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In 1991, approximately 21 000 student athletes were actively participating in organized athletics in Hawaii's 61 (38 public and 23 private) secondary schools. Of the 61 schools, only 5 (all private) employed full-time, NATABOC-certified athletic trainers (ATCs) to facilitate the sports health care of their respective student athletes. In an attempt to convince the state legislature that providing funding to hire ATCs was a primary health and safety issue in the state, a community-based educational platform was established and a twofold needs-assessment study was implemented statewide. The educational platform was aimed at parents, coaches, athletic directors, and school administrators. The needs-assessment studies consisted of a 30-question survey on the current practices of sports health care and a year-long injury surveillance survey within the 38 public secondary schools. There were significant differences between the public and private schools with respect to the practice of sports health care. The public school student athletes demonstrated a normative incidence of injury rate. These findings definitively quantified and qualified the need to hire ATCs in the public secondary schools. In July of 1993, the State of Hawaii funded a 2-year athletic training pilot program for approximately $1.2 million, following an extensive lobbying effort and media campaign.