Respiratory therapists came together with patients and patient organizations on Friday for the fifth annual National Respiratory Patient Advocacy Summit.
The event featured a top lineup of speakers who addressed key concerns in the patient community. Keynote addresses by Val Chang JD, executive director of the Hawaii COPD Coalition, and Troy Fields, board member of the ALS Association Florida Chapter, set the stage for great discussions about how patients and therapists can work together to meet the needs of the respiratory patient community.
The National Patient Advocacy Award was presented to Kayelene Horne RRT RRT-NPS by Sharman Lamka, president and cofounder of The FACES Foundation, for her work with pediatric asthma patients at the James Connie Maynard Children’s Hospital at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, NC. Finalists were Jeff Cain RRT and Maureen Lintner RRT. The award recognizes a respiratory therapist each year who has gone above and beyond in terms of patient advocacy. It is cosponsored by the AARC and The FACES Foundation.
The Summit wrapped up with roundtable sessions hosted by representatives from the ALS Association, Dorney-Koppel Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, PHAware Global Association, and Alpha-1 Foundation.
This year’s sponsors of the Summit include Sunovion (Gold), GSK, Mylan, Vertex, and Genentech (Silver), and The FACES Foundation (Contributing).
Folks who gathered for this year’s ARCF fundraiser got the chance to see amazing sea creatures at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. Located on the Mississippi River adjacent to the French Quarter, the aquarium features a walk-through tunnel where visitors can view everything from penguins and sea otters to stingrays, parakeets, and sharks.
The “Night Under the Sea” event included a fabulous dinner, and attendees had plenty of opportunity to network with friends and colleagues. A brief program took place as well to honor Foundation donors and update everyone on ARCF activities.
Money raised by the ARCF fundraiser will go to support scholarship and research in the profession.
The ARCF fundraiser was sponsored in part by InspirRx and Vapotherm.
The AARC, ARCF, and NBRC recognized their best and brightest during this morning’s awards ceremony. Honors were bestowed on everyone from students excelling in their respiratory care programs, to researchers conducting cutting edge studies validating our practice, to clinicians making a difference in specialty areas of the profession.
Other awards presented during this year’s meeting include:
The top honor bestowed at the Awards Ceremony this morning, the Jimmy A Young Medal, went to Timothy Myers MBA RRT RRT-NPS FAARC, for his wide-ranging impact on the profession of respiratory care. During his long career, Myers has served as a bedside therapist, a respiratory care manager, and a respiratory care researcher focusing on pediatric asthma at major academic medical centers in Ohio.
A number of the studies he conducted helped to document the value of RTs. “A Cost Effective Algorithm for Children Hospitalized for Status Asthmaticus,” which appeared in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine in 1998, outlined improvements in patient care outcomes for patients treated via respiratory therapist driven protocols. “A Pediatric Asthma Unit Staffed By Respiratory Therapists Demonstrates Positive Clinical And Financial Outcomes” was published in Respiratory Care in 1998 and demonstrated that disease management provided by RTs in a hospital setting could enhance outcomes for patients, families, and the hospital itself.
“Ipratropium Bromide plus Nebulized Albuterol for the Treatment of Hospitalized Children with Acute Asthma,” published in The Journal of Pediatrics in 2001, took a closer look at a medication commonly used for pediatric asthma, ipratropium bromide, and led to major changes in practice. Myers and his colleagues found the drug came with additional costs but no clinical benefit to the patient.
“This study would go on to be cited in future evidence-based asthma guidelines as a piece of key evidence to not recommend this combination therapy,” says Myers. “The study went on to hold up in several additional clinical trials that also demonstrated the same lack of benefit.”
Tim Myers served as president of the AARC in 2009-2010, and for the past eight years, has been a key member of the Executive Office staff at AARC headquarters in Irving, TX.
Today he is our chief business officer, a position that makes him responsible for ensuring the Association remains on a solid financial footing and able to meet all of the current and ongoing needs of its members.
Former AARC Associate Executive Director Ray Masferrer RRT FAARC sums up all the ways Myers has benefited the profession. “During my 55 years in the respiratory care profession I have met and worked with the best and brightest in the field. Tim is certainly one of them,” he says. “Today respiratory care is among the top professions in health care and Tim’s contributions throughout the years have had a great impact on who we are.”
The Jimmy A Young Medal is bestowed on an annual basis to a member of the profession who has exceeded all expectations for meritorious service to the AARC and advancement of the respiratory care profession, and no one is more deserving of this award than Tim Myers.
Read more about Tim Myers and his contributions to respiratory care in the October edition of AARC Times.
When Grace Anne Dorney Koppel was diagnosed with COPD in 2001, her life, and the lives of her family, were turned upside down. The doctors gave her 3-5 years to live, and the initial shock of that prognosis sent them all reeling.
Those doctors didn’t know who they were dealing with. Instead of accepting that prognosis and making plans for the end, Grace Anne decided to fight. She enrolled in pulmonary rehabilitation and learned to take her medications correctly. And not only didn’t she die in 3-5 years, she’s still going strong today, one of the biggest advocates for COPD patients there is.
Her husband, long-time ABC Nightline anchor Ted Koppel, has been by her side throughout it all, and he shared his experiences supporting his wife and her newfound cause with Congress-goers in yesterday’s keynote address.
“Eventually, hard work, taking inhalation exactly as supposed to, going to rehab … and here we are, 18 years later,” he said of the journey.
