Ron H. Walker, MA, LAT, ATC, CSCS
Clinical Assistant Professor of Athletic Training
As a clinical assistant professor of athletic training, Ron Walker brings a unique perspective to TU. As a native of Western Oklahoma and a graduate of the Athletic Training curriculum at TU, he has a passionate connection to The University of Tulsa experience and to the continual evolution of athletic training professional opportunities. “TU is home, the undergraduate experiences available at TU provide an outstanding and challenging environment for the personal growth of future athletic training professionals” Walker said.
As the current president of the Oklahoma Athletic Trainers Association, Walker is very active in supporting legislation that would provide incentives for increased employment of athletic trainers at the secondary school setting. He stated that “The American Medical Association and the National Association for Sport and Physical Education have been strong proponents of athletic trainers in high schools settings nationally for several years, but within the State of Oklahoma we have recently gained much support from the Oklahoma State Board of Health as well as state representatives for future legislative action that would provide increased access to athletic trainers at the schools. It is our hope that this availability will lead to a reduction in the number of serious injuries, and deaths, incurred by high school athletes.” Walker added that “Our graduates must be prepared to meet this need, as a service to the students, the parents, and the community.”
As President, Walker is not only working to build relationships with legislators that will lead to an increased level of care for high school student athletes, but is also working to create and strengthen relationships with insurance companies and third party payers. Walker provides that “as important as the athletic trainer is to the high school and collegiate sports medicine teams, they are as important to outpatient rehabilitation clinics, physician offices, and hospitals where over 50% of athletic trainers are employed. While we are working to open new avenues of employment in the schools and in occupational care, we must continue to provide well prepared professionals for the clinics and hospitals.”
In addition to his experience as the President of the OATA, Walker is a member of the Board of Certification Regulatory Conference Advisory Panel, and acts as an accreditation site visitor for the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education. Walker is able to utilize these, and other real world experiences to expose students to their importance and to relate course discussions and projects to contemporary professional issues. Walker states that “it is often difficult for students to immediately relate classroom discussions and theory to the realities of professional issues. Exposure to real world issues, in real time, often aids students in making the critical leap from knowledge to critical application.”
Prior to his current position, Walker served as the founding director of the athletic training education program at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, and as an athletic trainer for Eastern Oklahoma Orthopedic Center and Union high school, experiences that he is also able to utilize in the education of future professionals.