Florida Veteran Health Heroes

JAY OSTIA, MS, LAT, ATC As a veteran of the United States Marine Corps Reserve, Mr. Jay Ostia successfully integrated his passion for art into his vocation as an athletic trainer and successful business owner. Mr. Ostia credits his service in the Marine Reserve for teaching him how to set goals, always be prepared, resist complacency, and rely on community during times of adversity. Mr. Ostia never expected to accept a career in health care. In fact, his passion is art. Still, due to his preparation in his college’s ROTC program, Mr. Ostia had also considered becoming a military officer. So, taking a leap of faith and a leave of absence from art school, Mr. Ostia enlisted in the Marine Reserve in 2012. While preparing for the various fitness demands of the Marines, Mr. Ostia became interested in athletic training due to its focus on preparing the mind, body, and spirit. When he saw people wearing Temple University athletic training apparel, he researched the program, applied, and began exploring sports medicine and athletic training. In his six years of service, Mr. Ostia honed his leadership skills and developed the mental toughness that prepared him for challenges in his health care career. He shared that field operations taught him that “nothing is ever set in stone. We try to plan and be proactive, but you understand things can change at any moment. You have to think about the ramifications for the future—later on down the road. If you try to live in that comfort, you get complacent. They say in the military that complacency kills.” Recalling one moment early in his career as a graduate assistant sideline athletic trainer, Mr. Ostia shared when one of his high school players went down: “He was paralyzed, and things became really very quickly. It felt like hours stabilizing him. Dealing with all that madness is unforgettable. The best way to describe it, in health care sport coverage... at any second, things can get really bad. I’ve had to respond to fractures, dislocations... anything can happen.” A consistent theme in Mr. Ostia’s journey is that of resilience. In his first year and a half in the Marine Reserve, he and his training unit were challenged to push themselves beyond the limits of where they thought they could go—physically and mentally. Fortunately, Mr. Ostia and the members of his team worked together to complete their shared goal in training exercises and thrived. As a health care practitioner passionate about the role of mental health care for veterans, Mr. Ostia combined the discipline learned from the Marine Reserves with his athletic training skills to explore products that further the well-being of his patients. As a founder of his own company, Mr. Ostia develops tactical medical kits for use by nurses and athletic trainers in high schools, the National Football League (NFL), and Major League Baseball. Recalling the bonds that he shares with his training unit “buddies,” Mr. Ostia is grateful that they never hesitate to show him kindness and camaraderie. One of his fondest memories is being a member of the flagopening crew for the National Anthem performance during a National Football League (NFL) game in Philadelphia. Afterwards, Mr. Ostia a fellow service member proudly expressed gratitude to Mr. Ostia for his service. Mr. Ostia, we salute you for your service in the United States Marine Reserve, and we are grateful for your continued contributions to the field of athletic training! 10 MEDICAL QUALITY ASSURANCE | 2023 FLORIDA VETERAN HEALTH HEROES MARINE RESERVE