On November 18, the College of Health and Human Services will host the 2021 Health and Human Services Hero Awards to recognize individuals who are making a bold difference right here in the Central Valley. We will highlight the ten honorees in our Heroes Blog Series.
Name: James “Andy” Taylor
Occupation: Athletic Trainer, Fresno City College and Owner, Central Valley Athletic Training Services
Nominated by: Central California Sports Science Institute
Andy Taylor believes that all student-athletes should have access to a trained medical professional at school, in order to receive care in case of injury. While California may be last in the nation with the number of athletic trainers in high schools, Taylor is on a mission to change that statistic in the San Joaquin Valley.
An Arkansas native, Taylor started his college career at the University of New Mexico, but later moved to Fresno with his wife after the birth of their daughter. He transferred to Fresno State to finish up his bachelor’s degree in athletic training and ultimately returned for his master’s degree in sport administration. He stayed local upon graduation, working at various Central Valley high schools before pursuing his current role as an athletic trainer at Fresno City College.
He remains connected with Fresno State through the Central California Sports Science Institute, where he attends monthly meet ups with others athletic training professionals in an effort to exchange ideas and share knowledge on how to progress sports medicine forward through advocacy and research.
His impact in the field was so great that Taylor was later hired to work alongside sports medicine orthopaedic surgeons at Hanford Medical Pavilion (in partnership with Adventist Health) to create a program that offered sports physicals to student-athletes and information to parents about local network providers who assist with sports injuries. However, when the surgeon left Adventist Health, company priorities turned elsewhere.
Undeterred and knowing that there was still a need in rural communities, Taylor founded Central Valley Athletic Training Services, Inc. to bridge the gap. The organization connects local schools with athletic trainers in the field, to provide appropriate athletic health care services to student-athletes in areas of need. While his passion is in this area, it is important to note that Taylor’s contributions also extend far beyond the sports world.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Taylor did not hesitate to offer help in any way he could. Since March 2020, he has helped to facilitate the administration of over 100,000 COVID tests and 70,000 COVID vaccines to California residents. Aside from helping his community, Taylor has also served our country, with 20 years of service in the military, including time as a medic. He is currently commissioned as a personnel officer.
“When giving back to the community in this way, I am leaving my own legacy as a Fresno State alumnus,” Taylor said.
The 2021 Health and Human Services Hero Awards, which celebrates heroes from each of the seven departments, as well as centers and institutes within our college, will be held virtually this year. For more information on the event, contact Beth Wilkinson at firstname.lastname@example.org.