Jan 29, 2015
NATA Welcoming New President

The National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) will welcome James L. Thornton, MA, ATC, PES, CES, as its new president during the association’s 63rd Annual Meeting in St. Louis, June 26-29. Thornton has 28 years of collegiate sports medicine experience and a clear vision for his new role as he succeeds outgoing President Marjorie J. Albohm, MS, ATC.
“I am passionate about and committed to the athletic training profession and establishing ourselves as the premiere health care providers for patients, students, clients and others we may serve,” said Thornton. “We have much to strive for in the coming years on the research, legislative and job fronts, and I am excited to champion all of those efforts with the support and dedication of our members.”

NATA Executive Director Eve Becker-Doyle, CAE, is confident Thornton has the right mix of hands-on experience and a goal-oriented attitude to spearhead the association and take it to the next level in the health care arena. “Jim has a longstanding commitment to athletic training and has demonstrated time and again his strategic thinking and marketing savvy to help us achieve new heights and successes,” she commented. “We are enthusiastic at the ever-changing and improved landscape of the profession and know with Jim at the helm we will have much to accomplish in the years ahead. We are also grateful to president Albohm for her years of dedication to our efforts and all she has achieved.”

Thornton is currently head athletic trainer and director of sports medicine and athletic training services at Clarion University in Clarion, Pa., where he has worked since 1990. He oversees a department of three full-time athletic trainers, two certified graduate assistants and 20 athletic training students through the collaborative athletic training education program of California University of Pennsylvania. Prior to that, he worked as an assistant athletic trainer at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif. Thornton is a member of the faculty at Clarion and the adjunct faculty at California University of Pennsylvania.

Thornton’s leadership with NATA includes his role as vice president; chair of its Strategic Implementation Team; and athletic training liaison to multiple association committees. Since 1997, he has also served as liaison to the NCAA Wrestling Rules Committee and has been an education liaison and consultant for the National Academy of Sports Medicine for 11 years.

Thornton received his Bachelor of Science degree from Utah State University and his master’s from the University of the Pacific, where he also served as a graduate assistant athletic trainer. He currently resides in Clarion with his wife Bridget and daughters Matti, Maci and Maya.

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