It’s been roughly two months since we officially announced ‘doors open’ with our new association management company, SmithBucklin. Thus far, I am happy to report that this next step forward for AAST is going smoothly.As you are aware, the move to transition from the American Association of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and engage with SmithBucklin came in direct response to a growing need for the AAST to become more responsive to the rapidly changing and increasingly complex needs of our membership. Given the 65 years of experience in serving independent non-profit associations, including approximately 30 other healthcare-related societies and associations, SmithBucklin was the right fit for assisting the AAST to move rapidly and smoothly into the technology arena and become a more process-driven volunteer supported organization.
I want to take a moment to recognize how this transition is aligning with the strategic goals of AAST. In particular, the goal of evolving the AAST from a people-driven organization to one that is more process-driven.
We believe strongly in giving members the ability to develop into future leaders in the industry. We recognize that our members continue to face many time pressures, which can make it difficult to meet the duties that come with being a volunteer. Therefore, it was important that with this transition we invested in the right project management resources and technology tools that would create an effortless experience for members across the board.
One such aspect is managing Continuing Education Credits (CECs). The AAST remains firmly committed to education, and thus we continue to work together with stakeholders in the field of sleep technology to develop curricula, identify knowledge and skill gaps and provide training and instruction to meet the needs of our members.
With our commitment to technology improvements, you now have easier access to our online education programs and CEC opportunities using an updated educational platform. The new platform allows learners to personalize their learning process, track progress and engage in more interactive education including clinical simulations.
We now have a brand new CEC Portal where you are able to review your transcript, print certificates, view program details, and track certification start and renewal dates. From your Learning Center, you can view currently active modules and search the catalog for new eLearning. Completion certificates are available in your CEC Portal. And we are making it easy to navigate through these resources by providing videos and additional directions for each, to help you familiarize yourself with these tools.
It is all part of an enhanced Member Portal, where you can access membership information and update your profile. And we will continue to improve our website and expand our capabilities for interactive communication with our members, keeping you up to date with news in the field of sleep technology and providing opportunities for feedback to the leadership.
Speaking of keeping up to date with the news, you have probably noticed a slight chance to the format of A2Zzz. Beginning with this issue, we are delivering the publication straight to your inbox. You may have received a notice via email that this issue was available, with a link that directed you to download the current issue of the magazine. This move was made out of convenience for readers, assuring that you know the moment our issues of A2Zzz become available. This change in format is designed to make for a more efficient and engaging reader experience. And don’t worry; as a member with continued access to up to two free CECs per issue, you will still follow a similar format for recording your CEC credits as previously.
While we have just begun our journey into the next phase of AAST, we believe that the best is still yet to come. Look for more exciting announcements in the months to come as we continue to explore new ways to serve our members at the highest level possible. Join us as we explore the changing needs of our members and other stakeholders and our expanding roles, and work on redefining the organizational identity of the AAST. Walk with us into the future.