- Our Staff
James Vailas, MD
Safe Sports Network Medical Director
Education: Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, NH.
Residency: George Washington University Medical Center; Washington, D.C.
Fellowship: Kerlan-Jobe Sports Medicine, Los Angeles, CA
Board Certified: Orthopedic Surgery
Team physicians and physician assistants provided by New Hampshire Orthopedic Center. Visit them at www.nhoc.com
Safe Sports Network Staff
Laura C. Decoster, ATC, NHLAT
NHMI Executive Director
Education: BS, University of New Hampshire, 1984
Experience: Laura is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire. She runs the longest-standing post-professional education program for athletic trainers (NHMI’s Integrated Clinical Sports Medicine Residency) and provides continuing education for musculoskeletal health care professionals. She is an active sports medicine researcher with more than 25 peer-reviewed publications primarily in the area of emergency management of football equipment. Laura has also contributed to the field of athletic training on local and regional levels and has served as the Vice Chair of the NH Council on Sport-Related Concussion. Her contributions to the field have been recognized with several awards including the 2008 NH Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer, the 2011 NATA Award for Continuing Education Excellence and the 2017 NATA Athletic Trainer Service Award.
Director, Safe Sports Network
Education: BS, Ithaca College, Summa Cum Laude, 1999; RN, Manchester Community College, Cum Laude, 2012.
Experience: Amy participated in NHMI's residency (then "fellowship") after graduating from Ithaca in 1999. Since then she has worked in various settings in the Greater Manchester area, from high school to professional athletes. She worked as the head athletic trainer and health officer at Trinity High School for over a decade, where she was active in the school community as a Campus Activity Advisor. Amy also served on the Greater Manchester Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors from 2001 to 2012. She recently completed a stint on the NH Athletic Trainers Governing Board. Amy has presented about important sports medicine topics at the local and national level. She was recently recognized for her contributions to the profession with the 2017 New Hampshire Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award.
Assistant Director, Safe Sports Network
Education: BS in Athletic Training, University of New England, 2008; MS in Athletic Training Education, California University of Pennsylvania, 2009
Experience: Eric is the athletic trainer at Bedford High School. When he's not at BHS, Eric is in the NHMI office helping Safe Sports run smoothly in his role as the Assistant Director of Safe Sports Network.
Education: BS in Sports Medicine and Health Education, Minor in Psychology, Plymouth State, 1991
Experience: Chip is the athletic trainer at Campbell High School. Chip has been a certified athletic trainer for over 20 years. He likes to ski, mountain bike and kayak.
Education: MS in Athletic Training, Plymouth State University, 2014; BA in Psychology, University of Albany, 2008.
Experience: Sandy is the athletic trainer at Memorial High School. She was previously employed as the Assistant Athletic Trainer at Mount Holyoke College. In her spare time, she loves outdoor activities like kayaking and mountain biking. In addition to her athletic training duties, Sandy is the Assistant Director of NHMI's continuing education program.
Education: BS in Athletic Training, Florida Southern College, 2015
Experience: Kailah is the athletic trainer at Bishop Brady High School. When she is not at Bishop Brady, she enjoys relaxing and spending time with her family.
Education: BS in Exercise & Sports Sciences
with concentration in Athletic Training, Colby-Sawyer College, 2003.
Experience: Dave is the athletic trainer at Central High School in Manchester. In addition to his athletic training duties, Dave is responsibile for NHMI/Safe Sports Social Media. He is an avid runner and has completed two marathons.
Education: BS in Athletic Training, Endicott College, 2015
Experience: Katelyn is the athletic trainer at Bishop Guertin High School. After completing the NHMI residency in 2016, Katelyn was the project manager for the Safe Sports Network Middle School Sports Safety Infrastructure project. She was instrumental in creating and maintaining this pilot project. When she is not at school, she loves to stay active and play any sport she can.
Education: BS in Athletic Training, University of New Hampshire, 2011.
Experience: Bethany is the athletic trainer at Goffstown High School. She is originally from NH and loves everything this state has to offer. She loves the change in seasons, getting out on the slopes as much as she can throughout the winter and on the beach whenever possible in the summer.
Charlene has been an important member of the NHMI/Safe Sports team for many years. When she's not at work, her first choice place to be is playing with her dog (or any dog!!), on the golf course, or throwing a bowl on the pottery wheel
NHMI's Integrated Clinical Sports Medicine Residency recruits top candidates from around the country for this unique one-year opportunity. Included in their experience is providing professional sports medicine care at our schools and drop-in clinic in service to the community.
Melissa Hango, ATC, NHLAT
Education: BS, Norwich University, 2018
Melissa is from Berkshire, Vermont and graduated from Norwich University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Athletic Training in May 2018. At Norwich, some of Melissa's favorite memories included being a four-year member of the Norwich Women's Cross-Country Team and completing a summer research fellowship. She is looking forward to being immersed in a variety of amazing opportunities to help her grow as a clinician, and is particularly excited to complete her clinical rotations and learn from different healthcare professionals. Being from rural Vermont, Melissa is also eager to explore Manchester. In her spare time, she enjoys running, hiking, and skiing.Melissa and Erin collaborate to cover West High School and the Safe Sports Drop-in Network Clinic.
Erin Baker ATC, NHLAT
Education: BA, University of North Carolina Wilmington, 2018
Erin is from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware and graduated from the University of North Carolina Wilmington in May 2018 with a Bachelor's of Arts in Athletic Training. She hopes to continue her athletic training success at NHMI and is ready for all the challenges and experiences the residency has to offer. She is especially excited about exploring the different healthcare professions through the clinical experiences, as well as gaining exposure working in the drop-in clinic and at West High School. She is also looking forward to exploring New Hampshire and Boston in her free time. Erin is currently unsure about what her future career holds, but she is sure that the NHMI Athletic Training Residency will lead her in the right direction!Melissa and Erin collaborate to cover West High School and the Safe Sports Drop-in Network Clinic.