Excelsior Orthopaedics’ female athletic trainers celebrate Figueroa’s addition to Bills athletic training staff
For the first time in Buffalo Bills history, a full-time female Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC) has joined the team. Marissa Figueroa joined the Bills athletic training staff in 2021 as an intern, and General Manager Brandon Beane said her familiarity with the team and great attitude made her a great fit to fill the position.
Athletic trainers are a critical care component of helping athletes on and off the field. They treat orthopaedic injuries or pains, and they can respond to an emergency medical situation, potentially saving someone’s life, which is exactly what happened in the case of Damar Hamlin last season.
We’re excited to announce we’ve hired Marissa Figueroa as our newest assistant athletic trainer.
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) May 11, 2023
The move to hire a full-time female ATC puts women in sports in the spotlight and is something Excelsior Orthopaedics ATCs are celebrating.
“Where else would you rather be than right here, right now? We know that feeling all too well as we chant that cheer at Bills home games. Well, this monumental day elicits that same feeling and more coming from a female Athletic Trainer,” says Mikala McCartney, MS, ATC. “There is no longer a ceiling that many women in sports face daily.”
McCartney, and outreach athletic trainer at Excelsior Orthopaedics, likes a particular Dolly Parton quote.
“’If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader,’” she referenced, thanking the new Bills ATC for leading the movement.
Excelsior Orthopaedics proudly employs more than 30 athletic trainers, about half of whom are women. They serve in different roles: Some are outreach ATCs, assigned to specific local schools and teams; some are clinical, meaning they work with patients who come to Excelsior; and others work in Durable Medical Equipment, helping patients get properly fitted for the gear they need to feel better and be safe after an injury or surgery.
Hannah Emerson, MS, ATC, NR-EMT and an Excelsior outreach athletic trainer, is also happy to see Figueroa’s addition to the Bills organization.
“Historically, we have seen that women in the athletic training profession are not able to reach that professional level solely based on their gender, regardless of their qualifications. Excited to see that the Bills are helping to pave the way and show that regardless of her gender, she is more than capable of doing the job,” Emerson said. “Even more special when it’s so close to home. One more thing to be proud of being a part of in WNY.”
Vicky Szymula DHS, ATC, CSCS, CKTP is a team leader and outreach athletic trainer at Excelsior.
“Seeing women excel within the field of Athletic Training and Sports Medicine is always a proud moment for me at a fellow female AT,” Szymula said. “Congratulations to Marissa and all the other female ATs who have been promoted within the NFL over the last few years.”
Check out the many ATCs of Excelsior Orthopaedics.