AARC Board Gathers for Spring Meeting

 Published: June 2, 2021

By: Debbie Bunch

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National Respiratory Patient Advocacy Award logo

The AARC Board of Directors (BOD) addressed several issues important to the profession during their spring meeting.

“The past year has been a challenge for RTs everywhere as they battled the pandemic, but we want everyone to know that your AARC continues to work to ensure respiratory therapists have access to the continuing education, advocacy, and other services they need to provide safe and effective care to patients,” said AARC President Sheri Tooley, BSRT, RRT, RRT-NPS, AE-C, CPFT, FAARC. “The BOD reviewed progress being made on several fronts at their spring meeting and launched new plans for the months to come.”

Getting down to business

First and foremost, the Board is pleased to report that an audit of AARC finances has found the Association to be fiscally sound and responsible.

In February 2021, the AARC engaged the public accounting firm of Howard, LLP to conduct an audit of its financial operations. They issued an unqualified opinion stating that the AARC’s financial statements were presented fairly and conform to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).   

In 2020, AARC’s total revenue was $7,785,167 and total expenses were $8,720,666. Figures 1 and 2 highlight the sources of revenue and expenses. 

National Respiratory Patient Advocacy Award logo
National Respiratory Patient Advocacy Award logo

Online educational course attendance is up from this time last year, and more courses are in the works and should be available soon. An autopay feature has been implemented for membership renewals, streamlining the process for members and the AARC office alike.

We also saw an increase in Corporate Partner participation this year, and the Association has several new tools in development, including industry podcasts, a COPD discharge toolkit, and quarterly newsletters.

Registration is now underway for Summer Forum LIVE!, the AARC’s virtual summer meeting for 2021. The meeting will offer new features such as a chat room, one-click appointment set up, the ability to calendar your agenda, and an improved exhibitor experience.

The Association is moving forward with plans for an in-person AARC Congress 2021 in Phoenix this November 6-9. While those plans will depend on the pandemic, the BOD is hopeful that a live meeting will be possible this year.

The Board applauded both the New York and Missouri societies for getting personalized RT license plates approved in their states. Their success will be shared with the other AARC state societies to consider pursuing these personalized plates in their states.

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Advocacy efforts continue

Board members also reviewed the progress made on the advocacy front.

According to Association sources, three telehealth bills are set to be introduced into Congress, and an expert panel report on noninvasive ventilators is due to be published in CHEST. The report will be submitted to CMS for their consideration.

The AARC has sent a letter to the Biden Administration outlining concerns related to regional oxygen shortages that occurred during the pandemic as well, with a special focus on liquid oxygen.

A survey was distributed to the AARC State Societies regarding compact licensure. Twenty-four responses have been received, and the results will be distributed to the membership soon.

The BOD reminds members to check the AARC advocacy page for updates on all of these critical issues.

The search is on

Lastly, the BOD approved funding to conduct a national search for a permanent executive director. The search will take place over the next few months, with the hopes of hiring a permanent director well before the end of the year.

“The Board will work closely with the Executive Office to conduct a thorough search for the best possible candidate to lead the Executive Office into the rest of this decade and beyond,” Tooley said. “Stay tuned to the AARC website for updates and the final announcement.”

Email newsroom@aarc.org with questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you.

Debbie Bunch

Debbie Bunch is an AARC contributor who writes feature articles, news stories, and other content for Newsroom, the AARC website, and associated emailed newsletters. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, traveling, photography, and spending time with her children and grandchildren. Connect with Debbie by email or on AARConnect or LinkedIn.

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