Former Idaho Trainer Files Claim Against Medicine Board

May 18, 2009

A former Boise State University, Idaho, athletic trainer has filed a legal claim against the Idaho Board of Medicine alleging she was discriminated against because of her gender and wrongfully punished.

In a May 8 claim notice sent to the board, Cynthia Satterfield said the board singled her out for blame, bypassing her male supervisors, after the university athletic department hired an unlicensed trainer in July 2007.

In the tort claim, a precursor to a lawsuit, Satterfield alleges Boise State team physician Dr. George Wade, athletic director Gene Bleymaier and former head athletic trainer Gary Craner allowed the trainer to practice without a license.

Craner was responsible for hiring athletic trainers and Bleymaier should have known that “from time to time, he hired unlicensed athletic trainers,” the claim said. Satterfield also alleges 22 of the 24 athletic trainers the university has hired during the past eight years practiced without registration or license in Idaho for an average of 10 months each.

“Males who had larger roles than she did were not prosecuted by the Board of Medicine,” Bill Thomas, the Boise attorney representing Satterfield, told The Associated Press.

The university declined to comment on the claim because of pending litigation.

Nancy Kerr, executive director of the state Board of Medicine, signed a complaint against Satterfield in January, accusing her of unprofessional conduct and seeking disciplinary action to suspend, restrict or revoke her license.

Satterfield was registered 13 years ago to practice athletic training in Idaho and acted as supervising athletic trainer at Boise State University from June 2007 to August 2008, according to the medicine board’s complaint.

During that time, she supervised five unlicensed athletic trainers and did not report them, the complaint said.

Satterfield did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

In her claim, Satterfield contends the state agency picked the only female in the athletic training administrative chain — and the lowest ranked — for punishment.

She is seeking in excess of $500,000 in damages.

Satterfield is the second former Boise State employee to allege gender played a role in termination from the athletic department. A former assistant track coach is suing the school, another coach and the head of the athletics department, alleging they discriminated against her because she is a woman.

In the lawsuit filed in September, Amy Christoffersen said she was wrongly demoted to an insurance coordinator post within the athletic department in 2007 and then fired earlier this year.

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