Dr. Chad Starkey traces his interest in the field of athletic training back to high school when he broke his ankle playing football and worked with athletic trainers at West Virginia University as part of his rehabilitation. He is the author of several well-known sports medicine textbooks including “ Therapeutic Modalities,” “ Examination of Orthopedic and Athletic Injuries,” “ Athletic Training and Sports Medicine: An Integrated Approach,” and “ Tabers Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary.” Starkey conducts research in areas including epidemiology, evidence-based practice, the financial implications of injuries to high school athletes and the efficacy of therapeutic modalities.
Athletic trainers are probably most important to high school athletes since they are the most medically underserved population, especially in medically underserved regions such as southeast Ohio, Starkey says. “The role of the athletic trainer has really changed over the last 20 years,” says Starkey. “Once upon a time, they were viewed as part of the coaching staff and are now seen as health care professionals.”
Athletic trainers are able to provide a unique continuum of care since they are present when an injury occurs and are able to work with the athlete throughout the rehabilitation process, with no insurance billing or co-pays.
Starkey directs Ohio University’s post-professional athletic training program, an accredited post-professional program for licensed professionals, which places graduate students in high schools throughout southeast, and now central, Ohio. He says athletic trainers often serve as the first point of medical contact for high school students and their parents.
He earned both his master’s degree and Ph.D. at Ohio University, and after serving as the athletic training program director and associate professor at Northeastern University, Starkey returned to Ohio University where he serves as a professor and coordinator of the Division of Athletic Training. In addition to authoring several textbooks used in college athletic training programs, he has many peer-reviewed journal publications and professional presentations. He has also provided injury epidemiological services as a consultant to the National Basketball Association.
Starkey has been heavily involved with the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) and has served on a number of NATA task forces and boards in addition to receiving the NATA’s Service Award, Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award and several other awards. In 2009 Starkey was inducted into the NATA Hall of Fame. He is a member of the editorial boards for the Journal of Athletic Training, Journal of Sport Rehabilitation, and served as an editor of the 19th through the 22nd editions of Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary. He serves on the board of directors for the Southern Ohio Copperheads baseball team.
In the early 1980s Starkey developed a medical records software system for athletic training called Alfie, which he marketed himself for several years before selling.
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