Monday through Thursday, December 6—9, 2010
The Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV
by Michael A. Gentile, RRT, FAARC, Program Committee Chair
AARC President Karen J. Stewart, MS, RRT, FAARC, addressed the Annual Business Meeting on Tuesday, emphasizing the key role respiratory therapists play in the care of patients with pulmonary disease and the benefits we all receive by belonging to an organization with the strength in numbers demonstrated by the AARC.
“You and I are the advocates for the patient. We care for them. We care for their families. We are here for them,” she said. “We are now a team that is more than 50,000 strong. That’s our group. I’m not sure about you, but to me, that’s one heck of a team. If we look where we’ve been and where we’re headed, we are a team of health care individuals that health care will have to reckon with…we are the best trained to teach and help our patients with pulmonary disease.”
Here are the goals she will pursue in 2011–12:
RTs from the University of Maryland Medical System are celebrating their victory in this year’s Vent 5K competition, proud to be taking home a brand new ventilator donated by Dräger for their award-winning event. You can see how it all played out in a video the group posted on YouTube.
Next year’s competitions are already being planned all over the country, but there’s still plenty of time for you and your colleagues to get into the act as well. Just go online to ARCFoundation.org to find out everything you need to know to put on a winning event.
2010 AARC International Fellows
The AARC International Respiratory Congress has lived up to its name in Las Vegas, welcoming colleagues from around the world to the annual meeting. “After 21 very successful years, the international efforts of the AARC and the ARCF continue to pay off,” says International Committee Chair John Hiser, MEd, RRT, FAARC.
Chief among these international visitors have been our 2010 international fellows, who came to the Congress fresh off of visits to two U.S. cities each, where they got the chance to see American style respiratory care in action. The 2010 class of fellows includes Major Adil Al Otaibi, MSrc, RRT (Saudi Arabia); Guillermo C.C. Nogales, MD (Peru); Hui-Qing Ge, RT, BM (China); and Micheline Gmeiner, MD (Austria).
The international fellows joined the winners of the Hector Leon Garza Award, the Koga Medal, and other international dignitaries at an International Reception yesterday evening.
The AARC Congress is home to the largest gathering of respiratory professionals in the world, and every year we try to give back to the community hosting our meeting by taking the lung health message out to local citizens.
Association volunteers are doing that today, as the Your Lung Health program heads to the Boulevard Mall to ask people to take the Drive4COPD screener, perform spirometry testing, and provide education on respiratory conditions.
“We’re pleased to be able to offer this great program to the Las Vegas community, and we’re looking forward to visiting with folks who come by our booth to learn more about lung disease,” says AARC COO Thomas Kallstrom, MBA, RRT, FAARC.
Mel Welch Jr., MPH, RRT-NPS, has a saying he often uses with his students at Santa Monica College in Santa Monica, CA: “Treat respiratory therapy like a profession, and it will treat you like a professional.”
He believes one of the best ways to instill professionalism in his students is to have them attend the AARC Congress, and he’s lived up to that belief this week by bringing more than 75 student members of the AARC with him to Las Vegas. All of the students come from the Consortium Program between East Los Angeles College and Santa Monica College.
The group is comprised of both first-year and second-year students who have been looking forward to the meeting for months. “Our program has always ‘talked up’ the value of attendance at both national and state society meetings,” says Welch. “We have been talking about what a great opportunity this meeting would be for over a year now.”
Most of the students funded their own trip, but one group of freshman students was able to acquire partial funding via a “field trip” proposal approved through their Respiratory Therapy Club on campus.
Welch, who has been bringing students to the Congress off and on for 35 years, hopes this group comes away with the same sense of passion for respiratory care that he has always gotten from his own attendance at the annual meeting.
“I, personally, have had my career enriched beyond my dreams through participation in professional association activity, and I firmly believe when students get early exposure to the ‘breadth and depth’ of what the profession has to offer it has an incredible effect on their view of the profession,” says the educator. “Seeing literally thousands of enthusiastic professionals leaves an imprint in their minds that truly can affect their vision of their future in their career.”
Congratulations to MAQUET Inc, whose booth received top honors in this year’s Exhibit Hall Best of Show competition. Philips Respironics won second place, and Newport Medical Instruments, Inc. took third.
The competition was fierce all week, and the top four teams in the National and Student Sputum Bowls kept up the battle in last night’s Final Four match in the Hilton Hotel. Congress-goers packed the house to watch as the teams pitted their respiratory care knowledge against one another to answer some of the toughest questions we’ve seen yet in this annual competition.
Now the results are in. Colorado took first place in the National Bowl, with Louisiana coming in second and Michigan and Pennsylvania tying for third. In the Student Bowl, California came out on top, with second place going to Maryland-DC and Michigan and Ohio tying for third.
With a great half-time show featuring inspirational comedian and YouTube sensation Judson Laipply, plus the announcement of the winners of the PAC raffle and complimentary beverages, a great time was had by all.
The Sputum Bowl was supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Covidien.
Add #aarc10 to your tweets to be heard