Faculty Focus: Michael McKenney
College of Nursing and Health Care Professions
Title: Assistant Professor/Clinical Education Coordinator
Years at GCU: 8 as a member of the full-time faculty
Academic degrees: M.S., ATC, A.T., CSCS
Faculty scholarship (publications, scholarly presentations, fellowships, etc.):
● Sports Medicine Internship at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, Chula Vista, Calif., 2015; author of Question 26, “Quick Questions in the Shoulder, Expert Advice in Sports Medicine,” Slack Inc., pages 139-141, 2015
● Professional Education Committee Chair for the Arizona Athletic Trainers’ Association (AzATA); featured speaker at Arizona Athletic Trainers’ symposiums:
“Advanced Joint Mobilization of the Lower Extremity,” July 2008
“Preventative Screening strategies for Overhead Throwing Athletes,” February 2009
“Evaluation and Treatment of the Overhead Athlete’s Shoulder,” July 2010
“Action Sports Medicine,” February 2020
● NATA Annual Symposium
Michael McKenney and Christina Saffran. (2019). Athletic Training and Medical Services at Extreme Sports Events
Notable employment in your field:
● 2012-present: Grand Canyon University
- Assistant Professor and Clinical Coordinator for the Athletic Training Program
- Clinical Athletic Trainer assisting with various NCAA and club sports
● 2010-present: Owner of Summit Athletics, high performance health care provider for elite athletes:
- Team USA at the Summer Paralympic Games, Rio De Janeiro, 2016
- United States Olympic Committee Olympic Trials and Competitions, Chula Vista, Calif., 2015-16
- UCI BMX World Championships; Medellin, Columbia, 2016′ Rock Hill, S.C., 2017; Baku, Azerbaijan, 2018; Heusden-Zolder, Belgium, 2019
- ESPN Summer X Games; Austin, Texas, 2016; Minneapolis, 2017, 2018, 2019
- ESPN Winter X Games; Aspen, Colo., 2020
- USA Volleyball U16 High performance camp, Tempe, 2017
2016-present: NFL ATC Injury Spotter, Phoenix
What are you most passionate about in your field?
In a patient-centered approach to sports health care, I am most passionate about treating the athlete and not just the injury during the management and rehabilitation of athletics-related injury and illnesses. I strive to provide the same level of high quality health care to youth, high school and adult athletes as I do to professional and elite Olympic athletes.
What aspect of your teaching style is the most distinctive and/or memorable?
What I like most about teaching is the opportunity to provide the wisdom I have gained through experience and help younger minds progress the field of sports medicine. I try and make instruction formative and engaging through establishing relevance to practical application and skill development. I also reiterate simple phrases that capture the essence of principles related to rehabilitation and sports health care. Notable examples include “Assess, don’t guess,” “Identify and treat the cause, that will lead to the cure,” and “Treat the person, not just the pathology.”
What do you like to do for fun in your spare time?
I enjoy my family, traveling, playing sports, camping, mountain biking, hiking and serving at my church. I enjoy reading the Bible, interesting biographies, and current concepts in sports medicine. I have traveled, as a sports health care provider, throughout North and South America, Europe and the Middle East.
What is something interesting about you that most people don’t know?
I grew up in a trailer park in Michigan where most people don’t even graduate high school, let alone go to college. (Think the movie “8 Mile,” and that about sums it up.) However, God intervened in my life and has blessed me in ways I never dreamed possible. Titus 3:5 reads, “God saved me, not because of righteous things I had done, but because of His mercy.” I have a loving family and incredible church, and I work with amazing people at a Christian university where I have the privilege of inspiring and leading the next generation of my profession. I stand in agreement with the Apostle Paul when I say, “I am what I am by the Grace of God.” 1 Cor 15:10.