Beacon athletic trainer Lauren Burish selected for top national honors
Beacon Health certified athletic trainer Lauren Burish has been selected as the 2023 Athletic Trainer of the Year. The announcement was made Friday by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.
Burish currently serves as assistant athletic trainer at Indiana University South Bend.
“Lauren is one of the most passionate, hard-working, intelligent and caring athletic trainers that I have ever worked with,” said Kara Werner-Sanders, Beacon’s head athletic trainer at IU South Bend. “To say she is a team player is an understatement. Athletes and coaches respect and trust her as she has proven to be a top-notch athletic trainer and human being.”
Burish is known for her aptitude for research, enabling her to lead several committee at Beacon Health and serve as the “go-to person” for IU South Bend during the pandemic, including serving on its Restart Athletics Committee. She is a key contributor for the NAIA ATA Research & Education Committee and IU South Bend’s Emergency Planning Committee.
The NAIA National Administrative Council has enacted several healthcare-related policies that directly relied on Burish’s research, including policies on heat, cold and medical coverage. Burish also serves on the Indiana Athletic Trainers Association’s scholarship committee, creating opportunities to grow the profession.
In her “free time,” Burish is always willing to guest lecture in the College of Health Sciences. Burish also was solely responsible for developing an IU South Bend Athletic Training Therapy Dog Program, putting in countless hours drafting policy and getting approvals and undergoing training to become a handler. The program allows student-athletes to spend time with Tucker, a service dog, during treatments or injury and provides comfort during these difficult times. The program is a campus favorite, and has made notable differences in students’ experience and mental health. Imagining, developing and implementing this program for scratch for the sole benefit of IU South Bend student-athletes is an excellent example of the kind of person Burish is.
“I believe that Lauren is an up-and-coming star in the athletic training profession, and I have no doubt that one day she will be leading an organization, athletic training program, or national or state committee,” Werner-Sanders said. “I can only imagine the things she will accomplish with her drive and willingness to learn.”
In recognition of her talent and achievements, Burish was awarded the prestigious NATA ICSM Staff Athletic Trainer of the Year in 2021, an award given to one athletic trainer each year across all of college athletics.