American Association for Respiratory Care


AARC Congress 2014 Gazette for Wednesday, Dec. 10

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President Salvatore shares his goals with the membership

AARC President Frank Salvatore MBA RRT FAARC addressed the Annual Business Meeting, outlining his vision for his 2-year term in office.

Here are Salvatore’s 2015–2016 presidential goals:

  1. Continue to develop and execute strategies that will increase membership beyond 50,000 active members and participation in the AARC both nationally and internationally.
  2. Promote activities to increase public awareness of respiratory therapists and their role in the diagnosis and treatment of respiratory disorders.
  3. Advance the concepts and initiatives brought about by the “Respiratory Therapist for 2015 and Beyond” conferences. Develop a toolkit to ensure the existing educational programs are able to move in a direction that will allow them to continue to develop our future students at a level that is consistent with them obtaining a bachelor’s degree, which will eventually become the entry into our profession.
  4. Promote and advocate for appropriate patient and caregiver access to respiratory therapists in all care settings through local, state, and national legislation, regulation, and/or policies, including, but not limited to, recognizing respiratory therapists outside the traditional health care venues as well as recognizing the credential of Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) as the minimum requirement for licensure.
  5. 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 and to advance advocacy for the patient.
  6. Promote the access of high-quality continuing education for development and enhancement of the skill base of today’s practitioners to meet the current and future needs of our profession.
  7. Encourage the development of programs, accreditation, and credentialing of the Advanced Practice Respiratory Therapist (APRT) as a level of practice that will further improve the care given to our patients and advance the career track of our profession.
  8. Maintain and expand relevant communication and alliances with key allies and organizations within our communities of interest.
  9. Expand efforts to obtain research funding and develop the next generation of respiratory therapy researchers. The American Respiratory Care Foundation is an integral part of the funding/fundraising related to research; we will increase participation by our membership in ARCF fundraising activities through an educational effort that will increase awareness of the importance of the ARCF.

President’s Report

George Gaebler MSEd RRT FAARC

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

The AARC remains a strong organization with membership fluctuating at about 50,000, despite the ups and downs with the economy. We continue to remain a great professional organization with great members.

The AARC continues with activity in Washington DC to ensure patients have access to respiratory therapists and their disease management skills in all care sites.

The AARC Board of Directors recently released the revised Strategic Plan for 2015–2020. A great amount of work and communications with CoARC and the NBRC was done to move the profession forward over a short time.

The following is a high-level summary of the accomplishments in relation to my goals over the past year:

  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 The booklet entitled “A Patient’s Guide to Aerosol Drug Delivery” continues to be available for patients’ use.
  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. We are now seeing an increased number of retirees, which has impacted membership. The Membership Committee has been very active this year to continue our growth. Interest from the international community continues to grow as more areas around the world look to the U.S. model of respiratory therapy education.
  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 access to the respiratory therapist across all sites continues with our efforts in Washington. We keyed on physician members of the House and Senate to help us gain this important goal. AARC members need to stay active and vigilant in communicating and building relationships with their representatives and senators.
  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 at a fast pace. During this past year, several new opportunities to provide education were 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 4 years have been filled with activity regarding “Respiratory Therapist for 2015 and Beyond.” Data have been gathered from a number of organizations; information has been shared at a great number of meetings around the country.
  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.
    • The Respiratory Care Journal has become much more user friendly in its new digital format.
  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.
    • This has proven successful with much more revenue and many more grants during this year.
    • Great amounts of work have been done on improving our research funding and access for funds and helping with growth for development of new researchers.
  9. Increase and enhance activities to increase public awareness of respiratory therapists and their role in the treatment of respiratory disorders.
    • The AARC remains involved with activity to increase the awareness of respiratory therapists. One great example is the work that has been done in DRIVE4COPD. Hundreds of therapists throughout the U.S. 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 great 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, Frank Salvatore, MBA RRT FAARC, who will be sworn in during this meeting in Las Vegas, NV.

Secretary-Treasurer’s Report

Linda Van Scoder EdD RRT FAARC

Your professional organization is in good fiscal shape. Although the U.S. economy has been somewhat up and down this year, the AARC continues to be served by a fiscally responsible Executive Office and Board of Directors. Some of the 2014 highlights are:

  • Membership: Our number of members has not grown as we would have liked. Nonetheless, with your dues and all other revenues, we continue to provide the programs and services that are important to you. This includes providing high-quality educational programs and working with all levels of government to assure that you are appropriately recognized for what you do.
  • Revenues: Our revenues are strong overall thanks to your continued support via membership dues, educational course offerings, and attendance at 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 several sizable grants to underwrite projects that will advance our profession.
  • Expenses: Our actual expenses for 2014 are below budget for the year 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 year.

Congratulations award winners!

The AARC, ARCF, NBRC, and CoARC honored top performers with a host of awards during yesterday’s awards ceremony.

Charles G. Durbin Jr MD FAARC FCCM received the AARC’s highest honor, the Jimmy A. Young Medal, in recognition of his long-time service to the AARC and our Respiratory Care Journal, and his dedication to conducting research studies validating the important role therapists play in the hospital setting.

The medal is awarded annually to a member of the profession who has exceeded all expectations for meritorious service to the AARC and advancement of the respiratory care profession. (Learn more about Dr. Durbin and the other award winners in your Congress Program and the Online Gazette.)

