Emerging Settings in Athletic Training: International Missionary & Athletic Trainer

Name: Marissa Yorgey, MS, LAT, ATC

Organization: Faith Academy, via Ethnos360

Job: International Missionary & Athletic Trainer

Location: Manila, Philippines

Our third athletic trainer in our National Athletic Training Month 2022 series on Emerging Settings in Athletic Training features Marissa Yorgey, MS, LAT, ATC. Marissa is a 2015 grad of Cedarville University and holds an MS degree from Indiana State University. She previously worked as a Graduate Assistant Athletic Trainer through Union Hospital/Indiana State at West Vigo High School and as an athletic trainer at Linn-Marr High School in Marion, Iowa, near Cedar Rapids. 

In August 2021, Marissa set off on a new adventure. She moved to the Philippines to work at Faith Academy, an international high school located in Manila. “I found this position through a mission organization called Ethnos360. I raise my own funds to live and work here so that others can come to know about the gospel of Jesus Christ, and to provide my services as an athletic trainer to an unreached population”, said Marissa. Offering athletic training services to an unreached population is one of Marissa’s favorite things about her job. She said, “So far, my favorite thing has been using my skills to evaluate and diagnose injuries, and seeing people’s faces light up that I can do that instead of them trying to figure out how to get to a doctor. Most people here have never encountered anyone with my skill set.”

Marissa’s job has not come without its own unique challenges. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, she has not been allowed to have face-to-face classes or sports for the high school students. However, that has recently changed, so she is gearing up to begin sports again. “I have been working on policies and procedures because I am the first athletic trainer here. It’s been difficult to write an EAP. Here, there is no 911 and no ambulance to come in case of an emergency. My policies and procedures depend on communication and self-transport in a van. I’m used to having lots of resources and support at my fingertips, but here I’m kind of an island. I will be doing a lot more emergency care and rehab after surgeries than I was used to in the U.S.”

As for advice on how to get into international mission work and international athletic training, Marissa says, “Just go for it! The world needs more athletic trainers. Find groups on Twitter and Facebook. Start following others who do international athletic training. Hopefully, doors will open again for more international travel and internships to practice overseas. Lots of summer trips exist to get you experience and help you dip your toes in the pool of international athletic training.” 

If you’re interested in supporting Marissa’s mission work or learning more about international athletic training, please visit https://ethnos360.org/missionaries/marissa-yorgey, or you can email her at marissa_yorgey@ntm.org 

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