Linda Platt Meyer receives her ’49 Club nametag and watch from Timm Weston, National Athletic Trainers’ Association District 1 co-chair and EATA ’49 Club committee member, at ’49 Club induction ceremony in January.
March is National Athletic Training Month and Linda Platt Meyer ’83 is just one of hundreds of Lock Haven University athletic training alumni influencing the profession.
For the last three decades, Meyer has been an educator, an industry advocate and public speaker. It’s that work, along with her more than 30 years helping to transform medical care for Special Olympics (SO) athletes, that recently culminated with her induction into the Eastern Athletic Trainers’ Association (EATA) ’49 Club.
The EATA promotes and advances athletic training through education, scholarship, research funding and awards. The EATA consists of more than 8,000 athletic trainers. Less than 100 people have been inducted into the ’49 Club, which is considered the organization’s hall of fame and greatest honor.
Meyer joins fellow LHU graduates Wayne Evans ’77 and Laurie Zaparzynski ’87 as members of the ’49 Club, as well as Dave Tomasi, former LHU athletic training program director, who established the athletic training program at what was then Lock Haven State College (LHSC) in the 1970s.
“I had many major influences as a student at Lock Haven, but, hands down, Dave Tomasi was my greatest mentor,” Meyer said.
For the first nine years of her career, Meyer was a high school health and physical education teacher and athletic trainer. It was at Bellefonte High School that she met Yvette Ingram, who gravitated toward athletic training before going onto graduate from Lock Haven University in 1992. Ingram has been an athletic trainer and professor at LHU for the past 22 years. She is also a former president of the Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers’ Society (PATS). Like Meyer, Ingram lauded Tomasi for the sense of volunteerism and service to others that he instilled in his students — a culture of service that carries on to this day.
“Athletic Trainers, especially at Lock Haven University are a family and we all have our roots that go back to a few early pioneers. Dave Tomasi and Linda Platt-Meyer are two of those pioneers,” Ingram said.
According to Meyer, her greatest accomplishment has been to mentor and teach hundreds of athletic training and exercise science students and watch them progress into successful professionals, but possibly her most impactful accomplishment has been her leadership in revolutionizing medical care for Special Olympics athletes.
In 1987, Meyer’s friend, 1985 LHU special education graduate Nora O’Sullivan Mason, became involved with Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA). Mason wanted her SO coaches to have the proper knowledge of first aid and training and conditioning for athletes with intellectual disabilities (ID). She reached out to Meyer, asking her to do workshops to educate coaches on proper care and training techniques.
Since 1990, Meyer has served as the medical coordinator for Special Olympics Pennsylvania’s State Winter Games. In 1991, she was invited by Team Pennsylvania to serve as the first athletic trainer to ever attend the Special Olympics World Games. Her involvement at the World Games set a precedent that athletic trainers and medical personnel were an essential component of Special Olympics competitions. Over the next decade, Meyer served SOPA athletes at four more SO World Games.
Her continued efforts led to the development a multi-disciplinary sports medicine team consisting of physicians, athletic trainers, emergency medical services (EMS) workers and other medical personnel capable of providing Special Olympics athletes with the same on-site care that traditional athletes receive.
Today, all SOPA competitions have multi-disciplinary healthcare teams present at every state-level event. The SOPA model has also been shared across the country and other states are now adopting this approach.
True to the nature of volunteerism and service learned from Tomasi, all of the work Meyer has done with SOPA has been voluntary. She has also spent the last 27 years teaching at the college level, including 14 years at Duquesne University where, in 1992, she teamed up with 1987 LHU graduate Barry McGlumphy and others to establish Duquesne University’s nationally recognized athletic training education program. In 2007, McGlumphy recruited Meyer to join him at California University of Pennsylvania, where she has taught exercise science for the last 13 years.
McGlumphy and Meyer were both inducted into the PATS Hall of Fame in 2013, along with 1983 LHU graduate Julie Ramsey Emrhein.
“There is a Lock Haven University connection to everything I’ve accomplished,” Meyer said. “I’m just truly humbled and grateful for the recognition of being inducted into the ’49 Club. And I’m incredibly grateful for the experiences that I have allowed me to accomplish all that I have done.”
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Lock Haven University’s main campus is located on the West Branch of the Susquehanna River in the scenic mountains of Pennsylvania. The university offers 49 undergraduate majors and certifications with 47 minors and five graduate programs.
LHU is a member of Pennsylvania’s State System, the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 2,300 degree and certificate programs in more than 530 academic areas of study. Nearly 520,000 system alumni live and work in Pennsylvania.
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