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Nashville, Tenn. --- The Tennessee Athletic Trainers' Society (TATS) presented Tennessee State University's Associate Head Athletic Trainer Patrice Elder with the Backbone of the Year Award at the TATS Annual Awards Banquet on Sunday, January 15 at Baptist Hospital.

The Backbone Award is given to individuals whose commitment and enthusiasm exemplifies the unselfish loyalty to their respective programs, staff and athletes. The professional dedication and personal sacrifice of these individuals allows those with supervisory responsibilities to better meet their obligations.

"In the years that I have known Patrice, she has strived to be the most professional that she can be," said Head Athletic Trainer Monroe Abram. "Her work has led to improvements in our department and we appreciate her passion for the profession.  As Patrice continues on in her career I hope she realizes that her hard work and efforts don't go unnoticed."

Elder has served in her current capacity with the TSU athletic training staff since 2007. Her primary responsibilities include providing treatment for football, track and field as well as assisting with other sports. In addition to her duties as a trainer, Elder is also a professor in the university's Human Performance and Sports Sciences (HPSS) department.  

Elder, a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, serves as the assistant faculty leader for Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). In addition, Elder is a National Athletic Trainer Board of Certification Home Study Reviewer.

"It is a blessing and an honor to receive this award from the Tennessee Athletic Trainers Society," commented Elder.  "I was happy to be nominated by my supervisor Monroe Abram and then selected by my peers.  I thank God for the opportunity to represent Tennessee State University."

TATS, the organization of the National Athletic Trainer's Association, is a non-profit organization comprised of over 650 athletic trainers across Tennessee. Each member is a nationally and state licensed health care provider regulated by the state of Tennessee board of Medical Examiners.    

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