September Member Services E-Newsletter
posted on 09/02/2009

Issue: #16 September 2, 2009

H1N1 and the Flu

Every fall I remind countless number of young athletes how important it is to get vaccinated against the flu. There is something profoundly sad about watching a competitor work so hard to get to a pinnacle moment in their life, be it the Olympics, the National Championships or even just a regional meet only to watch it be derailed by a viral infection. There are countless reasons that people give as to why they don't get vaccinated. The only one with any real validity is an actual allergy to the vaccine. In the Emergency Room we always joke. "The only people who don't get vaccinated are those who have an allergy to the vaccine or those who have never had the flu." Because once you have the real will be first in line to get vaccinated the next year.

The confusion this year revolves around H1N1 or what we commonly call the swine flu. This is simply another highly contagious strain of influenza that is making its rounds. What concerns health care providers is the number of people that will become potentially infected. Remember H1N1 is on top of all the other flu cases we will see this year. Currently there does not seem to be any significant increase in death from H1N1 when compared to traditional influenza, but there certainly is a real reason for concern. Pandemics throughout history have the capability of killing millions of people. All it takes is a subtle mutation in the H1N1 virus or other flu viruses to significantly increase their capacity to be fatal. Will this occur, we just don't know.

There really is no good treatment for H1N1. Certain anti-virals such as Tamiflu have been used in the past as an adjunct therapy, but their use will be greatly restricted this year to the elderly, the very young and the very sick. This means you probably will not be getting a prescription for Tamiflu unless you fall critically ill. In most cases prevention will be your only alternative.

The Centers for Disease Control has numerous recommendations when it comes to preparedness for this pandemic.* How you as a club will respond will be a fluid response to the change in virulence of the virus and illness patterns in your own community. It will also reflect the state of panic (real, but most likely imagined) that your community will display. Some communities may come to a grinding halt. Some schools may face closures due to illness in faculty and children, some athletic competitions will be cancelled while others will be fine. What you can be certain of is this:You will have cases come through your doors, just like you have cases of Influenza A every year. The CDC recommended response for schools can easily be used to apply to the club gymnastics setting.

I hope this information will help to protect you and those in your charge and allow you to have a healthy flu season.

Written by Louis M. Profeta, MD, FACEP

Dr. Profeta is an Emergency Physician in Indianapolis and author of the critically acclaimed book "The Patient in Room Nine Says He's God." He is a former gymnast and frequent contributor to USA Gymnastics.

*see Safety Matters in this issue for more recommendations from the CDC.

2009-2010 Women's Rules & Policies Book Announcement

The 2009-2010 Women's Rules and Policies book has been placed online and may be viewed at the USA Gymnastics Women's Program webpage.

The printed version of the book will be available October 2009. Each Professional member may request one (1) copy of the printed rules and policies book. You may request your copy online, and it will be mailed once the book is made available.

H1N1 and the Flu

2009-2010 Women's Rules & Policies

Criminal Background Check Screening Anniversary

USA Gymnastics University Business College FOUNDATION courses

NCSI & USA Gymnastics Club Criminal Background Check Program

National Gymnastics Day - September 12, 2009

Safety Matters: Recommended Responses to the Flu for the 09/10 School Year


click course title to register

Safety Certification
Sep 12 - Baton Rouge, LA
Sep 13 - Fargo, ND
Sep 17 - Schaumburg, IL
Sep 19 - Butler, PA
Sep 20 - Schaumburg, IL
Sep 26 - Chandler, AZ
Oct 3 - Fairfield, NJ
Oct 8 - Auburn, WA
Oct 9 - State College, PA
Oct 18 - Zionsville, IN
Oct 22 - Virginia Beach, VA
Oct 25 - Hilliard, OH

Preschool Fundamentals Pt. 2: Hands on Training
Sep 20 - Schaumburg, IL
Oct 11 - Auburn, WA
Oct 22 - Virginia Beach, VA

** ** ** ** **

Regional Congresses
Region 5: Sept 18-20 Schaumburg, IL
Region 2: Oct 9-11 Seattle, WA
Region 7: Oct 23-25 Virginia Beach, VA

*please check the schedule online to verify course dates and times
Sign up today!
Criminal Background Check Screening Anniversary

November 2009 will mark the 2 year anniversary of the USA Gymnastics mandatory criminal background check screening program.

The criminal background check screening is valid for 2 years. Therefore, many, if not most, USA Gymnastics Professional members will be required to renew their criminal background check requirement at the end of 2009 and into 2010.

The member will log in using the same process as the original screening. Members will go to the Background Check portion of the USA Gymnastics website. Members will log in using their Professional membership number and password.

The cost of the criminal background check re-screening will begin at $21.00. But, unlike the first-time screening which searched the past 7 years of an individual's history, the re-check will only search the last 2 year of an individual's history. The decrease in the amount of years check will, for most, keep the cost of the background check screening at or near the $21.00 processing fee.

