AARC Congress 2011 Gazette
for Sunday, November 6

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Koppel inspired audience during keynote address

Grace Anne Dorney Koppel kept her audience enthralled Saturday morning as she described her own personal journey with COPD and how arming herself with information and taking advantage of pulmonary rehabilitation made the difference in her life.

Diagnosed in 2001 and told she might only have another few years to live, she learned as much as she could about the condition and then threw every bit of time and energy she had to spare into making the most of her pulmonary rehab program.

After her own recovery, she decided to pay it forward by becoming a key spokesperson for COPD, working closely with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in its Learn More, Breathe Better campaign. Most recently she’s gone even further by establishing a program to launch pulmonary rehabilitation centers in underserved communities around the country. The program kicked off in 2010 with the opening of the Grace Anne Dorney Pulmonary & Cardiac Rehabilitation Center in Leonardtown, MD.

AARC installed 2012 officials

The Association installed its 2012 officials during Sunday’s AARC Annual Business Meeting. Our new president-elect is George Gaebler MSEd RRT FAARC. New Board members include Lynda Goodfellow EdD RRT FAARC and Doug McIntyre MS RRT FAARC.

Three Specialty Sections also held elections this year, and these individuals were elected: Continuing Care/Rehabilitation, Gerilynn Connors BS RRT FAARC; Long-Term Care, Lorraine Bertuola BA RRT; and Surface & Air Transport, Billy Hutchison BA RRT-NPS.

New House of Delegates officers include Karen Schell MHSc RRT-NPS RPFT, Speaker; John Steinmetz MBA RRT, Speaker-Elect; Rick Weaver RRT-NPS RPFT, Secretary; Ross Havens MS RRT, Treasurer. Bill Lamb BS RRT FAARC is now the Past Speaker.

2011 AARC Executive Reports

President’s Report

by Karen J. Stewart, MSc RRT FAARC

This has been an exciting year, and hopefully it will continue to be next year. The following are areas that I would like to emphasize in this report.

  • Work around 2015 continues, with a gap analysis of the attributes completed and 2 subcommittees appointed to complete a gap analysis of the competencies recommended to those in today’s education programs. Stakeholder input continues to occur with both myself and Past President Timothy Myers BSRT RRT-NPS presenting activity of the group at state meetings. In addition, I have met with the National Network of Healthcare Programs in Two Year Colleges and the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions.
  • We continue with the work around DRIVE4COPD and are continuing to screen the adult population.
  • The AARC participated with a joint education session at the European Respiratory Society on Mechanical Ventilation, and the same program will take place at the AARC International Respiratory Convention & Exhibition in Tampa, FL.
  • Work continues in Washington DC regarding the Respiratory Care Medicare Initiative. In addition, the AARC has been active in providing comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regarding issues that impact the care of our patients.
  • I was able to attend the Saudi Society of Respiratory Care meeting in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. This was a wonderful meeting, and while I was there I was invited to attend the first Gulf Coast meeting regarding respiratory care, which brought together therapists and physicians of the region.
  • Other international activity continues with increased interest from Taiwan and China. Both are interested in forming chapters of AARC.
  • AARC membership remains strong, with an increase in members of 4.5% over the last year.
  • Education offerings continue to increase; the newest offering is the COPD Educator Course.

We have made progress in all of the goal areas and will continue that work in 2012.

The 2011/2012 goals

  1. Continue to promote the patient and their family’s needs by being the advocate for those patients with respiratory disorders.
  2. Continue to develop and execute strategies that will increase membership and participation in the AARC both nationally and internationally.
  3. Promote patient access to respiratory therapists as medically necessary in all care settings through appropriate vehicles at local, regional, and national venues.
  4. Continue to advance our international respiratory community presence through activities designed to address issues affecting educational, medical and professional trends in the global respiratory care community and continue to advance advocacy for the patient.
  5. Evaluate transitional needs to meet the competencies necessary to develop the “Respiratory Therapist for 2015 and Beyond” based on the expected needs of respiratory care patients, the profession, and the evolving health care system.
  6. Promote the access of high-quality continuing education to develop and enhance the skill base of current practitioners to meet the future needs of our profession.
  7. Maintain and expand relevant communication and alliances with key allies and organizations within our communities of interest.
  8. Expand efforts to obtain research funding.
  9. Increase and enhance activities to increase public awareness of respiratory therapists and their role in the treatment of respiratory disorders.

2015 report and update

The 2015 committee continues to identify the needs for the profession for 2015 and Beyond. During the summer and early fall months, both myself and Timothy Myers have presented the activity of the 2015 committee at a number of state meetings. The gap analysis of the attributes has been completed. Two subcommittees have been formed within the Education Section, one comprised of directors for associate’s degree programs and the other for bachelor’s degree programs. These committees have been charged with reviewing the competencies from Conference 2. Their charge includes comparing the competencies currently used in their programs and identifying gaps of what is used today to the projected competencies for the future.

I met with stakeholders such as the National Network of Health Care Programs in Two-Year Colleges and the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions.

I have also requested similar analysis to be completed by the National Board for Respiratory Care and Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care.

Secretary-Treasurer’s Report

by Linda Van Scoder, EdD, RRT, FAARC

With virtually flat growth and a volatile stock market in 2011, the U.S. economy continues to present us with many challenges. Because the AARC is conservative with its expenditures, we are able to keep membership dues low when compared to other health professional organizations while still providing you with the benefits you want and need.

Some of the 2011 highlights are:

  • Membership—The number of members has increased by nearly 4.5% over this time last year. We know that finances are tight for a lot of families right now, and we are grateful that you continue to make the AARC a priority. Because of the valuable support of you and your colleagues, we are able to provide the programs and services that are important to you. This includes working with legislators and government agencies to assure that you are appropriately recognized for what you do.
  • Revenues—Our revenues remain strong thanks to the membership dues that you pay and your support for meetings such as the International Respiratory Convention & Exhibition.
  • Expenses—Our expenses are below where we projected them to be at this time. The AARC Officers and Executive Office Staff take very seriously the trust you have placed in us and will always strive to spend your money wisely.

Thanks to each and every one of you for making this another successful year for the AARC. And thank you for the opportunity to serve as your secretary-treasurer. I look forward to working for you in 2012.

Professor’s Rounds 2012 to feature tobacco-cessation expert

Topics and speakers for the 2012 AARC Professor’s Rounds series have been chosen and are available at www.AARC.org. Next year’s 8-lecture package will be heavily devoted to patient safety and educational topics aimed at helping RTs make significant contributions in our rapidly changing health care environment.

The 2012 series will include a Bonus Session as well, featuring nationally recognized tobacco-cessation expert Michael C Fiore MD MPH MBA, who will speak on “Tobacco-Cessation Programs.” Dr. Fiore served as chair of the panel that produced the “U.S. Public Health Service Clinical Practice Guideline: Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence,” and he also chaired the HHS Subcommittee on Tobacco Cessation that produced a comprehensive plan for promoting tobacco cessation. He is widely credited with spearheading the expansion of vital signs to include tobacco use status, increasing its use to 70% of physicians.

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