As 2015 draws to a close the AARC staff wants to send a big “Happy Holidays” greeting out to everyone in the AARC Nation. We hope you enjoy some great time off with family and friends over the next week — and for those of you who find yourself working on the 25th and 1st, please know how much we appreciate your service to your hospitals and your patients.
We also thought this would be a great time to look back at just a few of the special accomplishments achieved by the Association over the past year and how they are making a real difference for the profession —
Respiratory Patient Advocacy Summit: Held the day before AARC Congress 2015 kicked off in Tampa, this mini-conference on how to better meet the needs of patients with chronic respiratory conditions drew participation from RTs, nurses, patient advocacy groups, and patients themselves.
Medicare Telehealth Parity Act: This vital legislation includes coverage for respiratory therapists in the telehealth setting, and the Association networked with members of Congress all year long to encourage its passage.
Disaster Relief: Our special fund to help members affected by major natural disasters was activated in response to severe weather events in South Carolina and Texas.
Leonard Nimoy Film: The AARC acted as an advisor to the producers of “COPD: Highly Illogical: A Special Tribute to Leonard Nimoy,” a film documenting the legendary “Mr. Spock’s” battle with this chronic lung disease and his mission to raise awareness about it.
Edison Nation Medical: By teaming up with this innovation organization, the AARC gave RTs a chance to bring their ideas for products to market.
Positioning the profession for the future: The Board of Directors moved ahead with several components outlined by the 2015 and Beyond conferences, including a new goal calling for 80% of therapists to either have or be working toward their bachelor’s degree by 2020.
Multidisciplinary Course: The Association launched a new course aimed at bringing RTs together with their colleagues in health care together to learn more about pulmonary disease management. The Pulmonary Disease Educator Course covers key components of pulmonary disease education for COPD, pulmonary fibrosis, asthma, pulmonary hypertension, and cystic fibrosis.
Human Resources Study: The latest edition of our Human Resources Study showed the number of RTs working in the U.S. grew by 19% since the last survey, from 146,117 in 2009 to 172,921 in 2014. The study provided comprehensive data on demographics, wages, procedures, hours, trends in patient care, and more as well.
Virtual Museum: The Association continued to serve historian for the profession with the addition of several new galleries to its Virtual Museum, including one featuring AARC members talking about how and why they decided to become an RT.
Awarding Winning Service: And last but not least, AARC Executive Director Thomas Kallstrom, MBA, RRT, FAARC, was proud to accept a Humanitarian Award on behalf of RTs everywhere at the third annual Patient Safety Summit held in California, acknowledging the key role you play in keeping your patients safe every day.