The first day of the Congress is often a whirlwind of activity. Last night, Congress-goers were ready for a little rest and relaxation, and they found it at the Welcome Party. Great entertainment livened everyone’s spirits, and complimentary refreshments kept them well fed too.
It is not about what we are, it is about what we can become. — Dr. Seuss
Why are we here? Where are we going? A quote by John F Kennedy states, “Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.” Imagine if we waited until we were 100% sure about the outcome before we started anything. We would spend a lot of time waiting to begin, wouldn’t we? The outcome is never truly certain. Many of us have been feeling, when do we begin?
Well, the AARC has been on a journey. It may have felt like we have not even started to go to where we need to be for the future of the profession, but we began years ago with a vision, a future for respiratory therapists as equal partners in the health care arena. Now all the work from the past is forging our future. We have purpose and direction.
Our past leaders and members have laid the groundwork to build the foundation to develop a plan to move ahead to meet the needs of our profession and our patients. There have been obstacles along the road. We have kept going anyway, despite the fear, and despite the uncertainty. As Michael Angier states, “Real courage is moving forward when the outcome is uncertain.” Thanks to our past leaders, our organization, and our members, we have had the courage to pursue the vision.
Why we are here is important, but to know where we are going is imperative. It’s not what we’ve got, it’s what we do with it and how we use it to make a difference for the profession. Our time has come. We know where we need to go. We know where we need to be to advance the profession. Now the real work begins.
The AARC will continue to work toward achieving the six Horizon Goals implemented at the beginning of 2019 to go to where we need to be for our future. Those goals are --
Since, January of 2019, the AARC, Board of Directors, House of Delegates, and stakeholders have made progress on these new goals. Some of the work being done is listed below.
Hard work opens doors and shows the world that we are serious. We need you to use the fullness of your talents to do our very best. We have been working hard, but the work is not done. We have much to do. We need your help. I encourage you to consider the words of Malcolm Gladwell, “If you work hard enough and assert yourself, and use your mind and imagination, you can shape the world to your desires.”
Welcome to New Orleans, I hope you have a wonderful Congress. I hope to meet many of you during the next few days. Enjoy your time together and make the most of the opportunity to learn, network, and engage.
Please feel free to contact me any time. You can reach me at email@example.com
Thank you for your support, and wherever life plants you, bloom with grace!
As of September 30, 2019, 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.
I am pleased to report that the AARC financials for 2019 continue to perform better than plan, with both revenues and expenses better than budget. Revenues from publication advertising are down but digital online ads exceed expectations, while education revenues are up more than 9% due to the Disease Educator course. Other income received comes from grants, rental income, and corporate partners. Expenses are lower than expected, and this includes almost $400K in affiliate revenue sharing to the state societies. Furthermore, the AARC has done well with the chaotic stock market, with more than $3 million in unrealized gains.
Membership: Total membership at the end of September was over 45,000 members. Active membership reached over 40,000 members. Student membership recovered from 2018 totals at the same time, with approximately 500 more early professional members.
AARC President Karen Schell DHSc RRT RRT-NPS RRT-SDS RPFT RPSGT AE-C CTTS reviewed the progress the AARC has made during her first year in office and talked about plans for 2020 at this morning’s annual business meeting.
“Our future is created by what we do today and every day,” she told her audience. “Success will be the result of our hard work, learning from our failures, loyalty, and persistence. The past explains how we got here, but our future is up to us to define.”
Dr. Schell will continue to work toward the six Horizon Goals established by the AARC at the beginning of her term —
“If we work hard, it will improve our chances of succeeding,” concluded Dr. Schell. “I believe amazing things will happen when we all work together. Our patients need all of us to grow the profession.”
Patient-ventilator asynchrony can impact patient outcomes, and tomorrow morning Lluís Blanch MD PhD will shed some light on the topic in the Egan Lecture. In addition to covering the various types of asynchrony, Dr. Blanch will address new technology that can automatically detect these mismatches and facilitate patient care.
“Mechanical ventilation in critically ill patients needs to effectively unload inspiratory muscles and provide a safe ventilation — enhancing gas exchange and protecting the lungs and the diaphragm,” says Dr. Blanch. “To do that, the ventilator should be in synchrony with patient’s respiratory rhythm.” He believes the complexity of this interplay leads to several concerning issues that clinicians should be aware of and able to recognize, and that asynchronies between the patient and the ventilator may induce several deleterious effects that require a proper physiological understanding in order to recognize and manage.
“Appropriate handling of asynchronies requires clinical skills, physiological knowledge, and suitable drugs management,” notes the physician. “Additionally, new technologies and devices are currently changing our daily practice, going from automated real-time recognition of asynchronies and their distribution during mechanical ventilation, to smart alarms and artificial intelligence algorithms based on physiological big data and personalized medicine.”
Lluís Blanch is a senior intensivist and consultant in critical care at Centre Hospital de Sabadell in Barcelona, Spain. He also serves as research and innovation director at Corporació Sanitària Parc Taulí in Barcelona, and director of the University Institute Fundació Parc Taulí Universitat Autònoma of Barcelona. He has published extensively on topics related to mechanical ventilation.