- Sports Medicine Staff Profiles
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Sports Medicine Facilities
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Athletic Training Alumni
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Department of Sports Medicine Awards
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Graduate Assistantships within JMU Sports Medicine
- Student-Athlete Rights

JMU Sports Medicine:  "Setting The Standard"

The student-athletes at JMU benefit from the quality of services provided by an experienced and caring staff of athletic trainers, physicians, and other allied health professionals.  The sports medicine department places a high value in its people and our student-athletes have access to an outstanding group of professionals.  The staff consists of nine staff athletic trainers, five physicians, a chiropractor, sports dietician, six graduate assistants and a full-time administrative assistant/insurance coordinator. Staff collaboration is stressed as well as the professional development and continuing education of the group.  In addition, the sports medicine staff in an effort to continue to "set the standard" for student-athlete healthcare conducts a bi-annual retreat with the intent to provide a time for the staff to reflect on the past year and review goals and objectives for the upcoming year.

The sports medicine department is led by Tom Kuster (JMU '95) in his eighth year as the Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Medicine and 15th year at JMU.  Kuster is active in the profession of athletic training having presented on various topics at the state, regional, and national levels.  He currently serves as the President of the Virginia Athletic Trainers Association after having served two years President-elect and two  years as the College/University Athletic Training Chairman for that organization. 

Dr. Kent Diduch serves as the Team Physician for JMU and is in his fifth year in that role.  He is a fulltime employee at JMU and in addition to his services in Sports Medicine he is an associate professor in Health Sciences and is the Medical Director for the Physicians Assistant Program and Athletic Training Education Program.  Dr. Diduch is a board certified family physician, a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians, and serves on the Board of the Virginia Academy of Family Physicians. Dr. Diduch provides an exceptional service to our student-athletes through his incredible accessibility and daily on campus medical clinic.

Through a formal relationship with the University of Virginia Health System, JMU student-athletes have access to a myriad of specialist care most notably our orthopedic services provided by Dr. Mark Miller.  Dr. Miller is the S. Ward Casscells Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and Director of the Sports Medicine Division at the University of Virginia.  He is a Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.  Dr. Miller completed his fellowship training in sports medicine and shoulder surgery at the University of Pittsburgh.  He is board certified in orthopedic surgery and orthopedic sports medicine and is a nationally recognized expert in orthopedic sports medicine. Dr. Miller has over 100 publications to his credit, including 12 textbooks that he has written or edited. He has been a featured speaker at both the national and international level regarding orthopedics or sport medicine related topics.  This is his 10th year as a team physician for JMU.

Additionally, JMU has enjoyed a long tradition of athletic training education excellence and possesses one of the nation's finer athletic training education programs.  This program produces graduates that routinely pass the national certification examination at 2-3 times the national pass rate.  Our students are placed in fulfilling careers and positions within the athletic training field as well as in other allied health care professions.  These undergraduate students and their faculty assist the sports medicine team in setting the standard for student-athlete care.

The Sports Medicine staff is involved with the student-athletes on a daily basis in a variety of capacities.  They are present at all practices and conditioning sessions and are with the teams at both their home and away competitions.  They work collaboratively with the coaching staff and strength and conditioning coaches to prevent injuries through preseason screenings and analysis of various movement pattern dysfunctions to avoid the re-occurrence of previous injuries. When injuries and illnesses do occur however, the professionals within the sports medicine department are there to intervene on behalf of the student-athlete to evaluate the condition and to respond appropriately with a plan of action.  The athletic trainers on staff provide daily treatments, develop rehabilitation programs, coordinate care with the physicians and surgeons, educate the athletes, parents, and coaches regarding the injury or illness, and above all strive to provide for a safe and healthy environment for our student-athletes.  Various benefits our student-athletes have access to include custom foot orthotics, custom mouthguards, prophylactic bracing, iron screening assessments for our female endurance athletes, aquatic rehabilitation to speed recovery for those unable to exercise on land, nutritional assessments, sport psychology services and many more.  The Sports Medicine Staff takes great pride in the important role they play in the support of the student-athletes.

The philosophical approach of the JMU Department of Sports Medicine is to place a high value and emphasis on the customer service of our department as it relates to the student-athlete, their parents, and our coaches.  We are a proactive department constantly looking for new and innovative ways to prevent and treat injuries that occur to the student-athletes. We conduct yearly physical examinations on every student-athlete; we provide a variety of ancillary services through collaborations with groups across campus such as the University Health Center, Counseling Student Development Center, Sport Psychology, and Health Sciences.  We have formalized written policies and procedures in place that are revised annually with a communication plan, emergency action plans, crisis management team, drug education, as well as several key medical and clinical policies.  We work to provide a positive environment for our student athletes and our staff by stressing the importance of maintaining a professional and positive atmosphere within our exceptional facilities.  The value of ensuring that our student-athletes receive quality professional care with adequate follow-up care is essential to our efforts and works in concert with the mission of the Athletic Department to prepare student-athletes for productive and meaningful lives. All of these efforts have resulted in a department that is looked at as a leader in sports medicine services within the Colonial Athletic Association and one which consistently receives high praise and positive yearly evaluations from its number one constituents:  the student-athletes at James Madison University.