The first day of any AARC Congress is a little overwhelming, with all the information placed before attendees in the form of lectures, symposia, and the Exhibit Hall.
Congress-goers had the chance to kick back and relax at the Welcome Party that took place yesterday evening. With complimentary drinks and snacks, plus great music by Living Proof, a great time was had by all.
According to AARC President Brian Walsh, PhD, RRT-NPS, FAARC, 2017 has been a banner year for the Association. In his address to the Annual Business Meeting this morning, he covered some of the key accomplishments that have taken place since he took office and provided some hints at what is to come in 2018.
“We have a wonderful and bright future,” he told his audience, emphasizing that “there is nothing our profession can’t do if we work together to achieve it.” The key, says Dr. Walsh, is to be proactive on all fronts. “If we don’t change radically and rapidly, there is a real possibility our profession will regress rather than progress. The status quo is not acceptable.”
President Walsh’s 2018 goals are —
Newly elected leaders of the Association were installed during the Business Meeting as well. Karen Schell DHSc BSRC RRT-NPS RRT-SDS was installed as president-elect, and Lisa Trujillo DHSc RRT and Tim Op’t Holt EdD RRT FAARC as directors-at-large.
Olivia Jenkins BHS RRT-NPS was elected to serve as the Transport Section’s chair-elect.
Congress-goers will find a number of lectures on the Program this week dealing with telehealth and its implications for respiratory care. Why? Telehealth is the future of health care, and RTs are poised to play a big role in its implementation.
Indeed, a key mission of the AARC’s Advocacy Day on the Hill in April this year was to ask Congressional leaders to ensure respiratory therapists were included in any telehealth legislation introduced in the 115th Congress.
We are proud to announce that three bills now include respiratory therapists as telehealth professionals and respiratory care as a telehealth service. Two of the bills also include remote patient monitoring for individuals with chronic health conditions, including COPD. The 3 bills are:
HR 2550 — Medicare Telehealth Parity Act
HR 2291 — Helping Expand Access to Rural Telemedicine (HEART) Act
HR 766 — Telehealth for Individuals Residing in Public Housing
We held a Summer Virtual Lobby Week July 10-14 asking House Members to sign-on to these bills as co-sponsors. Overall, close to 4000 messages were sent to the House. AARC’s lobbyists continue to meet with influential Senators to seek introduction for companion legislation.
Throughout the remainder of the year, we will be following up with key leaders who expressed an interest in RTs and telehealth during our April Advocacy Day and securing as many co-sponsors as possible. Last year the Medicare Telehealth Parity Act had 67 co-sponsors, more than any other telehealth bill, and we hope to beat that number in 2017. We have our work cut out for us and you can help. Go to AARC’s Capitol Connection and send in a message asking for co-sponsorship. It’s never too late!
It’s been a year since my installation as your president. Wow, how the time has flown. I have been busier than I ever thought imaginable working with the AARC Executive Office, Board of Directors, and House of Delegates, promoting, advocating, and attempting to advance the profession on your behalf. While not always fun, it’s been a pleasure serving alongside such wonderful champions for the profession and visiting with many of you on your home turf.
When I took over from President Salvatore, you could feel the momentum gained during his tenure. With excitement at the opportunities ahead and terror of the unknown, I felt like we, as a profession, had come to a fork in the road. We could either turn left and change radically and rapidly to continue to progress as a wonderful and needed profession serving millions of patients with cardiopulmonary disease for many generations to come; or we could turn right and return to our comfort zone of “business as usual” and regress rather than progress.
Bound and determine to meet your expectations and my own, I chose to focus on three areas our practice must positively influence or face irrelevance. Therefore, my goals for the last year have centered around quality, safety, and value. I truly believe we are on the cusp of becoming a great profession of the likes no one has seen before. The following is a review of the past year and highlights from each domain.
It’s been a really fun and busy year and those are just some highlights of our many successes. I certainly couldn’t have done this without your help and the help and leadership of Past President Salvatore and Tom Kallstrom and the entire staff of the Executive Office, who serve you tirelessly. I look forward to keeping and gaining momentum as I head into my second year. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any suggestions you might have about our trajectory. I’m always willing to listen.
Your professional organization is in good fiscal shape; the AARC continues to be served by a fiscally responsible Executive Office and Board of Directors. Thank you to the BOD and AARC Executive Office for their continued support.
Some of the 2017 highlights are:
Membership: Our number of members is consistent with plan. The AARC revenue base continues to provide the programs, services, and benefits that are important to you. This includes providing high quality educational programs and working with all levels of government to assure that you are appropriately recognized for what you do. The AARC BOD and Membership Committee continue to work at growing our membership.
Revenues: Other revenues are slightly above plan; we thank you for your continued support via educational courses, product offerings, and attendance at meetings such as the International Respiratory Convention & Exhibition.
Grants: We have received several grants, mainly from Corporate Partners. Net grant income is better in 2017 compared to 2016, primarily because of a large study commissioned by one of our Corporate Partners.
The days when mechanically ventilated patients were always heavily sedated and immobilized are numbered, and Sangeeta Mehta, MD, will explain why in tomorrow’s Egan Lecture.
The talk will cover the new ICU mindset, which calls for patients to be awake, comfortable, and able to mobilize whenever possible. She’ll make the case that this more patient-centered focus results in better short- and long-term outcomes for patients and families alike.
“Admission to the ICU and mechanical ventilation are difficult experiences for patients and their family members,” says Dr. Mehta. “This presentation will highlight important evidence related to comfort and sedation management, ICU delirium, mobilization, and the patient experience.”
Dr. Mehta is an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Toronto and research director at the Mount Sinai Hospital ICU, where her primary research interests lie in the use of sedation and neuromuscular blockade in the ICU, noninvasive ventilation in acute respiratory failure, mechanical ventilation in acute lung injury, weaning from mechanical ventilation, high frequency oscillatory ventilation, and pulmonary physiology in ARDS.
Our Corporate Partners for 2018 are CareFusion, Masimo, Medtronic, Monaghan, Philips Respironics, Draeger, Maquet, Teleflex, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, ResMed, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, and Sunovian.
All of these companies comprise best-in-class organizations interested in supporting the goals and work of the Association. The program provides respiratory care providers with information, insights, and innovative approaches to improve performance and advance the health of their patients.
These companies are all hosting booths in the Exhibit Hall in Indy, and attendees are taking advantage of the opportunity to visit with their representatives, who have a passion for respiratory care and want to do whatever they can to see our profession move forward.