Whittney Hays, MA, ATC
Athletic Trainer, The University of Kansas Health System
The University of Kansas Health System is the athletic training provider of Shawnee Mission South High School. We provide athletic trainers to 27 high schools and middle schools in the Shawnee Mission, Blue Valley, De Soto, and Lansing school districts. Learn more about our Sports Medicine and Performance Center at kansashealthsystem.com/sportsmedicine.
Whittney Hays joined The University of Kansas Health System Sports Medicine and Performance Center in December 2017. She is currently the athletic trainer for Shawnee Mission South High School.
Hays is an integral part of the athletic program at Shawnee Mission South. In her role as athletic trainer, she works closely with coaches and parents to ensure athletes are prepared for practice and competition and that they remain safe and injury-free.
“My role in the high school can have a great impact on these young athletes,” said Hays. “I’m their first defense when it comes to injury and overall safety. Not every school is fortunate enough to have an athletic trainer. I understand the important role I have in keeping kids safe and educating them in several areas to promote a lifetime of health and wellness.”
Originally from Kansas City, Hays was a three-sport athlete at North Kansas City High School, competing in volleyball, basketball and track and field. With a passion for sports and an interest in pursuing a career in the healthcare field, Findley knew that sports medicine was what she wanted to do.
Following high school, she attended the University of Central Missouri, graduating with a degree in athletic training in 2010. She completed her master’s degree just one year later, earning a Master of Arts in Teaching – Health Education from East Carolina University in 2011.
While at East Carolina she began her hands-on experience, serving as the athletic trainer at North Pitt High School in Greenville, North Carolina, and as a graduate assistant at ECU.
Since finishing her education, Hays has gained additional experience as a certified athletic trainer, holding positions with the Student-Athlete Foundation of Kansas and Glendale Raptors (in Colorado). She also has extensive experience as a high school athletic trainer in our area, serving in the role at Leavenworth, Lee’s Summit West, West Platte and Northeast high schools.
In her position with the Sports Medicine and Performance Center, Hays works to provide quality care for the Shawnee Mission South student-athletes by caring for, evaluating and rehabilitating injuries that occur during practices or games. She also works to help student-athletes prevent injuries through a variety of ways including education, sports nutrition and general guidance.
“Forming relationships with the students and coaches is the best part of the job,” said Hays. “It creates a fun and positive environment and reminds me why I love being an athletic trainer at the secondary level.”
A member of the National Athletic Trainers Association and the Kansas City Athletic Trainers Society, Hays enjoys kickboxing, photography and caring for her three pets: Zooey, Simon and Maverick.