Vonnie Hitchcock, M.Ed., A.T.C., L.A.T., certified athletic trainer with Houston Healthcare Hospital and outreach athletic trainer for Northside High School, has been named the 2018 – 2019 Newell National Athletic Trainer of the Year.
Over 300 shared experiences from community members were received in support of Hitchcock’s regional nomination for the National Award presented by Middle Georgia Orthopaedics.
"I am beyond words,” Hitchcock said. "I prefer not to have the spotlight on me, but the love that has been shown to me during this process has been very humbling and honoring. I am blessed to work for Houston Healthcare at Northside High School with so many amazing coaches, administrators and of course the many talented athletes. They are my world. And you know this is not just me this is, for our whole athletic trainer’s team at Houston Healthcare. They cover their high schools, put in the sweat and hard work with their time, talent and skills. But again I am just so grateful for this honor.”
Hitchcock received her bachelor’s of science degree in human movement studies from Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama, where she went on to earn her master’s of education degree in exercise physiology. She has been involved in the sports medicine community for over 25 years, caring for injured athletes and educating future athletic trainers through her work. Hitchcock started working with Northside High School’s athletic program in November 2001.
Hitchcock’s experience includes during her undergraduate years at Auburn University she was the women’s gymnastics team’s trainer as well as the men and women’s track team. During her graduate years, she was the first female trainer to travel with Auburn University’s baseball team. In 1992, she became certified and began working at Piedmont Sports Medicine in Macon, where she worked there until October 2001. Then in November of 2001 she was hired on to Houston Healthcare and began covering Northside High School.
Houston Healthcare provides the athletic trainers to the Houston County School System at no cost. Perry Hospital Administrator and overseer of the athletic trainers, David Campbell said each trainer like Hitchcock is responsible for all sports such as football, softball, baseball, basketball, soccer, swimming, golf, tennis, wrestling, cross country, volleyball and track and field.
"Houston Healthcare has offered this program for well over 25 years,” Campbell said. "With Vonnie receiving this recognition it is well deserved. She is phenomenal and brings a different measure to this career with her caring attitude and passion.”