MWSU improves Mosaic ties with athletic trainer agreement

Dec. 3—Missouri Western State University athletics is strengthening connections with Mosaic Life Care.

All athletic trainers for the school's teams are being provided by Mosaic, and as a result, the number of athletic trainers has increased from four to seven.

The expectation is that it will expand the ability to provide care for athletes, MWSU Athletic Director Andy Carter said.

"We have team physicians at Mosaic and it's always a great, you know, place to be is to have everything kind of seamless," he said. "So, when a young person gets hurt, we know who's going to take care of them."

Before the new standard was set, Missouri Western was using a combination of their own athletic trainers, ones from Mosaic and graduate assistants.

The changes went into effect around the start of fall sports, but it wasn't officially announced until this week.

It's an increasingly common practice and could mean more stability in terms of the care being provided long-term, Mosaic Practice Manager of Sports Medicine Kate Esely said.

"You'll see some football coaches or basketball coaches who will get fired, and that athletic trainer who is employed by the university will get fired as well," she said. "This takes that component out of it and really provides a stable environment for the sports medicine team at that university."

It's an integral role because athletic trainers do much of their work behind the scenes, whether it's taping ankles before a game, helping set up for practice or administrative work. Sometimes that even extends to other roles, like being someone to talk with, Esely said.

"One thing the athletic trainers truly pride themselves on is being able to develop a relationship with their athletes," Esely said. "So, you know, maybe it's not an athletic-related injury that is hampering them. Maybe it's a personal issue, maybe it's mental health."

It also means there's less risk that athletic trainers who are hired will move on to other employers and means the university doesn't have to worry about factors like payroll, Carter said.

"These are their employees, they're handling all of the billing as our student athletes go over there," he said. "Those are things that we were doing in-house, and that's not our specialty."

Alex Simone can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @NPNOWSimone.