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St. Luke’s athletic trainer first to earn highest level of certification

Chris Servian achieved groundbreaking status recently when he became St. Luke’s first athletic trainer to pass a new board-certified specialty examination for athletic trainers. He is among the first cohort of athletic trainers in the country to earn this new certification.

Servian, who has been with St. Luke’s since completing its accredited residency program in 2018, is primarily assigned to working with orthopedic surgeon Nicholas Avallone, MD, who serves as the medical director of Sports Medicine at St. Luke’s Warren Campus and Clinical Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at the Temple School of Medicine.

“As a graduate of our accredited Athletic Training residency program, Chris has consistently demonstrated a passion for improving his knowledge base and a deep devotion to excellence in patient care,” Dr. Avallone said. “Chris has been nationally recognized for his leadership in the development of the role of the athletic trainer as an assistant in orthopedic practices. He is a critical member of our team, and we are very fortunate to have such a talented, hard-working and modest individual helping to lead our athletic training educational program.”

Servian, a Nazareth resident, mentors and teaches in St. Luke’s residency program for Athletic Trainers and works in surgery as an assistant with Dr. Avallone and other orthopedic surgeons, serving as a bridge between the surgeons, physician’s assistants and the rest of the operating room staff to help them be more efficient and improve patient outcomes.

“This is another step in elevating the role of the Athletic Trainer, to get us away from that image of being on the coaching sidelines,” Servian said. “This exam demonstrates an education and clinical standard that allows us to be in these highly specialized environments. I wanted to take this additional exam not just because it was focused on orthopedic specialty and surgery, but because it is the right thing to further my clinical acumen.”

Servian said that Athletic Trainers have been in the clinical setting for at least 30 years, but always been under the radar as part of the team. The Orthopedic Specialty Certification Exam for Athletic Trainers not only gives him a certification with a measurable standard but helps elevate the Athletic Trainer within their health system. This also will lead to further developments of subspeciality certifications that can be achieved through subsequent development of Fellowships.

“It’s a pretty exciting time for Athletic Training education,” Servian said. “There’s a snowball effect of developing these educational standards and pathways. Being part of the surgical team, we deliver a very reproducible result by making the process more efficient to help with better efficiencies and patient outcomes.”

“Chris continues to be at the forefront of helping the Athletic Training profession evolve down the path of specialty training,” said Jim Reidy, MS, ATC, CSCS, the Program Manager – East/ New Jersey Region and Program Director – Athletic Training Residency for St. Luke’s Sports Medicine.

“He was the first graduate of our CAATE accredited Athletic Training Residency Program (the eighth in the country) and remains an integral core faculty member of our program. Obtaining the Orthopedic Specialty Certification demonstrates that Chris has developed advanced skills in orthopedics as an Athletic Trainer. Those skills help him to support and enhance the quality of patient care provided by Dr. Avallone and his clinical team.”

Servian, a Kunkletown native who graduated from Pleasant Valley High School and East Stroudsburg University, is married to his high school sweetheart Caitlin. They have two young children.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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