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CHS Faculty Wins NATA Dissertation of the Year

Dr. Patrick McKeon, a UK College of Health Sciences professor, has been awarded the National Athletic Trainer’s Association Research & Education Foundation (NATAREF) Doctoral Dissertation Award.  He will be presented with the honor in June at the Athletic Training National Convention in San Antonio, Texas.

The NATAREF Doctoral Dissertation Award recognizes doctoral students who advance the athletic training profession through research and education.  McKeon was nominated for the honor by other athletic training professors, researchers and professionals.

“I am honored to be recognized by my peers and to know that my work has been well received,” said McKeon.  “My dissertation combines aspects of lab, clinical practice and patient values in one study.”

Recipients for the NATAREF Dissertation Award are selected based on the following criteria:  quality of study and dissertation, impact and relevance to athletic training and health care of the physically active and potential for future research. 

McKeon’s doctoral research set out to determine if a four-week period of balance training would improve function in adults with chronic ankle instability (CAI). McKeon conducted his study on 31 young adults and concluded that four weeks of balance training does, in fact, improve “self-reported function, static postural control and dynamic postural control.”

McKeon’s main focus is to advance the future of the athletic training profession, stating that what means the most to him is that “the development of a new idea based on motor control theory and clinical experience can give a brand new approach to clinical research and, as a result, clinical practice.”

To find out more about the Athletic Training Division at the UK College of Health Sciences, visit

Photo: Pat McKeon

Dr. Patrick McKeon has been given the National Athletic Trainer's Association Research and Education Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Award.

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