Join AARC’s Advocacy BLAST Campaign

 Published: April 15, 2021

By: Addie Schiefer

 

photo of shoe stomping cigarettes in an effort to stop tobacco use

Get Ready Everyone – Our virtual advocacy campaign for 2021 kicks into high gear April 19 – 30, 2021 when respiratory therapists, RT students, physicians, and other supporters BLAST messages to Capitol Hill in support of AARC’s legislative agenda.

Last year we embarked on an ambitious year-long campaign but quickly put a stop to it in early March when the pandemic took hold and respiratory therapists were needed on the front line focusing their time and energy on patient care in combating COVID-19 and saving lives. Although we are seeing deaths and new infections from COVID-19 on the decrease in major areas of the country, especially as millions become vaccinated daily, we want to be mindful that the skills and expertise of respiratory therapists are still in great demand. Thus, we want to be mindful of our members and their priorities as we set the action items for AARC’s 2021 legislative agenda.

This year we are asking Congress to support respiratory therapists by co-sponsoring two bills that will be reintroduced in the 117th Congress. Additional information is available on our website in our Advocacy menu.

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CONNECT (Creating Opportunities Now for New and Effective Care Technologies) for Health Act: AARC advocated for this legislation last year. The bill would retain the provision to allow health care professionals, such as respiratory therapists, who are not included in current telehealth law, to provide telehealth services as part of the innovative payment models being tested by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center. It will expand telehealth access by RTs that can lead to better patient outcomes and lower costs.

Allied Health Workforce Diversity Act: Respiratory therapists will be included in this workforce bill that aims to improve diversity in the allied health fields of respiratory therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech language pathology and audiology. The bill would provide grants and scholarships to students from racial and ethnic minorities to increase retention in these underrepresented programs and the completion of an associate, bachelor, master’s, or doctoral degree.

How can you help?

We’ve established a new message campaign this year and made it easy to personalize your messages by answering a few brief questions with multiple choice answers that translate to a single message at the end to send to House and Senate lawmakers. TAKE ACTION HERE! It’s that simple.

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

Addie Schiefer

Addie Schiefer is the Communications Specialist for the AARC where she creates engaging content for the association via the AARC website, newsletters, and social media. Connect with her about potential stories on LinkedIn. When she’s not working, you can find her listening to a true crime podcast, traveling to new places with her husband, hanging out with her dog JoJo, or browsing the aisles of the nearest Target.

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