As I write this, my first “President’s Message” to you all, I am excited and looking forward to serving as the 14th president of the American Association of Sleep Technologists (AAST). What a whirlwind it has been since I spoke with you last. School is starting and I find myself figuring out life as a student, a working professional and active leader. It’s a challenge I am definitely up to.
Looking ahead, I can’t help but also take a look back, and I can’t help but feel a strong sense of gratitude.
Gratitude for Rita Brooks – for her leadership of the AAST the past two years; gratitude for the team of talented and dedicated AAST board members and past leaders who have taken the time to mentor and encourage me; gratitude for all of those who have volunteered their service and leadership over our 37 year history and gratitude for the opportunity to serve this organization.
The AAST Board of Directors is working diligently to meet goals as outlined in our strategic plan. I look forward to continuing the movement to move our profession forward with a focus on higher education and expanded roles for technologists. The role of the sleep technologist is evolving as we take on responsibilities related to patient education, follow-up care, disease management, and outcomes data collection. These changes provide us with an opportunity to expand the role of the sleep technologist in the sleep technology workforce to meet the growing need for sleep-related patient care. There are many questions and concerns on how to overcome the barriers to raising the bar for education. The AAST is working diligently to provide resources to help not only our members but also the CoA PSG programs to meet the educational needs of our profession.
I am very excited about our expanded campaign to keep our members and sleep community abreast of evolving and emerging technologies and clinical practices. We want to be able to respond to our members and have developed gap and needs assessments that will be distributed shortly. We are reinventing ways to get our messages out and our social media and blog campaigns have been successful. I hope you are seeing the efforts and recognize that the AAST is truly in place to help our members stay informed and educated on a variety of topics that directly affect their profession.
Active involvement in the AAST’s programs and activities will help us to succeed. There is still time to register for the AAST Fall Course that will be held a little over a month away in Branson, MO on Oct. 9-10, 2015. Here are just a few of the great topics that will be presented at the course: Preparing Your Program for Providing Advanced Therapies; Maximizing Patient Comfort and Adherence and A New Model of Care.
Don’t forget, the AAST has established a scholarship in memorial of Rose Ann Zumstein, the 8th AAST president (2002-2005) and a dedicated leader in the field of sleep technology. The scholarship is intended to be used to defray expenses for a deserving sleep technologist to participate in an AAST sponsored continuing education program. The deadline to be considered for a scholarship to help offset the costs of the AAST Fall Course in Branson, MO, is September 11, 2015.
Also, it’s not too early to start thinking about how you will celebrate Sleep Technologist Appreciation Week (STAW) which is Oct. 25-31, 2015. The theme for this year is Sleep, the Soundtrack of Our Lives. I hope that you will take advantage of this opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments in our field by recognizing the sleep technologists who play a vital role in your sleep center. Keep checking the AAST website for updates on STAW activities.
I hope everyone had a fantastic summer and I’m sure I’ll see you all in October at what promises to be another great fall course!