Mission and Goals

AARC Mission Statement

The American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) will continue to be the leading national and international professional association for respiratory care.

AARC Vision Statement

The AARC will encourage and promote professional excellence, advance the science and practice of respiratory care, and serve as an advocate for patients, their families, the public, the profession and the respiratory therapist.

AARC Strategic Plan — 2015–2020

Objectives and Strategies for Implementation:

Objective 1: Define and expand the scope of practice for respiratory therapists in all care settings.

Promote advanced practice and practice expansion for respiratory therapists. Assure that the science that demonstrates the value and role of the respiratory therapist is provided to those stakeholders whose decisions and actions need to be guided by that information.

  • Continue to promote the development of specialty tracks and/or specialty programs for respiratory therapists (e.g. leadership development, case management, and disease management).
  • Collaborate with NBRC and CoARC to expedite the development of standards for education, credentialing, and avenues for reimbursement for the Advance Practice Respiratory Therapist.
  • Collect and disseminate information that documents the costs in dollars, length of stay, quality, safety, and impact on care recipients when respiratory care is provided by persons other than respiratory therapists.
  • Assist respiratory therapists in the provision of evidence-based respiratory care.
  • Increase the access of underserved populations to the services of respiratory therapists.
  • Promote positive models of excellence in respiratory care for clinical, research, and leadership.
  • Develop model position descriptions for respiratory therapists in various roles that emphasize quality, access, and cost-effective care.
  • Develop model, evidence-based protocols and respiratory care plans for clinical practice, to include disease management.
Objective 2: Advance the knowledge base and educational preparation of respiratory therapists to ensure the delivery of high quality patient care and to foster patient safety initiatives.

The AARC will promote the continuing development of the respiratory care workforce both nationally and internationally by promoting formal educational programs and continuing education to ensure safe, and effective patient care, and to provide for the transfer of new knowledge to clinical practice.

  • Support existing educational programs in colleges and universities.
  • Support existing and future articulation agreements between associate and baccalaureate respiratory therapy programs or a health science field.
  • Expedite the development of baccalaureate and graduate degree education in respiratory care with the goal of the baccalaureate degree as entry level.
  • Encourage respiratory therapists to pursue advanced and continuing education.
  • Encourage state licensure acts to include minimal requirements for continuing education.
  • Actively engage and support state affiliates in the movement toward registered respiratory therapist as entry level for licensure.
  • Support the development of new specialty credentials, as appropriate, and encourage current practitioners to obtain credentials for advanced and specialty practice.
  • Assist educational programs in recruitment of quality students by developing materials that will present the profession positively and promote the profession.
Objective 3: Support research and scientific inquiry to strengthen the scientific foundation and promote best practice for patient care.

Demonstrate the value of the respiratory therapist in providing respiratory care by supporting, conducting, and publishing research. Research should compare the value of the respiratory therapist to others who may provide respiratory care services. Information generated should consider the needs of employers, legislators, regulators, other health professionals, payers, and patients. Research efforts will, when appropriate and possible, be conducted in collaboration with other health care stakeholders.

  • Financially support research that seeks to advance the science and practice of respiratory care provided across all care sites.
  • Publish scientific information that advances the science and practice of respiratory care.
  • Work collaboratively with other health professions to conduct research to demonstrate the value of allied health professionals.
  • Demonstrate the effectiveness of the respiratory therapist in health promotion and disease prevention.
Objective 4: Establish professional standards and outcomes that are supported by scientific evidence.

The AARC will develop and disseminate position statements, issue papers, consensus conference reports, evidence-based Clinical Practice Guidelines and other professional standards that promote safe and effective care, and provide guidance on all aspects of respiratory care.

  • Develop new and revise existing evidence-based Clinical Practice Guidelines to reflect the science of respiratory care and the role of the respiratory therapist.
  • Conduct scientific conferences to advance the science and practice of respiratory care.
  • Develop and publish papers and position statements related to respiratory care practice, education, and management.
Objective 5: Advocate for federal and state health care policies that enhance patient care, access to care, and professional practice.

