After the first full day of the Congress everyone was ready for a little R&R yesterday evening, and they found it at the Welcome Party. Crowd Theory rocked the house and attendees got the chance to meet up with friends and colleagues, all while enjoying some great complimentary beverages and snacks. It was the perfect way to end day 1 of AARC Congress 2018.
It’s been two years 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 (BOD), and House of Delegates, promoting, advocating, and advancing 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 Frank 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: quality, safety, and value. I truly believe we are on the cusp of having a greater influence on health care. 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. Additionally, I am excited to hand off this presidency to Karen Schell, who will maintain and expand the mission and vision we have created this year. I look forward to supporting her efforts to gain even more momentum as she starts her first year. Please contact me at [email protected] with any suggestions you might have about our trajectory. I’m always willing to listen.
As of the second quarter of 2018, the AARC is in good fiscal standing. The Executive Office and the Board of Directors continue to provide fiscally responsible leadership and oversight for the members of the organization. This includes quality educational program planning, advocacy for patients with lung disease, and persistently emphasizing the value of respiratory therapists at all levels of government.
Membership: While total membership is more than 45,000, an expected decrease in the Total and New member numbers is attributed to fewer new and student members due to the deactivation of the free web student membership program. For comparison:
Revenues: Overall revenues and expenses are slightly above the budgeted plan but the net margin is positive. Publication advertising, educational products, and convention revenue are doing well. The financial markets are not as positive overall as last year but interest and dividend income are higher, which is offsetting the rate and amount of losses.
Grants: This includes grants from our corporate partners, rents, and royalties. Net income exceeds budget.
Outgoing AARC President Brian Walsh PhD RRT RRT-NPS FAARC handed the gavel over to incoming President Karen Schell DHSc RRT RRT-NPS RRT-SDS RPFT RPSGT AE-C CTTS at the annual business meeting this morning, and Dr. Schell took the podium to share her vision for her term in office.
“The Board of Directors of the AARC has introduced six horizon goals to address the future of the profession,” said Dr. Schell. “As president, it is my goal to implement these goals along with the Board of Directors into a workable plan that can meet timelines and produce achievable outcomes.”
She quoted inspirational author Catherine Ponder on the thinking behind the goals: “We have become self-evolvers. We are responsible for our own evolution. Evolution means selecting and therefore choosing and deciding.”
Dr. Schell believes the new horizon goals fit into that mindset. “Our time has come to move our profession ahead. It is time to decide to evolve,” she told her audience. “Your willingness to participate is needed. We need to nurture and grow our future and it takes everyone to be engaged in growing the profession and mentoring RTs to meet the challenges ahead.”
Here are the six horizon goals she will work toward during her term in office —
“I invite you to reach out to our colleagues, get them involved, seek opportunities to grow, mentor our future, and press forward,” concluded Dr. Schell. “Just know that you have a choice today and your future lies within your power. Let yourself feel the power, let yourself know the power that is yours. We can use your help. Contact me and I will find a place for you to be part of the movement.”
ICUs all across the country are implementing the ABCDEF Bundle to improve patient care, ensure more patients move more swiftly through the process of discontinuing mechanical ventilation, and mobilize our sickest patients towards successful hospital discharge. Wes Ely MD MPH will talk about the RT’s role in this process during tomorrow morning’s Egan Lecture.
“About 400 peer-reviewed articles over the past 20 years have gone into the creation of the ABCDEF ICU Liberation Bundle,” says Dr. Ely. “What we have learned in over 20,000 patients at ICUs from across the United States is that this is a remarkable way of organizing the entire ICU team that prioritizes the full person — mind, body, and spirit — and reduces time on the ventilator, in the ICU, and in the hospital, saves lives, and dramatically improves the amount of time free of delirium and coma.”
The “ABCDEF” in the ABCDEF Bundle stands for — A: assess, manage, and prevent pain; B: both spontaneous breathing trials and spontaneous awakening trials; C: choice of analgesia and sedation; D: delirium prevention and treatment; E: early mobility/exercise; and F: family engagement.
Dr. Ely is a professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, where he holds the Grant W Liddle chair. He has subspecialty training in pulmonary and critical care medicine, and his research has focused on improving the care and outcomes of critically ill patients with ICU-acquired brain disease. Dr. Ely has more than 250 peer-reviewed publications and over 50 published book chapters and editorials to his credit.