In June during the American Association of Sleep Technologists (AAST) 33rd annual meeting in Minneapolis, Minn., I became the 12th president of the AAST. It is an honor for me to have the opportunity to lead the membership organization that has been advancing the profession of sleep technology since 1978. I am excited to be working alongside the exceptional team of health care professionals who sit on the AAST board of directors, and I look forward to collaborating with the AAST support staff who work so diligently for the organization at the national office near Chicago.
As president, I can assure you that I will address the needs of the membership and the issues facing our profession with truthfulness and candor. I will always speak frankly and boldly and will not shirk from honest discussions about where we are and where we are heading. The mission that I share with everyone on the AAST team is to continue to provide the high-quality educational resources and services that our membership deserves and has come to expect. Under my leadership, we will further develop the AAST as an organization of which our membership can be proud.
I’ve worked in health care for more than 30 years, and during that time I’ve gained significant knowledge about what it takes to lead a dynamic organization. My career as both a sleep professional and a long-standing board member has placed me in a unique position to share my experiences and take the AAST to greater heights. I am excited to serve an organization that has earned a reputation as the leading voice for sleep technologists by providing quality services for our membership and developing strategic partnerships to advance the profession.
In our personal ambitions we are individualists; however, as medical professionals we achieve progress for our profession when we stand united to achieve a common goal. Our unity will require patience as we move forward. There is a vast amount of concern and confusion about health-care reform, as well as a growing fear of what health care – and specifically the sleep technology profession - may look like a few years from now.
As we embrace the opportunities and confront the challenges that await us, the AAST is committed to being the common voice representing the diversity of our profession: novice trainees, experienced technicians and veteran technologists; high school graduates, CAAHEP students and those with higher degrees; credentialed and uncredentialed professionals; those with a background in respiratory therapy, electroneurodiagnostic technology, nursing, and other allied health professions; those working the night shift and the day shift; managers, educators and anyone else who shares our passion for sleep technology.
Thank you for being a part of such a vital organization. Your AAST membership helps you stay current with your technical skills and keeps you up to date with current events in the sleep field. We are grateful that you chose the AAST to be your partner on the pathway of your professional development, and we value the feedback we receive from our members.
In the few months that I have been president, I’ve already had numerous opportunities to speak to groups of sleep technologists and other sleep professionals, to interact with members, and most of all - to listen. I appreciate those of you who have thoughtfully shared your feedback with me, and I promise to promote open and frequent communication with members in the months ahead.
The AAST is not perfect, but we are dedicated to our task of promoting and advancing the sleep technology profession. My hope is that we will exceed your expectations in the coming year.
Melinda Trimble, RST, RPSGT, LRCP