President’s Message: Serving as a Voice for Our Group


President’s Message: Serving as a Voice for Our Group

By Kate Traynor, RN, MC, FAACVPR

  “… a fresh start, same dreams, new challenges, feel the fear and do it anyways, 365 new days, 365 new challenges…”

Kate_Traynor_crop.pngDear AACVPR Nation,

I want to start by reiterating what I opened with in Louisville at the 33rd AACVPR Annual Meeting: Thank you for this opportunity to serve you and AACVPR as President for 2018-2019. I feel a deep gratitude for your trust as well as a keen awareness of the responsibilities of the position.

Over the past year as I served as President-Elect, I had the good fortune to work hand in glove with our outgoing President, Dr. Todd Brown. Todd brought a unique blend of intellect, wisdom, clinical expertise, strong leadership, curiosity and more than a dash of good humor to his position. Remarkable progress was made during his tenure, including membership growth and expansion of our value-based care efforts. He also oversaw impactful collaborations with Million Hearts, CDC and CMS, which culminated in the publication of the Cardiac Rehab Change Packet. In our science and research agenda, Todd guided strides with the release of a Request for Applications for an AACVPR Data Analytics Center.

That was the “big stuff,” but Todd also managed to keep the organization running smoothly on a day-to-day basis. Despite juggling his AACVPR responsibilities with full-time academic and clinical responsibilities and a busy family life, Todd still found time to attend to the daily nuances of keeping this organization’s wheels in motion. He answered hundreds of emails, conducted hours of phone calls, reviewed volumes of documents and so much more. We all owe him a great deal of thanks and admiration on a job well done for giving his energy and time and leaving a legacy that will have a profound impact on AACVPR. Hats off, Todd — just don’t go too far!

As we look forward to the next chapter in our organization, there are more shining stars to acknowledge:

  • Alison Bailey, MD’s; Steven Keteyian, PhD’s; Tom Draper’s; and Bob Brown’s service to the Board of Directors wrapped up this year. It was a pleasure to work closely with all of you. I’ve learned much from each of you and marvel at your contributions to our organization. Thank you.
  • Tracy Herrewig, MS, RCEP, FAACVPR, our News & Views Editor-in-Chief for the past five years, shepherded the transition of the publication to an online content hub. Thank you.
  • Larry Hamm, PhD, FACSM, MAACVPR, has served as Editor-in-Chief of JCRP for four years. For the countless hours you have devoted to assuring the excellence of our organization’s scientific journal, thank you.
I’d also like to extend a warm welcome and thank-you to these people for stepping up and assuming leadership positions in AACVPR:

  • Gayla Oakley, CCRP, MAACVPR, is the new Secretary for AACVPR and Editor-in-Chief for News & Views.
  • Ruth Akers, RN, BSN, MHA, FACVPR; Mark Enrico, EP, CCRP, CLA, FAACVPR; and Hank Wu, MD, MPH, are all new members of our organization’s Board of Directors.
  • Lenny Kaminsky, PhD, is the new Editor-in-Chief for JCRP.                                  
Our 33rd Annual Meeting in Louisville was a resounding success from many perspectives. We saw strong attendance numbers and were able to unveil new recognition and celebration of AACVPR’s three esteemed award recipients. The week was marked by outstanding scientific and educational presentations and posters, three engaging keynotes, the unveiling of our brand-new CR Change Packet, a new networking celebration and a warm reception from the Derby City. Our Program Planning Committee, led by Gayla Oakley and David Prince, MD, and AACVPR staff Kirk Terry, Hannah Muerhoff and Nicole Lewis deserve all the credit. Thank you for orchestrating such a stellar Annual Meeting. We hope that those of you who could not attend or were prevented from travelling to the meeting by Mother Nature will put the 34th Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon, Sept. 18-21, 2019, on your calendars. You won’t be disappointed.

In the meantime, there is much for each of us to do: in our programs, in our affiliates and at the national level of AACVPR. To paraphrase my President’s Address, we need to stay focused on our mission and values and think differently to innovate and remain relevant. The Cardiac Rehabilitation Change Packet, a Million Hearts Action Guide, completed by a collaboration of CDC and AACVPR, is a virtual blueprint for evaluating and improving processes to increase referral to, enrollment in and adherence to our Cardiac Rehab Programs. And it can easily serve as a template for the same in our Pulmonary Rehab Programs.

Where do we go from here? You tell me! I am eager and willing to hear your ideas, your feedback and your vision for our organization. Please do not hesitate to reach out and share your thoughts. We are stronger as a collective community, and my ultimate mission as President is to serve as a voice and guiding force for our entire group.

I look forward to a challenging, rewarding year.


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