Respiratory therapists across the nation inaugurated two presidents in 2013; one in Washington, D.C., and the other from Syracuse, N.Y. George Gaebler, MSEd, RRT, FAARC, assumed the role of AARC president, and with little delay outlined his plan to position respiratory therapists to face the “many changes (coming) over the next three to five years due to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” He invited his constituents to “seize the opportunities as they become available in hospitals and other care sites.” Embracing the “Respiratory Therapist for 2015 and Beyond” recommendations as key to meeting the challenges we face as a profession, President Gaebler proposes the following nine goals in this month’s edition of the AARC Times:
1. Evaluate the 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.
2. Continue to develop and execute strategies that will increase membership and participation in the AARC, both nationally and internationally.
3. Promote patient access to RTs as medically necessary in all care settings through appropriate vehicles at local, regional and national venues.
4. Continue to promote the patient and his/her family’s needs by being the advocate for those patients with respiratory disorders.
5. Continue to advance our presence in the international respiratory community 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 to develop and enhance the skill base of current practitioners to meet the future needs of our profession.
7. Maintain and expand relevant communication and alliances with key allies and organizations within our communities of interest.
8. Expand efforts to obtain research funding.
9. Increase and enhance activities to increase public awareness of RTs and their role in the treatment of respiratory disorders.
Certainly all campaigns are esteemed not in words but action. So let us too find a “Gaebler Goal” to get behind! Let us rally for our own cause and see our profession propelled to its rightful place in the new healthcare palaestra!