New literary award supported by Draeger

A new literary award supported by a $50,000 endowment bestowed on the ARCF by Draeger was presented during yesterday’s Awards Ceremony. The award, which went to Azadeh Bojmehrani PhD MSc Eng, is aimed at recognizing the best paper focused on mechanical ventilation published in Respiratory Care.

“Innovation and new clinical practice in mechanical ventilation require research and evidence-based outcomes,” says AARC member Ed Coombs MA RRT-ACCS FAARC, director of marketing-intensive care at Draeger Medical Inc. “Establishing an annual award for the best paper that examines mechanical ventilation encourages both new and veteran RTs to continue scholarly work both on the bench and at the bedside.”

Honoring those who serve

Join us in front of the Exhibit Hall entrance this morning at 9:30 to witness a moving flag-folding ceremony. It’s our way of honoring those among us who are serving in our armed forces today and those who have so willingly given of their service in the past.

Special thanks to these RT service members for taking part in the ceremony: MSgt Patricia Bellotte, TSgt Joshua Powell, TSgt Patricia Wagner, SSgt Sylvia Eldridge, SrA Cody Rothlisberger, A1C Makaila Erdody, and A1C Angela Knowles. And a special thanks to Joseph Buhain and Harry Roman for their tireless work in putting this together again this year.

Virtual Museum: How one member made it happen

The AARC launched its Virtual Museum chronicling the history of the respiratory care profession earlier this year. But the idea for the project dates back to 2007 when 1995 AARC President Trudy Watson BS RRT FAARC decided something needed to be done to preserve our past. In this interview, she explains her passion for the project and how she saw it through to fruition.

When did you get involved with the Virtual Museum, and why did you decide it was an endeavor worth pursuing?

Watson: Although the AARC has historical documents dating back to the establishment of the professional association, I felt we were missing a critical aspect of respiratory care’s history — a pictorial chronology that highlighted the inventions, equipment, modalities, pioneers, and leaders of the profession.

I proposed the creation of a Virtual Museum at a Presidents Council meeting 7 years ago. Following that discussion, the Presidents Council sent a recommendation to the AARC Board of Directors requesting that the feasibility of establishing a Virtual Museum be investigated.

After preliminary discussions with key members of the Executive Office staff, the Virtual Museum proposal was presented to the ARCF for consideration for funding. In 2013, the ARCF held a fundraiser at the AARC Congress to support the Virtual Museum and offered virtual bricks and virtual blocks for purchase. At the 2013 fundraiser, Teleflex Corporation generously contributed $25,000 to help launch the museum.

Chronicling the history of an entire profession seems like a daunting task. What went into planning the museum?

Watson: Eighteen months ago, a meeting was held to brainstorm ideas for content for the museum. We reviewed the list of proposed galleries and selected the initial galleries to be developed.

Following that session, the requirements for the Virtual Museum’s infrastructure were identified. Weekly conference calls were held with the Executive Office leadership until the infrastructure was in place. By the end of January 2014, we were ready for the teams to begin their research and to develop the content for their assigned galleries.

Representatives from the AARC, ARCF, CoARC, and NBRC collaborated in the development of the gallery featuring our profession’s milestones, developed the Legends of Respiratory Care recognition program, and were invited to provide content for a gallery featuring their agency’s leaders and major award recipients. The initial group of leaders to be inducted into the Legends gallery were announced at the Awards Ceremony here on Tuesday.

How did you decide which galleries should be included in the museum and what “story” each of these galleries would tell?

Watson: For the initial galleries, we featured modalities and equipment utilized by practitioners in the 1940s and 1950s. We included a combination of vintage ads, patent application schematics, and vintage photos to display the evolution of the equipment and therapeutic modalities.

How did you locate all of the photos and other information in the museum, and what did you do to ensure you would get the kind of quality resources you would need to make the museum a success?

Watson: In addition to photos and logos submitted by CoARC, ARCF, and NBRC, materials scanned from AARC archives, and the research conducted by the committee members, over 50 AARC members contributed vintage photos for the museum in response to our requests for vintage images. We hope that more members and companies in the respiratory care industry will share their original photos of vintage equipment to supplement our current and upcoming galleries.

And of course, the Virtual Museum would not exist without the support, guidance, and diligence provided by the Executive Office staff.

How do you envision the Virtual Museum being used by the respiratory care community, and why do you believe it is important for the profession to have this historical repository?

Watson: The museum provides a “home” for vintage images that were previously stored in file cabinets or photo albums, or stashed in a box in the back of a closet. Now they are included in a gallery and shared with others. To date, AARC members from four countries have contributed photos for the museum.

For some, the Virtual Museum offers a chance to look back at equipment and modalities used in the early days of their careers. For students and new therapists, it may help them understand the evolution of current equipment and therapeutic modalities. It may help others appreciate the miniaturization of equipment and expanded therapeutic and diagnostic options available after the introduction of personal computers in the mid-1980s.

Are there any plans for new galleries or other enhancements of the museum that you can share with us? What can we all look forward to going forward?

Watson: The Virtual Museum is a work in progress. We plan to launch a minimum of 6 new galleries during the next year. In the future, we hope to incorporate videos of our members’ reflections on their experiences using vintage equipment and early modalities in the profession.

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