By Denise Williams | News & Views
Exercise physiologists Tracy Herrewig, MS, RCEP, MAACVPR, and Kathe Briggs, MS, ACSM-CEP, FAACVPR, both really hated missing AACVPR’s 37th Annual Meeting in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Herrewig couldn’t make the trip from Wisconsin because of training and other preparations for her facility’s planned switchover to the EPIC software system next month. With the “go-live” event looming at Ascension Mercy Hospital in Oshkosh and patient care responsibilities also requiring her attention, she just couldn’t slip away this year.
At East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika, cutbacks in discretionary spending meant Briggs also wouldn’t be joining many of her peers onsite for this year’s event on September 21-23, 2022. The decision came as a disappointment to Briggs, who was a student volunteer at the association’s very first national convention in Las Colinas, Texas, but returned in most of the subsequent years as a card-carrying member of the AACVPR. Including the 2022 gathering, she can count the number of Annual Meetings that she didn’t attend in person.
The Call of the Virtual Classroom
Although they had to sit this one out, Herrewig and Briggs are excited and grateful for the option to acquire all of the knowledge transfer that took place at the Palm Beach County Convention Center…and then some. Doing so is possible – when and where it’s most comfortable for them – thanks to ACVPR’s collection of recorded educational sessions. Offered this year under the banner of “Beyond the Beach,” registration for the after-event program unlocks the potential to earn up to 55.75 CEU credit hours. The curriculum even includes two sessions, “Cardiac Rehabilitation Quality Indicators: Balancing the Ideal and the Possible Internationally” and “Cardiac Rehabilitation Registries Across the Globe,” that were curated specifically and exclusively for Beyond the Beach subscribers.
Being able to tap into the full slate of meeting programming is crucial, Briggs emphasizes, and doing it online has some benefits beyond convenience. In-person is great, she continues, but it’s impossible to attend every single session. Having just restarted her center’s pulmonary rehab and wanting to brush up, she had planned to load up on the PR offerings in West Palm Beach had she been able to attend in person. Now, Briggs says, there’s no need to cherry-pick. “I’m a program director, so I really need to do all the education tracks,” she explains. “I need the leadership track. I’m running a cardiac rehab and a pulmonary rehab, so I also need both of those tracks.” If she has her way, and enough time, she plans to watch every session on the menu.
A self-proclaimed serial learner, Briggs is all set for all of her professional renewals and recertifications; but she brings up an important point for others who have collected CEU credits at a slower pace. Meeting the continuing-education criteria for renewing licensures and certifications can be difficult, but the Annual Meeting allows CR and PR professionals to stack up numerous credits through a single event. For that reason, Briggs notes, Beyond the Beach has tremendous value not only for people like herself and Herrewig who simply couldn’t be in Florida this year but even for those who could and did go. After returning from West Palm Beach, members can maximize their learning by following up with the in-person sessions they had to pass up onsite. In order to stay current in the profession, Briggs points out, attendance at the Annual Meeting – in person or online – is imperative. “It’s where you hear the latest and greatest,” she says. “It’s how the profession grows.”
Herrewig seconds that emotion. There likely are countless personal or professional reasons that prevented some AACVPR members from participating at the physical event but, for her, choosing to participate in Beyond the Beach instead was a no-brainer. “The information scheduled to be included in this option will provide a great deal of information for me to continue to grow as a clinician and to provide best practice strategies for my patients,” she states.
Don’t Miss the Boat
Registration is already open for Beyond the Beach, which will make recorded sessions from the Annual Meeting – plus the two additional international presentations – available via Pathable starting on October 10, 2022. Subscribers will also be able to connect directly with conference exhibitors using an online messaging tool. To provide ample time for members to maximize their CEU potential, recordings will be at the ready for Beyond the Beach registrants through January 2023.