Advocate at the federal and state level for health care policy that promotes access to safe and effective respiratory care for patients and the public. Develop and implement promotion/marketing of the respiratory therapist targeted to legislators, policy makers, and payers. Messages will emphasize the value of the respiratory therapist in controlling the utilization of services, creating cost savings, improving outcomes and patient safety, and increasing access to respiratory care as provided by a respiratory therapist.

  • Legislators: Provide information to assist them to advocate for their constituents with a focus on safe and effective respiratory care provided by respiratory therapists.
  • Regulators: Emphasize regulatory actions that support the patient with chronic disease and the role of the respiratory therapist with a focus on cost-effective care, quality of care, and improved patient safety from utilizing respiratory therapists.
  • Payers: Emphasize cost effectiveness due to improved outcomes and lower overall costs than other providers.
  • Decision Makers: Emphasize provision of high-quality and cost-effective care by respiratory therapists. Focus on the value of respiratory care and the respiratory therapist as the best practitioner to provide that care, control inappropriate utilization of respiratory care, and ensure patient safety.
Objective 6: Partner with governmental agencies, community organizations, third party payers, professional societies and the public to promote healthy behaviors and prevent cardiopulmonary disease.

Promote partnerships with interested stakeholders to improve cardiopulmonary health, prevent cardiopulmonary disease, and identify and maximize the care of patients with chronic disease.

  • Participate in consumer, professional, and governmental coalitions to promote lung health.
  • Support efforts to encourage smoking cessation and tobacco control.
  • Partner in public education efforts to advise the public on lung health and cardiorespiratory disease.
  • Participate in efforts to educate patients, their families and the public on the importance of disease management for chronic respiratory disease (e.g. asthma and COPD).
Objective 7: Broaden consumer and health care providers’ knowledge and understanding of the value of respiratory therapists in providing safe, competent, and evidence-based care.

Develop and implement promotion/marketing of the respiratory therapist targeted to health care providers, patients, and the public. Educate respiratory therapists on the importance of health promotion, effective smoking-cessation and tobacco-control programs, pulmonary health screenings, patient education, and disease management.

  • Consumers: Provide information on higher mortality and increased costs when respiratory care is not provided and when it is provided by someone other than a respiratory therapist. Promote public awareness of the respiratory therapy profession by focusing on quality, safety, and cost-effectiveness.
  • Other Health Professionals: Provide information and assistance to assure that respiratory care is provided by appropriate personnel when such care falls outside of the domain covered by the training and demonstrated competence of those individuals (e.g. physician office spirometry).
  • Respiratory Therapists: Provide information to assist therapists in developing and maintaining their skills as chronic disease educators, pulmonary health educators, pulmonary health screenings, and experts in tobacco use prevention and cessation.
Objective 8: Assure the Association has the resources to meet the mission and strategic goals of the organization.

Assure that the AARC has the financial, volunteer, and staff resources needed to accomplish the implementation of the strategic plan of the Association. In addition to financial resources, it is essential that there be active participation of sufficient numbers of effective leaders and an effective and efficient Executive Office to support the efforts to be a nationally recognized leader in health care.

  • Increase the national and international membership of the Association.
  • Increase the diversity of the members of the Association by providing information to encourage persons who are members of underrepresented groups to enter the respiratory care profession and actively participate in the AARC.
  • Develop and increase the revenue sources to support the activities of the Association.
  • Participate collaboratively with strategic partners for mutual benefit.
  • Provide mechanisms to assure a continuous supply of interested, qualified leaders.
  • Increase the involvement of members in the activities of the Association.
  • Ensure the responsiveness of the leadership to the rapidly changing environment today and in the future.
  • Educate RT students, Respiratory Therapists, and health industry manufacturers and suppliers about the benefits of AARC membership.
  • Provide information to educators and managers to encourage active participation of students in the AARC and its chartered affiliates and to assure they are fully informed of the science of respiratory care.
  • Align incentives between the AARC and the State Affiliates.

Revised: July 2014; Sept. 2014; Feb. 2017
Approved: March 2017