For the fourth year in a row, the AARC hosted a Respiratory Patient Advocacy Summit the day before the Congress and this year’s event drew participation from a wide range of RTs, patients, caregivers, and others who came together to learn from each other and share stories and concerns.
COPD patient Len Geiger got things started with a presentation called “COPD Management: A Patient Perspective,” providing those in attendance with an up-close-and-personal look at what it’s like to live with this chronic lung disease.
Steve Van Wormer followed with a talk titled, “Pulmonary Hypertension: A Caregiver’s Perspective.” Van Wormer shared his personal experiences caring for a loved one suffering from this often devastating and hard to treat condition.
The Summit also saw the presentation of the second annual National Respiratory Patient Advocacy Award by Sharman Lamka, president and co-founder of The FACES Foundation. The award, which is a joint effort between The FACES Foundation and the AARC, went to Tonya Loftin RRT, director of population health outcomes for Eventa, LLC. Kurt Riek RRT, a respiratory clinical specialist with Michigan Medicine-CS Mott Children's Hospital was named a finalist.
The Summit wrapped up with a great Foundation Roundtable where representatives from the ARDS Foundation, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health and Safety, Alliance for Patient Access, and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation gathered in a lively back and forth session aimed at shining a light on how patients, caregivers, and respiratory therapists can combine their efforts to better tackle the issues facing people with chronic lung diseases.
Our Platinum Sponsor for the Summit was Boehringer Ingelheim. Sunovion served as our Gold Sponsor and Gilead, GSK, and Genentech served as our Silver Sponsors. Contributing Sponsors were Vertex, Actelion, and The Faces Foundation.
Congress-goers gathered at the Mob Museum in Downtown Vegas yesterday evening to learn more about how organized crime figured into the early days of the city and raise vital funds for the ARCF at the same time.
Attendees were wowed by the private showing, which included exhibits ranging from a Prohibition-era speakeasy to a crime lab depicting how law enforcement analyzes forensic evidence to build its case against criminals.
The sixth annual ARCF Fundraiser Gala also included the chance for attendees to win some big prizes.
Teri Miller MEd RRT CPFT went home with a 4 day/3 night trip to any location in the U.S., Renee Bartle BS RRT won complimentary registration to AARC Congress 2019, Marianna Paussa RRT received an iPad, and Jodi Jaeger BS RRT RRT-NPS won an Apple Watch.
After everyone finished touring the great exhibits in the museum, ARCF leaders presented a brief update on Foundation activities and how they are helping to advance the profession. The important role ARCF donors play in that process was recognized as well.
The ARCF fundraiser was sponsored by Vapotherm.
This morning’s Awards Ceremony was the place to recognize top performers in the profession, as everyone from students who are already excelling in the field to researchers conducting the studies we need to validate our practice were honored for their accomplishments —
The following will be recognized in a separate awards ceremony to take place during the Annual Business Meeting tomorrow morning. Congratulations to:
Trudy Watson BS RRT FAARC took center stage at this morning’s Awards Ceremony, as she received the Association’s highest honor, the Jimmy A Young Medal, for her years of service to the profession.
Despite a busy career in respiratory care and respiratory care education, Watson has always found time to devote to her professional organizations. She spent a number of years as an Illinois delegate to the AARC House of Delegates, and after serving one term as a member of the AARC Board of Directors, along with two terms each as vice-president and secretary, she was elected AARC president-elect in 1994. She spent much of her year as AARC president focusing on issues surrounding the sponsorship of agencies for programmatic accreditation.
Sam Giordano MBA RRT FAARC, who was AARC executive director at the time, credits her with playing an instrumental role in reorganizing our education accreditation system, noting that, “The result of her efforts and the efforts of others was to consolidate accreditation services between two agencies, and facilitate transition to a higher entry-level education.”
Watson also chaired the Task Force on Restructuring — a two year effort that resulted in a number of changes in the way the AARC is organized — and worked with CoARC and the Lambda Beta Society as well.
But her crowning achievement came with the creation of the AARC’s Virtual Museum, a project she spearheaded with the support of former AARC historian, Bob Weilacher RRT FAARC. The Virtual Museum officially launched in 2014 and serves as a repository for historical photos and other documents relating to the profession.
“The museum was her brainchild because she always felt every respiratory therapist needed to know what came before them,” says long-time friend and colleague Colleen Schabacker BA RRT FAARC. “She would say, ‘It’s our history!’ The museum would have never proceeded if it weren’t for her dedication, tenacity, and sheer drive to make it happen.”
The Jimmy A Young Medal is awarded annually to a member of the profession who has exceeded all expectations for meritorious service to the AARC and advancement of the respiratory care profession.
Read more about Trudy Watson and her amazing career in this article in the October edition of AARC Times.
Dr. Zubin Damania — aka ZDogg MD — addressed Congress-goers in a keynote address this morning that left everyone laughing and thinking at the same time.
With his special brand of humor, he covered a wide range of topics that affect everyone working in the health care arena, from the struggles we all face to deliver compassionate care to the challenges inherent in ensuring medical professionals work together to keep the future of our health care system bright.
“Half of the patients in hospitals don’t need to be there,” Dr. Damania told the capacity crowd. “We gotta change the system … focus on prevention. We can transform compliance with personalized care.”