The criterion for which the criminal background check is searching will remain the same. Please visit the USA Gymnastics Criminal Background Check webpage to view USA Gymnastics complete background check policy and procedures.

As a reminder, effective August 1, 2009, USA Gymnastics is also requiring that all Introductory Coach members over the age of 18 complete the criminal background check screening process.

For any questions or concerns please contact:

USA Gymnastics Member Services Department
Phone Hours: Monday 12:30pm-5:30pm eastern daylight savings time
Tuesday - Friday 8:30am-5:30pm eastern daylight savings time
1-800-345-4719 toll free

New USA Gymnastics University Business College Courses Available NOW!

The Business College within USA Gymnastics University has expanded with the adoption of six new online business education courses from 3rd Level Consulting. These courses are specifically designed for Children's Activity Centers, including gymnastics clubs. These proven, progressive business education foundation courses will give your current and future Program Managers, Directors and other staff the necessary perspectives and tools to grow themselves and your business. It is recommended that all individuals progress through the courses in order. All courses are core requirements within the Business College of USA Gymnastics University.

Click the levels to view the outline for each course.

Start today! Learn more and register for these courses at the USA Gymnastics University FOUNDATION Business courses webpage. Please note that you MUST register through USA Gymnastics to receive USA Gymnastics University credits.

National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI) and USA Gymnastics Club Background Check Program

USA Gymnastics and the National Center for Safety Initiatives are proud to announce the USA Gymnastics Club Criminal Background Check Program.

USA Gymnastics clubs will now have the ability to complete the NCSI criminal background check screening program in their clubs at the same discounted rate that is offered to USA Gymnastics.

For more information on starting a criminal background check program in your club please contact NCSI at 866-833-7100 or by email at

Don't forget to mention discount code USAG-08 to ensure you receive the special negotiated USA Gymnastics club pricing.

So Don't Delay. Begin your Club Background Check Program Today!

National Gymnastics Day -- September 12, 2009

National Gymnastics Day is September 12, what are your plans?

Take a look at our National Gymnastics Day page for more ideas. In the past, clubs have held a community open-house, with team demos, fitness and gymnastics circuits, and a fitness challenge. Host a barbeque and ice cream social, network with other community organizations and have them donate items/services for a raffle, and organize a tour of your local Children's Miracle Network Hospital to see first-hand where the donations are going.

USA Gymnastics enjoys spotlighting our clubs, so please remember to send in photos from your National Gymnastics Day event, and we will feature you on our website or highlight your club in our magazines! Submit photos and your club's information to

If your gym does not have plans to celebrate, please send us a picture of you and your friends celebrating in a unique way, and we will post it online!


Safety Matters: New Edition of the Safety/Risk Management Handbook

The Centers for Disease Control offer the following guidelines to help you keep your club, business or office healthy during this flu season. Please visit the CDC website for more detailed information on each of the topics below.

  • Stay home when sick: Those with flu-like illness should stay home for at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever, or signs of a fever, without the use of fever-reducing medicines. They should stay home even if they are using anti-viral drugs.
  • Separate ill students and staff: Students and staff who appear to have flu-like illness should be sent to a room separate from others until they can be sent home. CDC recommends that they wear a surgical mask, if possible, and that those who care for ill students and staff wear protective gear such as a mask.
  • Practice hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette: The new recommendations emphasize the importance of the basic foundations of influenza prevention: stay home when sick, wash hands frequently with soap and water when possible, and cover noses and mouths with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or a shirt sleeve or elbow if no tissue is available).
  • Clean Routinely: School staff should routinely clean areas that students and staff touch often with the cleaners they typically use. Special cleaning with bleach and other non-detergent-based cleaners is not necessary.
  • Obtain early treatment of high-risk students and staff: People at high risk for influenza complications who become ill with influenza-like illness should speak with their health care provider as soon as possible. Early treatment with anti-viral medications is very important for people at high risk because it can prevent hospitalizations and deaths. People at high risk include those who are pregnant, have asthma or diabetes, have compromised immune systems, or have neuromuscular diseases.
  • Consideration of selective school dismissal: Although there are not many schools where all or most students are at high risk (for example, schools for medically fragile children or for pregnant students) a community might decide to dismiss such a school to better protect these high-risk students.

USA Gymnastics is a non-for-profit organization which is the sole national governing body (NGB) for the sport of gymnastics in the United States. Our mission is to increase public awareness of, and encourage participation in, all aspects of gymnastics, and to support athletes in their pursuit of competitive excellence.

Tell us what you think! We'd like to hear from you about what information you'd like to see in Member News. Contact us by clicking here.

| USA Gymnastics home | Past Member News | Contact Us | Member Services | Education | Events |