On Wednesday, April 18, 2012, Kris Healy, MPH, PA-C, faculty at Northwestern University's PA Program, and Eddie Gronko, PA-S at Northwestern University and certified atheltic trainer, presented to the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee at the Illinois High School Association in Bloomington, IL.
The State of Illinois has a law that refers to the IHSA policy that allows only a physician or certified athletic trainer to clear and sign a high school student athlete who has suffered a head trauma/concussion back to play. The IAPA was working with the IHSA Sports Medicine Committee to have PAs included in their policy. Kris and Eddie educated the committee as to the knowledge and qualifications of a physician assistant as capable of diagnosing, caring, and clearing a student athlete who has suffered a head trauma/concussion back to play.
Sen. Ira Silverstein and Rep. Tom Cross, introduced SB 3410, which would have made the IHSA policy as the law in Illinois. Numerous other states do allow PAs to clear and sign the appropriate forms. The National Federation of State High School Associations also recognize PAs as qualified health care practitioners to sign the appropriate forms. IAPA will continue its efforts to have PAs included in the Illinois policy.
The bill currently will not make it through this legislative session.