He emphasized the special role respiratory therapists play in the nation’s medical system as well, noting RTs had come to his rescue on the job many times and stressing to the therapists in the crowd that “It’s about time y’all got cred for everything you do.”
Dr. Damania urged his audience to focus on reinstating the human touch in health care, saying that caregiver-patient trust is sacred and that working in the health care field is a calling. “We know what’s right for our patients. We need to re-personalize medicine,” he said.
He underlined the importance of RTs to that mission. “I need you guys on the front lines. We need more leaders on the front lines,” said Dr. Damania. “That’s why we need the AARC. It starts with us!”
Dr. Zubin Damania is the founder of a direct primary care clinic in Downtown Las Vegas called Turntable Health. Prior to establishing the clinic, he practiced as a hospitalist at Stanford University. He has dealt with his own burnout by performing standup comedy for medical audiences around the world.
Our 2018 Zenith Awards went to Monaghan Medical Corporation, Aerogen, Philips, Fisher & Paykel, Draeger Medical, and Tri-anim Health Services.
All of these companies were selected by AARC members based on the quality of their products, accessibility of their sales staff, responsiveness, service record, truth in advertising, and support of the respiratory care profession.
Seven outstanding members of the respiratory care profession were recognized with the AARC’s Fellow of the American Association for Respiratory Care (FAARC) designation during this morning’s Awards Ceremony —
We thank all of these members for the major contributions they have made to their respective areas of practice in respiratory care.
The title of this lecture might elicit a “duh” from some readers, but Jerry Krishnan MD PhD believes too many clinicians really don’t give the need for oxygen the careful attention it deserves when it comes to patients with chronic respiratory conditions.
In tomorrow’s Petty Lecture, he will discuss the evidence supporting the use of supplemental oxygen among these patients, go over a new consortium in the works to make sure more patients are correctly assessed for oxygen need during hospital to home transfers, and suggest ways in which respiratory therapists can get more involved in that process.
“Use of supplemental oxygen at home in individuals with severe resting room air hypoxemia is one of the very few evidence-based treatments that saves lives in people with COPD,” says Dr. Krishnan. “How often is life-saving home oxygen prescribed? Used as prescribed? Who is the SHERLOCK consortium and what are they proposing to do?”
Congress-goers will hear the answers to these questions and more!
Jerry Krishnan is a professor of medicine and public health, and associate vice chancellor for population health sciences, at the University of Illinois College of Medicine. He is a founding investigator and chair of the Steering Committee for the COPD Outcomes-based Network for Clinical Effectiveness and Research Translation and has published studies on topics ranging from asthma and COPD to peer-to-peer coaching for the use of supplemental oxygen equipment.
Respiratory care is driven by technology, and Congress-goers are viewing the latest whiz-bang innovations in this year’s Exhibit Hall. Every top vendor in the business is in Vegas this week, and they are all ready to share the evidence-based research supporting their devices and services.
Everything from mechanical ventilators to airway clearance devices and more is available for attendees to see, touch, and in some cases, even test out for themselves.
New this year are “New Exhibitor” emblems, which have been placed on the floor in front of booths for vendors who are exhibiting at Congress for the first time, and a New Product Showcase on the Congress website featuring some of the new products our exhibitors have in their booths.
Even if you aren’t at the meeting, you can check out these new products in the Showcase. If you are there, look for the “New Product” emblems on the floor in front of booths featuring these products.
Many of the vendors are offering special meeting discounts for deals made onsite too, which means some attendees will end up covering all or most of the cost of their trip to Vegas this week just by taking advantage of those savings.
Research drives evidence-based respiratory care, and the annual Open Forum is the place to see the research that’s being done by respiratory therapists. Over the next three days 277 abstracts will be featured in 14 Poster Discussion sessions and 2 Posters Only sessions.
The premiere event of the Forum, the annual Editors’ Choice session showcasing the top 10 abstracts submitted this year, will take place on Thursday. During this session, presenters will report the important findings of their studies.
The Open Forum is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Monaghan.
We’d like to send a big thank-you to all of our 2018 Corporate Partners: Vyaire Medical, Masimo, Medtronic, Monaghan, Philips, Draeger, Getinge, Teleflex, Boehringer Ingelheim, AstraZeneca, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, ResMed, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, and Sunovion.
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.
This year marks the beginning of a new era for our iconic respiratory knowledge competition. For the first time, it will be students-only Bowl, with teams from across the country who are ready to show they have the right stuff in preliminary and final rounds.
The Bowl kicked off today and will continue tomorrow, with a Finals round scheduled for Thursday afternoon. Following the Finals, everyone will be invited to gather for the Sputum Bowl® Award Ceremony and Networking Reception featuring a great show by Mark Eddie.
Part musician, part comedian, and all entertainer, Eddie will energize the crowd with his guitar, signature voice, and hilarious tribute to the classic rock, R&B, hip hop, country, and pop stars of our time. With great impressions of everyone from Neil Diamond to Dave Matthews, he spans the generations, and his witty point of view on everything from pop culture to parenting has something for everyone too.
The Sputum Bowl® is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Medtronic.
AARC-TV is ramping up to interview attendees and speakers alike about the educational opportunities being offered at AARC Congress 2018, and we’ll be featuring some of these video right here in the Online Congress Gazette. Look for them on the front page.