KDMC’s Lauren Self named Mississippi Athletic Trainer of the Year

Published 9:31 am Thursday, June 15, 2023

BROOKHAVEN — Lauren Self, Athletic Training Supervisor and Performance Center Coordinator at King’s Daughter Medical Center, was named the Athletic Trainer of the Year by the Mississippi Athletic Trainer Association this month. She has served the local community with KDMC for nine years but is originally from Birmingham, Alabama. 

A University of West Alabama alumnus, she proudly displays a pennant on her office door. She went to graduate school at Alabama A&M University for two years before taking a job at Alcorn State University as the Head Athletic Trainer from 2011 to 2014. Self left the position in 2014 to take a job as an Outreach High School Athletic Trainer from 2014 to 2016. 

In 2016 to 2021, Self was the Head Athletic Trainer for Co-Lin Community College and moved to her current role in 2021. She is a member of the National Athletic Trainer Association, the Southeastern Athletic Trainer Association, the Mississippi Athletic Trainer Association where she serves as secretary, and the National Board for Certification in the Orthopedic Specialties. She is also involved in the Mississippi Human Rights Campaign. 

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“It was really humbling. I knew about the award a few months ago but it was still pretty surprising,”  Self said. “I’m glad I had some time to digest it before the award ceremony. This is a great community. It is really small but everyone knows each other. You can go from each county school and they know each other. It is just a good family atmosphere.”  

She took a sports medicine class in high school and decided it was what she wanted to do.

KDMC services Co-Lin Community College, Bogue Chitto, West Lincoln, Loyd Star, Brookhaven High School, Brookhaven Academy, Enterprise, Wesson and Lawerence County in sports medicine. Self said she would like to see their services grow and include more schools.

Franklin County High School and other schools south of Brookahven were places she hoped to expand to. KDMC has sports surgeons back in Brookhaven thanks to Capital Orthopedic. 

Her schedule changes on a daily basis. The Performance Center oversees classes for adults and works with teams. Self has to organize meetings, meet with coaches and athletes. It is a little bit of everything which she likes because she likes to be busy.

Her staff is fairly young with the average age around 30. They work hard, get along and make a good team, she said. KDMC’s athletic training staff is pretty flexible and can help cover what needs to be covered. Self said she doesn’t think there is anything else she would want to do. 

“I love helping people and seeing people return to playing sports. I like seeing kids complete their recovery process,” Self said. “I had a football player at Co-Lin who had several major surgeries. They got hurt about every season and are now drafted in the NFL and we still talk. The relationships you build with the kids even after they leave is special.” 

When she isn’t working at KDMC, Self is volunteering with the Brookhaven Chamber of Commerce or serving as a guest speaker. She has two nieces and likes to spend time with them. Her assistant athletic trainer has a daughter who is like a niece and she has a granddaughter, Self said. 

The beach and lake are her favorite places to go relax and she also enjoys playing golf although she doesn’t play as much golf as she once did. 

“I played golf in high school. I was good when I could play 36 holes every other day. I still like to golf but don’t play as much as I used to,” Self said. “I like the beach. We have a family house at Smith Lake and my sister lives in Orange Beach, Alabama.”