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A Roadmap for Sustainable Community-Engaged Partnerships in Athletic Training and Utilizing a Traveling Athletic Training Camp as an Implementation Strategy.

Improving access to athletic trainers and increasing diversity in the profession have been major goals of the Strategic Alliance, with a particular interest in the secondary school setting. Within many marginalized communities, individuals are often faced with a lack of resources, high rates of poverty, and limited access to healthcare. This social and economic climate often extends to inequitable athletic training (AT) services and patterns of disparate health. Widely used and recognized strategies to cultivate diversity and address health inequities include community-engaged partnerships; however, these approaches are not well implemented across the AT discipline. Successful community-engaged partnerships link communities and universities, and they are rooted in intentionality to address intermediate and long-term health equity outcomes. AT professionals and scholars often face gaps in resources and process-oriented methodologies to participate in community-engaged efforts that could include a roadmap or pathway to follow. To bridge this gap, the aims of this work are two-fold 1) To disseminate a roadmap for building sustainable community-engaged partnerships in AT with the intent of promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice across AT education, research and professional service; and 2) Demonstrate how the roadmap can be implemented utilizing a community- based AT education camp as an example. Implementation of the AT camp using the roadmap took place at secondary schools where community-engaged partnerships have been established throughout a geographic region known as the Alabama Black Belt, a region burdened with poor health outcomes, limited AT presence and lower quality-of-life, exacerbated by racial and socioeconomic inequalities. Implementing this roadmap as a strategy to build sustainable community-engaged partnerships offers an innovative, interactive, and impactful approach to addressing community needs by exposing secondary school students to the AT profession, advancing equitable AT research practices, while upholding and promoting the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice in AT education.

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