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The 12th Annual Saint Louis University Athletic Training Speakers Series and Recognition Ceremony Announces its Featured Speaker for 2023

The Saint Louis University (SLU) Athletic Training Program recently announced Kysha Harriell, Ph.D., LAT, ATC, as the featured speaker for the annual SLU Athletic Training Speaker Series and Recognition Ceremony this spring. The event is presented by the SLU chapter of Iota Tau Alpha, the national Athletic Training honor society; SLU Athletic Training Society (SLATS); and SLU Student Government Association.

AT Speaker Series Flyer
Dr. Kysha Harriell was recently announced as the speaker at the 2023 Athletic Training Speaker Series and Recognition Ceremony.

Dr. Harriell serves as the University of Miami’s Sr. Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education; Associate Dean of Race, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion; and as a Clinical Professor of Kinesiology and Sport Sciences. Dr. Harriell’s speaker series presentation, Reducing Health Disparities: The Importance of Culture and Communication, will take place Monday, February 20, 2023 at 7:00 PM in the Health Sciences Education Union auditorium on SLU’s medical campus.

Before joining the Department of Kinesiology & Sports Sciences, Dr. Harriell worked in the University of Miami's Athletic Department from 1997-2005 as an athletic trainer with the university's athletic teams. She received her master's degrees in Sports Medicine and Sports Administration from the University of Miami and her Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology. Dr. Harriell is involved in numerous research projects on cultural competency, patient values, women's health, and health and medical conditions that affect ethnically diverse individuals. She is the former national Chair of the ethnic diversity advisory committee for the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA). Currently, she is a Board Member of the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE).

Dr. Harriell discussed how she was honored to have the opportunity to speak with a young, enthusiastic audience hoping to make a difference.

“It is exciting to present and talk with future health care professionals,” Dr. Harriell said. “They tend to have so much passion and enthusiasm about the future, and I get to talk to them about a very important topic to hopefully plant a seed about how they can do some seemingly small things that will make a huge difference in making patients feel heard, valued and respected.”

Dr. Harriell went on to explain how she hoped the audience would take away the importance of patient-centered care from her presentation. 

“I hope the audience takes away a very simple message: treat the patient, not the disease or condition,” Dr. Harriell said. “Many healthcare students are eager to diagnose the injury or to treat the condition that they often forget that each patient is unique and has individual values, social conditions, personal experiences and preferences that will influence how they want and need to be treated.”

After the speaker, there will be a panel discussion expanding upon the topics addressed by the keynote speaker. The panel will include: Destinee Grove, MS, LAT, ATC, East St. Louis High School Head Athletic Trainer; Rabia Rahman, Ph.D., RD, LD, Interim Chair of the SLU Nutrition and Dietetics department; and Enzo Okpoye, current SLU student and member of the SLU Men’s Soccer team.

DCHS Vice Dean and Athletic Training Program Director Anthony Breitbach, Ph.D., ATC, FASAHP, FNAP, is excited that an esteemed speaker such as Dr. Harriell will be able to address attendees on a topic as important as reducing health disparities.

“Dr. Harriell is an outstanding colleague whose passion for and expertise in this area is widely valued across the athletic training,” Dr. Breitbach said. “She is truly a leader for cultural competence and social justice across the health professions.”

The 12th Annual Athletic Training Speaker Series and Recognition Ceremony, supported by the SLU Student Government Association, is free of charge and open to the public. In addition to the presentation, the event will also include the induction ceremony of SLU’s Alpha Iota Chapter of Iota Tau Alpha and recognition of the program scholarship recipients.

For more information, call (314) 977-8561 or email

About SLU’s Doisy College of Health Sciences:

The Doisy College of Health Sciences has provided students with the tools and education to become well-prepared healthcare professionals since 1929. The Doisy College of Health Sciences offers healthcare education at the baccalaureate, master’s, doctoral and professional levels in a variety of health-related fields.

Saint Louis University is a Catholic, Jesuit institution that values academic excellence, life-changing research, compassionate health care, and a strong commitment to faith and service. Founded in 1818, the University fosters the intellectual and character development of nearly 13,000 students on two campuses in St. Louis and Madrid, Spain. Building on a legacy of more than 200 years, Saint Louis University continues to move forward with an unwavering commitment to a higher purpose, a greater good.