Congress Highlights: 2017 is Packed With Great Features

 Updated: August 31, 2017

  Tags: AARC MembersCongress

AARC Congress - Get Ready For Wow

AARC Congress 2017 is filled with informative and innovative sessions to help you brush-up on your skills and knowledge of the respiratory care profession. But did you know there was more? From the Welcome Party to the Sputum Bowl, Congress is packed with great events and activities. Here are 11 event highlights that you can experience by taking the plunge and attending Congress this October!

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1 Day Before Congress Kickoff

1. Pre-Courses

Maximize your attendance by registering for a Congress pre-course. All pre-courses will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017 at one of the co-headquarters hotels. Courses offer an additional opportunity to earn continuing education credits.

2. AARC Respiratory Patient Advocacy Summit

Patients and respiratory therapists are invited to take part in the annual AARC Respiratory Patient Advocacy Summit, which is held Oct. 3, the day before Congress 2017 kicks off, in Indianapolis, IN. The Summit’s purpose is to build the partnership between chronic respiratory disease patients, advocates, respiratory therapists and physicians — and to provide a strong forum for aligning their common goals and visions toward advancing the quality of care, equipment, and services in health care. Keynote speakers for the Summit include Grace Anne Dorney Koppel, MA, JD, who will discuss her 16-year journey with COPD, and Claire Wineland, who will describe her experiences living with cystic fibrosis.

We, along with representatives of the FACES Foundation (Family & Caregiver Education & Support), will also present the National Respiratory Patient Advocacy Award during the Summit.

3. ARCF Fundraiser ‘Night on the Plaza’

Also taking place on Oct. 3, 2017, it will be a Night on the Plaza for the annual ARCF fundraiser gala. Proceeds from the event will benefit the ARCF and the evening will include fine music, food, prizes and networking, all at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. Get your tickets today!

Respiratory therapists, physicians and healthcare practitioners from around the globe will attend the fundraiser to support the ARCF’s mission; which is to build funding and support for respiratory research, education and patient-focused philanthropic activities in respiratory care.

Congress Events

4. Sessions

We have more than 200 sessions and presentations lined up for Congress attendees. Our presenters bring the latest knowledge in research, management, education, and clinical practice to RTs throughout the profession. Check out the Congress program!

5. Keynote Address & Closing Ceremony

Kicking off and wrapping up the overall Congress event, we have great speakers set to give their perspective and describe their experiences with attendees. Claire Wineland, our opening keynote speaker, will share her insight from growing up with cystic fibrosis. Wineland dedicates herself to changing the conversation around individuals living with illnesses. She helps others learn to make something of their experience that is inspiring to themselves and others. Dr. Natalie Stavas will wrap-up AARC Congress 2017 as she recounts her experience in the fateful 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and will discuss her viewpoint on “running towards the chaos” with Congress attendees.

6. Open Forum

The Open Forum is one of the most anticipated events at Congress. This event offers respiratory therapists the chance to hear about original research conducted by and for members of their profession.

With three ways to present — the Forum offers posters-only sessions, poster discussion sessions and an Editors’ Choice session featuring the top abstracts submitted that year — everyone from seasoned investigators to first-time researchers can find a place to showcase their work.

During an interview with AARC-TV’s Ed Heiland in the Big Ideas Theater at AARC Congress 2016 in San Antonio last fall, Respiratory Care Editor Dean Hess, PhD, RRT, FAARC, explained why the Forum is such a popular part of the Congress. Check out the interview!

7. First Timers

For our first-time attendees, there is a special orientation and session just for you, to help you get acquainted who to see, where to go, and what to expect from your first AARC Congress. This presentation provides an overview of the entire AARC Congress and includes suggestions on how to maximize your time, not only at the educational sessions but also at the exhibits and peripheral activities as well.

8. Student Track

The Congress planning team has set aside 12 must-have sessions for our RTs in training. These sessions will be full of essential information to help you navigate your new career, understand important implications and nuances of bedside care, get up to speed on cutting-edge technology that might not even be covered in your RT program, and even cope with the emotions you’re bound to feel the first time one of your patients doesn’t pull through. Check out the Student Track!

9. Welcome Party

As our first day of Congress sessions come to a close, attendees will have the chance to wind down at the annual Congress Welcome Party. An evening of networking, dancing and fun, the Welcome Party will feature music by Living Proof, a party band that has opened for Earth, Wind, & Fire, KC & The Sunshine Band, Chicago, and more. The band was voted Indy’s best cover band by NUVO and was featured in the 2012 Super Bowl Village.

10. Sputum Bowl

Closing out Congress will be the annual Sputum Bowl, a knowledge contest that is similar to the game show “Jeopardy.” Nowhere else will you find therapists cheering on teams from across the country as they race to answer questions on everything from aerosol delivery to arcane gas laws. This year’s Sputum Bowl is set to a 1920s ‘Great Gatsby’ theme and your roaring 20’s costume attire is encouraged!

Since 1978, the Sputum Bowl has been a part of every AARC Congress. In addition to teams, the Bowl consists of two divisions: Student and Practitioner. Also, fun features like “Ask the Expert,” “Risk/Reward,” “Ask the Posse,” and “Video Visuals” add to the excitement, and live streaming on Twitter guarantees everyone has a chance to keep up with the action.

11. Exhibitors

And finally, we have more than 200 exhibitors lined up to showcase the latest technology to attendees. The exhibitor hall will open just after our opening keynote speaker and the will close after our Friday closing keynote. We will also have games and activities to help you navigate the exhibitor hall and meet and mingle with our exhibitors.

Check out our Special Events page to find out what else is happening at Congress 2017!