health in 2002 and her masters of physical therapy from Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1989. She was a postdoctoral fellow with the Research Group on Health Disparities at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her BA is in psychology from the University of Rochester.
Prior to her appointment as dean, Dr. Burch served as vice dean for ATSU-ASHS. She served as the chair of the Physical Therapy Department from 2008-January 2012. Prior to ATSU, Dr. Burch was the director of physical therapy at the University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She has held administrative and/or faculty positions at the International Center for the Disabled in NY, NY, Mercy College in NY, and Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY.
Dr. Burch’s area of scholarly interest and application of that interest is in knowledge, attitudes, and self-efficacy of health care providers and healthcare professional students towards underrepresented patient/client groups.
Dr. Burch is the author of a Guide to Physical Therapy (Vault Publishers) which was written to increase information access about physical therapy to both high school graduates and re-entry adults. She was a co-investigator on an NIH grant at the University of Puerto Rico exploring the feasibility of an exercise program for breast cancer survivors living in San Juan. Dr. Burch has lived in Symi, Greece, Taipei, Taiwan, Ahmdebad, India and San Juan, Puerto Rico, and is committed to research, teaching and service that further the understanding of the impact of socioeconomic and cultural variables on health.
She was a member of the class of 2014 cohort of Women in Educational Leadership at Harvard Graduate School of Education. In 2017 she was the co-PI on a Centers for Disease Control, Association for Prevention and Teaching grant exploring a population health case study format for teaching and communicating the impact of social determinants of health on health disparities. She was recently appointed a peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission.
Dr. Salas-Provance, is professor and vice dean of A.T. Still University’s Arizona School of Health Sciences (ATSU-ASHS). Dr. Salas-Provance received her doctorate in speech science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She received her masters of health administration from the University of Missouri School of Medicine-Columbia. She holds both a bachelors and masters in Speech Pathology from New Mexico State University.
Prior to her appointment as vice dean, Dr. Salas-Provance served as associate dean of academic and student affairs for the School of Health Professions at the University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston. She served as assistant dean and chair in the College of Education, Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico and department chair in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Montevallo (AL). She held faculty positions at Fontbonne College and St. Louis University, in St. Louis, MO.
She has made extensive professional contributions to the American, Speech, Language & Hearing Association (ASHA), serving on the Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Council, member of the Financial Planning Board, and the Multicultural Issues Board. She served as coordinator of ASHA’s Special Interest Group (SIG) 14, Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse populations and was a founding member and coordinator of SIG 17, Global Issues in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She is an ASHA Fellow and received ASHA’s highest awards for “Special Recognition in Multicultural Affairs” and “Outstanding Contributions in International Achievement.”
Dr.Salas-Provance has served as a clinical educator throughout her academic career, especially related to children with cleft lip and palate. She is a member of an international medical team with Rotaplast International and has traveled worldwide for over 15 years to provide clinical services to children with cleft palate. She implemented a program for graduate students in speech pathology to provide clinical services in Spanish to children with cleft palate in Lima, Peru. In addition to Lima, Peru she has provided clinical services in China, Bangladesh, Philippines, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Venezuela.
Dr. Salas-Provance is coauthor of the textbook Culturally Responsive Practices in Speech-Language and Hearing Science (Plural Publishing, 2019) which meets the needs for training students in healthcare professions regarding practice with individuals from culturally and linguistically diverse populations. Her research is focused on attitudes towards disability by diverse populations and addressing the use of language interpreters during healthcare and educational encounters.
Over the past ten years she has lectured extensively to international audiences, both in English and Spanish, including as invited speaker for the Congreso Internacional en Trastornos de la Comunicacion at Escuela de Fonoaudiologia (Speech Language Pathology / Audiology) de la Universidad de Talca, Chile and for the Department of Otolaryngology, Hospital Nacional Arzobispo Loayza, Lima, Peru, Endoscopic Evaluation of Velopharyngeal Dysfunction. She was invited keynote speaker for the First International Congress in Speech-Language Pathology and Orthodontics in the area of cleft lip and palate in Lima, Peru.
Dr. Salas-Provance was selected for the American Council on Education (ACE) Women’s Leadership Program and attended the National Women’s Leadership Forum in Washington DC (2017) for advancing female executives in higher education.
Chair and Director
Tamara Valovich McLeod, PhD, ATC, CSCS ,is the John P. Wood, D.O., Endowed Chair for Sports Medicine, professor and director of the Athletic Training program at A.T. Still University in Mesa, Arizona. Dr. McLeod completed her doctor of philosophy degree in education with an emphasis in sports medicine from the University of Virginia. She is the director of the Athletic Training Practice-Based Research Network and her research has focused on the pediatric athlete with respect to sport-related concussion. Her current work is investigating the short- and long-term effects of pediatric sports concussion as well as recovery following concussion on traditional concussion assessments and health-related quality of life. Dr. McLeod also has research interests regarding gender differences in lower extremity function, specifically neuromuscular control, and postural stability and studies these areas through an injury prevention approach in younger athletes. Dr. McLeod was a contributing author for the NATA Position Statement on the Management of Sport-Related Concussion, the lead author on the NATA Position Statement on the Prevention of Pediatric Overuse Injuries, and a consultant and contributing author on the Appropriate Medical Coverage for Secondary School-Aged Athletes. Dr. McLeod serves on numerous editorial boards, and publishes frequently in the athletic training and sports medicine journals and is a NATA Fellow.
Kaylynn Schmitt is the administrative assistant for the Department of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences. Ms. Murphy brings over 5 years of administrative and clerical experience to our program. She assists the program director, faculty and administrative manager with the administration responsibilities for both the Doctors in Athletic Training and Masters in Athletic Training programs.
Valerie Hill began working at A. T. Still University in December 2022 as the Administrative Assistant for the Department of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences and the Department of Athletic training. Valerie joined ATSU’s team with over 30 years of administrative experience from another local institution of higher education.
Read the University Catalog to learn more about the Athletic Training Graduate Certificate in Clinical Decision-Making online program and University.
Professor & Department Chair Interdisciplinary Health Sciences
Professor & Director Athletic Training Programs
Associate Professor Athletic Training Programs
Adjunct Professor Athletic Training Programs
VP of Diversity & Inclusion