AARC Congress 2012 Gazette
for Sunday, November 11

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AARC installs 2013 officials

George Gaebler and Mike Runge

The Association installed its 2013 officials during this morning’s AARC Annual Business Meeting. In-coming President George Gaebler MSEd RRT FAARC, took over the gavel from President Karen Stewart, MSc, RRT, FAARC. Brian Walsh MBA RRT-NPS FAARC was installed as vice president for internal affairs, Colleen Schabacker BA RRT FAARC as vice president for external affairs, Frank Salvatore MBA RRT FAARC as secretary-treasurer, and Sheri Tooley BSRT RRT-NPS CPFT and Gary Wickman BA RRT FAARC as directors-at-large.

Three Specialty Sections also held elections this year, and these individuals were elected: Home Care, Kimberly Wiles BS RRT CPFT, Neonatal-Pediatrics, Natalie Napolitano MPH RRT-NPS FAARC, and Sleep, Russell Rozensky BS RRT-SDS RPSGT CPFT.

New House of Delegates officers include: speaker, John Steinmetz MBA RRT; speaker-elect, Debra Skees BS RRT CPFT; secretary, Terri Miller MEd RRT CPFT; and treasurer, Ross Havens MS RRT. Karen Schell MHSc RRT-NPS RPFT is now the past speaker.

John J. Nance inspires audience to take flight

Taking a page from his own award-winning book, “Why Hospitals Should Fly,” John J. Nance informed and entertained Congress attendees Saturday morning during his keynote address on how to improve patient safety in the hospital.

An expert on aviation safety and an aviation consultant for ABC World News Tonight and Good Morning America, Nance related some of his team-centric experiences in flying to those of a health care team. Emphasizing how humans are known to make mistakes often, he said, “We need to follow best practices, standard procedures, and checklists.” He said checklists play a life-saving role in health care in the process and noted the AARC now has checklists available to assist RTs in ensuring patient safety.

Nance also told the audience, “We also need to get rid of the silos. The most dangerous phrase in respiratory therapy is, ‘This is the way we’ve always done it.’”

Support for the keynote address was provided through an unrestricted educational grant from Fisher & Paykel Healthcare.

Top companies honored with Zenith Awards

2012 AARC Zenith Award Winners

Six leading respiratory care companies went home with Zenith Awards yesterday morning. The 2012 winners are:

  • Boehringer Ingelheim
  • Covidien
  • Draeger
  • Fisher & Paykel
  • Philips Respironics
  • Teleflex

Each of the 6 companies were selected by our members based on the quality of their products, accessibility of their sales staff, responsiveness, service record, truth in advertising, and support of the respiratory therapy profession.

Award recipients from House of Delegates

The following were recognized in a separate awards ceremony during the Annual Business Meeting Sunday morning. Congratulations to:

  • Outstanding Affiliate Contributor: Deborah Linhart BS RRT
  • Delegate of the Year: John Wilgis MBA RRT
  • Summit Award: Respiratory Care Society of Washington

2012 AARC Executive Reports

Karen Stewart

President’s Report
by Karen J. Stewart, MSc RRT FAARC

As I finish the final days of my term as president of the AARC, I wanted to take the time to say thank you. It has been a wonderful opportunity and an honor serve you and the AARC.

The AARC remains a strong organization with membership at 52,000 members, despite the sluggish economy. We continue to remain a great professional organization with great members.

AARC continues with activity in Washington DC to ensure patients have access to respiratory therapists. The plan is in place for renewed activity starting with the new legislative session in January 2013.

The following is a high-level summary of the accomplishments in relation to my goals over the last 2 years.