Respiratory therapists have played a large role in those efforts.
Koppel went on to reflect on the vast number of Americans diagnosed with COPD and the vast number who have yet to diagnosed and asked why people just don’t have spirometry testing done during their annual physicals. “If we could diagnose our patients earlier, what an extraordinary gift that would be,” he said.
He believes more patients should have access to pulmonary rehabilitation as well, noting that when he and Grace Anne talk to people who have been through the program at one of their 12 Grace Anne Dorney rehab centers, they inevitably report feeling so much better.
He then posed this question: “Why is pulmonary rehab being reimbursed at half the rate of cardiac rehab?”
He envisions a day when pulmonary rehab will be readily available — maybe even in local Walmarts — but says it will take a mobilization of political power to get the job done.
“If we can get 100 million Americans to say, let us increase pulmonary rehab reimbursement … let us increase money to COPD research … if we do all these things, we can make a difference,” he told his audience.
Zenith Awards for 2019 went to Aerogen, Draeger Medical, Fisher & Paykel, Hamilton Medical, Monaghan, and Philips.
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.
Seventeen outstanding professionals were inducted into our newest class of Fellows of the American Association for Respiratory Care during this morning’s Awards Ceremony —
These newly minted FAARCs deserve our thanks for the immense contributions they have made to the respiratory care profession through their various areas of practice.
The late Dr. Tom Petty devoted much of his career to the study of COPD and home oxygen therapy, but his theories on the disease changed over time. While his initial work looked at the pathology of emphysema and airway disease in people who smoked, later in his career he deemphasized emphysema and chronic bronchitis and focused more strongly on a definition of the disease that incorporated airflow obstruction on spirometry.
In tomorrow’s Petty Lecture, Barry Make MD, will examine the most recent evidence on the role cigarette smoking plays in COPD, including factors not associated with airflow obstruction, and how that evidence is once again changing the definition of the disease.
“Patients with a history of cigarette smoking may not exhibit spirometric abnormalities that currently define COPD,” explains Dr. Make. “The paradigm and definition of COPD are evolving and airflow obstruction is no longer the sole criterion that identifies lung disease. Evidence refutes the myth that smokers without airflow obstruction have healthy lungs.”
Dr. Make is a pulmonologist at National Jewish Health in Denver, CO, where he specializes in the treatment of COPD and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. His research interests range from COPD to chronic respiratory failure and complications of neurologic, neuromuscular, and skeletal disorders. He is currently involved in the Investigational Medication for COPD Lung Damage trial.
Everyone knows RTs love technology, and this week in New Orleans Congress-goers will be able to see all the latest equipment and products in the Exhibit Hall. All the top vendors in the business are displaying their wares, and in many cases attendees can not only see, but also touch and try out their devices.
Vendors are ready to share evidence-based research backing up their products as well, and some of them are even offering special meeting discounts for deals made here at the meeting.
Wondering what’s new in the Hall this year? You can easily find out by visiting our New Product Showcase on the Congress webpage.
The Hall opened this morning after the opening session and continues through Monday afternoon, so folks who are at the meeting can make multiple trips to ensure they see everything they want to see.
Research conducted by and for respiratory therapists is really the most meaningful research respiratory therapists can find. These studies often tackle the very topics RTs are dealing with on a daily basis, and there is no better place to learn more about them than the Open Forum here at AARC Congress 2019.
Over the next three days, Congress-goers will be able to see what their colleagues have been studying this year. More than 200 abstracts will be featured in 14 Poster Discussion sessions scheduled for today, tomorrow, and Monday and 2 Posters Only sessions set for Sunday and Monday inside the Exhibit Hall.
For the Poster Discussions, each presenter will deliver a brief talk on his/her abstract, with a question and answer session to follow. Poster Walk Rounds for the Posters Only sessions will take place again this year, as two moderators facilitate discussion of these posters from 12–1:30 p.m. each day.
The Forum will culminate on Monday morning as the top 8 abstracts this year are showcased in the annual Editors’ Choice session. Each of the authors will give a 10-minute slide presentation, followed by audience questions and discussion.
Full-text abstracts can be found at rcjournal.com.
The Open Forum is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Monaghan.
The AARC is proud of its Corporate Partner Program and would like to thank all of its 2019 partners:
Platinum: Fisher & Paykel, Hamilton, Mallinckrodt, Masimo, Medtronic, Monaghan, Sunovion, Vapotherm
Silver: Boehringer Ingelheim
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.
If you are at the meeting, please stop by their booths in the Exhibit Hall to express your appreciation for their support of the respiratory care profession.
Student members of the Association are getting ready to take the gloves off in this year’s Sputum Bowl. The preliminary rounds kicked off this morning at 8 am and run till 6 pm, and the teams will repeat that schedule tomorrow.
The big Finals Night will take place on Monday, 5:15-7:30 pm, and everyone is invited to attend and cheer on their favorite teams. The half-time show this year will feature comedic magician and entertainer Ben Seidman.
The Sputum Bowl® is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Medtronic.
AARC-TV reporters will be out and about in the convention center this week to talk to Congress-goers about their experiences here at the meeting. AARC-TV hosts will also be in the Big Ideas Theater in the AARC booth, interviewing some of the top speakers on the agenda. If you are at the meeting, keep an eye out for AARC-TV Live segments to air up on the big screens located throughout the convention center.