Position Statement : NO on Question 1

The purpose of this position statement is to (1) make the membership aware of the Massachusetts Society for Respiratory Care (MSRC) board’s decision to support the Coalition to Protect Patient Safety in opposition to Question 1 in the November, 2018 election and (2) discuss how the proposed law as it exists conflicts with the vision of the MSRC.

Over the past several months the MSRC board, composed of respiratory therapists, supervisors and directors from a wide range of healthcare organizations throughout the state, became acutely aware of the potential impact of the proposed law.  The impact on the size and function of their departments and potential limitations of patient access to care.

Based on the information available, the board has voted in favor of joining the Coalition to Protect Patient Safety in opposition to Question 1.

In doing so, the MSRC joins the American Nurses Association of Massachusetts, the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses,  the Massachusetts Emergency Nurses Association, the Massachusetts Medical Society, the Organization for Nurse Leaders, and many other leading healthcare associations as supporters of the Coalition to Protect Patient Safety.

It is the vision of the MSRC, a chartered affiliate of the American Association for Respiratory Care, to “encourage and promote professional excellence, advance the science and practice of respiratory care, and serve as an advocate for patients, their families, the public, the profession and the respiratory therapist.”  With this vision in mind, we would like to highlight several potential conflicts of the proposed law.

  • The potential limitation of patient access to care through the closure of hospital beds while organizations attempt to remain compliant with the proposed law.

  • The limitation of patient access to care through the potential reduction of specialty services as a means to offset costs associated with the proposed law.

  • The potential loss of access to the care of respiratory therapists through downsizing or elimination of respiratory therapy services as a means to offset costs associated with the proposed law.

Though proponents of the proposed law assure the public that the newly mandated ratios must be met “without diminishing the staffing levels of its health care workforce” or more plainly, without the downsizing and elimination of other services, the proposed law fails to include “respiratory therapist” by name within the list of “Health Care Workforce.”    

It is with this that we ask you to please join us in our mission, and join us in support of the Coalition to Protect Patient Safety in opposition to ballot Question 1.

 

For additional information the Coalition to Protect Patient Safety can be found at https://www.protectpatientsafety.com/supporters/

 

Against the odds, NECC honors grad heads to Children's Hospital as respiratory therapist

SabrinaHamel, 23, recently graduated from Northern Essex Community College with an associate in science degree and will start working as a respiratory therapist at Boston Children's Hospital this week. The young woman who only a few years ago had a chronic absenteeism problem earned a 3.7 grade point average at NECC.

From a Self-Proclaimed “Hot Disaster” to High Honors Graduate

Five years after she dropped out of Methuen High School, Sabrina Hamel will celebrate her  from Northern Essex Community College—which she earned with high honors—and a new job at Boston’s Children’s Hospital.

2018 Virtual Lobby Week

Today, April 11th, kicks off the AARC Virtual Lobby Campaign.  Every year the AARC and the state affiliates send representatives to Washington DC to advocate for the profession and ultimately the patients that we provide care for.  This year the AARC Hill Day is on May 1st.   Donna Sullivan and myself along with about 200+ people from around the country will be meeting with Senators and House Representatives from our respective states and districts asking them to support RT and Telehealth.    We are asking Congress to support a pilot study that uses Respiratory Therapists as Telehealth Practitioners.  To learn more about the proposed pilot study, you can go to the AARC Virtual Lobby site (http://www.aarc.org/advocacy/congressional-legislation/aarc-virtual-lobby-campaign/

Before we meet with them on May 1st, we need to have YOU help us.  We need you to reach out to your House Representative and Senators to let them know how important it is that they support Respiratory Therapy and Telehealth.  You can do this by going to the AARC Phone to Action site (https://p2a.co/lowDE4J)  There you can find the links.  Click on the link that fits your category and from there, a couple of bits of information (Name, Address, email etc.) and you can email, Tweet, Facebook or even call your House Representative and Senator and urge them to support RT as telehealth practitioners.    

This process takes just a few minutes of your time and yet will have an impact on how we as Respiratory Therapist take care of our patients.  Feel free to share the Phone to Action link with friends, family, other RT’s, patients, and other MD’s.  If you do not believe that your voice matters, last year when I went, every single Senator and Representative knew about us coming and that they had heard from patients, healthcare providers, caregivers and more importantly Respiratory Therapist how important it was to support Telehealth bills and the impact it will have to our patients and the roll and impact that Respiratory Therapist have on our patients.  We were able to get all of their support.  We need to make sure that they still have our back and the back of our patients in this proposed pilot program.

Registration for the 2018 Asthma Educator Institute Preparatory Course is officially open!

Greetings!

Registration for the 2018 Asthma Educator Institute Preparatory Course is officially open! 

The Asthma Educator Institute (AEI) is a two-day preparatory course for individuals who want to implement asthma guidelines-based care and those qualified to take the National Asthma Educator Certification Board (NAECB) examination. The AEI was developed with asthma experts in the field, reflecting the National Institutes of Health, Expert Panel Report 3: Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma. AEI includes hands-on skills, demonstrations, and practice as well as evaluations to measure increases in knowledge and skills.

Dates of Course: The 2018 AEI Preparatory Course will be held on Thursday May 10th and Friday May 11th 

Location: The Trust Conference Center | 501 Wampanoag Trail, Suite 301, East Providence, Rhode Island 02915

Registration Costs: $160 (Includes breakfast, lunch and mentoring sessions following the course) | Discounted fee of $135 for current Certified Asthma Educators (AE-Cs) 

To register online, please visit: http://action.lung.org/aeieastprovidence 

This course is open to ANYONE who:

  • Is looking to brush up on their asthma knowledge and skills
  • Is looking for a large amount of CEU credits (nurses & respiratory therapists)
  • Is preparing to take the National AE-C Exam (you can still attend if you aren’t interested in taking the exam)
  • It will fill up fast so register early!

***Please note: there are no discount codes available for this course. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. 

Jennifer L. Wall | Director of Health Education & Public Policy | Rhode Island
American Lung Association
Providence, Rhode Island
401.533.5179 | Jennifer.Wall@Lung.org | www.Lung.org

Get Set for Virtual Lobby Week – Summer 2017

Following a successful Advocacy Hill Day in April, we’re excited there are now three telehealth bills in Congress that include respiratory care services and respiratory therapists among the professionals covered to provide telehealth. Two of the bills also include remote patient monitoring for individuals with chronic conditions such as COPD. The next step is to get co-sponsors for these bills.