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Message from the President - March 2018: A New Year, a New Chance to Lead

Posted by Rita Brooks, MEP, RST, RPSGT, REEG/EPT on Mar 16, 2018 12:24:27 PM

Rita Brooks Image.jpgAn association is nothing without its members, and an industry is nothing without its professionals. The AAST Fellow Program recognizes both, and I’m proud to be included as an AAST Fellow and excited to welcome the other 13 inductees (two unfortunately recognized posthumously) into this program, newly developed in 2017. 

Over the years, these professionals have made significant contributions to the sleep technology field, and remain engaged and committed to our profession. They have all been credentialed in sleep technology for at least 15 years and have been AAST members for at least 10. I’d like to personally thank all of them for their service to AAST and our profession. The 2017 inductees, all AAST past presidents, include:

  • Jon Atkinson, BS, RPSGT
  • Rita Brooks, MEd, RPSGT, REEG/EPT
  • Todd Eiken, RPSGT
  • Cameron Harris, RPSGT, RRT
  • Sharon Keenan, RPSGT, PhD
  • Cindy Kistner, RPSGT, REEGT
  • Laura A. Linley, RPSGT, CRTT
  • Cynthia D. Mattice, MS, RPSGT
  • Pam Minkley, RRT, RPSGT
  • Kelly Million, RPSGT
  • Melinda Trimble, RPSGT, LRCP
  • Robert Turner, RPSGT, RRT

These individuals will have the right and privilege to identify themselves with the AAST Fellow designation FAAST after their names. We also recognize two significant AAST leaders who are no longer with us with this honor, including our founder:

  • Peter McGregor, RPSGT
  • Rose Ann Zumstein, RPSGT

In 2018 and beyond, the AAST Fellow program will be open for nominations made by an AAST board member or a fellow of the AAST. Individuals who have made a significant professional contribution to the field of sleep technology in education, mentorship, publications, research or professional service to the AAST as well as those who have demonstrated prominent leadership, influence, and achievement in clinical practice, education or science will be considered for fellow status. Nominations will be evaluated annually by the Fellowship Selection Committee, consisting of AAST board members and fellows in good standing. New fellows, who will be inducted during the awards ceremony held at the annual AAST conference, will receive a FAAST pin and have their names and bio included in the AAST Fellow Directory on the website. 

As we settle into 2018, I’d also like to take some time to remind you of AAST’s goals from our 2017-2018 Strategic Plan. The board of directors developed this plan to help guide the profession and association through the evolving and expanding field of sleep technology and to successfully navigate the changing landscape of sleep healthcare.

Goal 1: Define who the AAST is and why it exists.

Goal 2: Recognize and define the various roles in a sleep program, the skills required and professional standards for each role within the context of the changing healthcare environment.

Goal 3: Evolve the AAST from a people-driven organization to a process-driven organization.

Goal 4: Continue to improve communication with AAST stakeholders, including identifying how to best communicate with newly included stakeholders identified in Goal 1.

Goal 5: Expand the membership base of the AAST.

The AAST Board of Directors relies on you, our members, to keep us accountable. We exist for the 4,200-plus people who come to us for their professional and educational needs. We’re committed to meet those needs, and we’re excited to continue to do so in the New Year.

Lastly, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention our plans for our new Annual Meeting, being held in the fall this year in Indianapolis. This is the AAST’s 40th Annual Meeting, a significant milestone for our association and our profession. This is also our first completely independent annual meeting developed with our members interests and needs at the top of the list. It isn’t until Sept. 28-30, but we’re already working hard on it and are excited to bring forth a unique event experience to our growing community of sleep professionals. Stay tuned for much more information on this event. Happy 2018!