April 10, 2023 – Henry Schein Medical announced Gina Harris, Head Athletic Trainer at Bellport High School in Brookhaven, New York, as the winner of the third annual Henry Schein Medical Athletics and Schools Rising Star Award. The award celebrates emerging athletic trainers with one to five years of experience in the Sports Medicine industry.
In honor of National Athletic Training Month observed in March, the award recognizes recently graduated athletic trainers who have not yet reached a senior chief-level position but have a strong career trajectory with the potential of forward advancement and appointment at the highest levels of the profession. The Rising Star Award program began in 2021 with winner Darlene Eckhardt, Head Athletic Trainer at the Buffalo Beauts, a professional women’s ice hockey team, becoming Henry Schein’s first Rising Star. In 2022, Caitlin Hart, Head Athletic Trainer at Newberry High School in Newberry, South Carolina, received the recognition.
From running rehabilitation programs out of the high school’s athletic training room, to attending doctors’ appointments with athletes, or purchasing food for students who may not have the means to access healthy options, this year’s Rising Star Award winner, Gina Harris, was honored for being the foundation of athletics at Bellport High School. She hosts Sunday recovery for athletes, helping to ensure students get back in the game as soon as possible, and also established a cardiac screening day for four hundred athletes, helping to detect cardiac abnormalities. Additionally, Harris added a work-based learning program to the high school, where students can shadow her and learn about the athletic training profession.
Harris was among the finalists who demonstrated ongoing achievements and contributions to their institutions and the profession.
The finalists were nominated by their peers and selected by a Recognition Committee that included athletic trainers and industry experts in the field. Together, the committee members have experience from an athletic training perspective of a broadly diverse size, type, and geographic distribution.