  1. Continue to promote the patient and their family’s needs by being the advocate for those patients with respiratory disorders.
    • AARC has continued to support patient advocacy groups and continues to support the website YourLungHealth.org. The booklet entitled “A Patient’s Guide to Aerosol Drug Delivery” continues to be available for patients’ use.
    • Underway is the Home Oxygen Users’ Survey. This survey will help the AARC understand the needs of patients regarding their home oxygen education and other needs related to receiving service in the home.
  2. Continue to develop and execute strategies that will increase membership and participation in the AARC both nationally and internationally.
    • Membership remains strong, but we cannot stop our efforts to grow our membership. The membership committee has been very active looking at ways to continue our growth. Activity on the international level is growing as more areas around the world look to the USA model of Respiratory Therapy Education.
  3. 3. Promote patient access to respiratory therapists as medically necessary in all care settings through appropriate vehicles at local, regional, and national venues.
    • The AARC activity to bring the respiratory therapist to more venues continues with our efforts in Washington. There will be new and continued efforts as the new legislative session begins in January 2013.
  4. Continue to advance our international respiratory community presence through activities designed to address issues affecting educational, medical, and professional trends in the global respiratory care community as well as continue to advance advocacy for the patient.
    • International activity continues to grow. During this past 2 years, several opportunities to provide education was achieved and plans continue to assist those with requests.
  5. Evaluate transitional needs to meet the competencies necessary to develop the “Respiratory Therapist for 2015 and Beyond” based on the expected needs of respiratory care patients, the profession, and the evolving health care system.
    • The past 2 years has been filled with activity regarding “Respiratory Therapist for 2015 and Beyond.” Data has been gathered from a number of organizations; information has been shared at a great number of meetings around the country. Decisions have been made to accept the first and second publications, and final decisions will be made in November 2012 to set the direction for implementation of the final decisions. An implementation committee will be formed and appointed by the incoming president George Gaebler, MSEd RRT FAARC.
  6. Promote the access of high-quality continuing education to develop and enhance the skill base of current respiratory therapists to meet the future needs of our profession.
    • AARC continues to be the leader in education for the respiratory therapist through publications, conferences, and webinars.
  7. Maintain and expand relevant communication and alliances with key allies and organizations within our communities of interest.
    • AARC continues to develop relationships with other organizations and advocacy groups with goals similar to those of the AARC.
  8. Expand efforts to obtain research funding.
    • AARC continues to work on efforts to obtain and increase research funding.
  9. Increase and enhance activities to increase public awareness of respiratory therapists and their role in the treatment of respiratory disorders.
    • AARC remains involved with activity to increase the awareness of respiratory therapists. One great example is the work that has been done in DRIVE4COPD. Therapists throughout the USA participated in screening for COPD.

In conclusion, I would like to thank the AARC membership, the House of Delegates, the executive office, and the state societies for making this one of the more delightful times in my life. I have had fun being able to serve you and a profession that is near and dear to my heart. I look forward to continuing to serve the AARC and to working with your next president, George Gaebler.

Secretary-Treasurer’s Report
by Linda Van Scoder, EdD, RRT, FAARC

The U.S. economy is now showing signs of life after several years, and the AARC has weathered this fiscal storm as strong as ever. Because we are conservative with expenditures, we have been able to keep membership dues low when compared to other health professional organizations while still providing you with the benefits you want and need.

Some of the 2012 highlights are:

  • Membership—Our number of members is very close to where we were at this time last year. Because of the valuable support of you and your colleagues, we are able to provide the programs and services that are important to you. This includes working with legislators and government agencies to assure that you are appropriately recognized for what you do.
  • Revenues—Our revenues remain strong thanks to the membership dues that you pay and your support for meetings such as the International Respiratory Convention & Exhibition.
  • Grants—Because the health care industry recognizes the AARC as the leader in pulmonary health, we have received 2 sizable grants to underwrite spirometry testing and training.
  • Expenses—Our expenses are below where we projected them to be at this time. The AARC Officers and Executive Office Staff take very seriously the trust you have placed in us and will always strive to spend your money wisely.

Thanks to each and every one of you for making this another successful year for the AARC. And thank you for the opportunity to serve as your secretary-treasurer for the past 3 years.

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