By Ash Walker, DHSc, ACSM-CEP, EIM-3, FAACVPR | AACVPR President
Here we go! 2023 has arrived and is already moving at the speed of light! Hopefully you’ve had the chance to recharge over the holiday season and rev up for the New Year, which promises to be a busy one for cardiopulmonary rehabilitation professionals. With your advocacy, it also promises to be a better one.
As last year drew to a close, I extended a challenge to each and every one of you. What can you do to advocate for and strengthen the field of cardiopulmonary rehabilitation? In case you’re still clearing out the holiday cobwebs and are in need of some inspiration, I have a couple of suggestions to kick start your year.
#1: SHARE YOUR PROGRAM OUTCOMES
It’s never been more urgent to communicate the value of what we do daily for the patients attending our programs. My question is: who else, beyond your own rehab colleagues, is aware of the remarkable good your program achieves? How often does your team share information about your program outcomes with hospital administrators?
I mention outcomes because they are what brought cardiopulmonary rehabilitation to “The Dance” decades ago. Program outcomes are why our services receive reimbursement and are able to benefit patients all over the country. But, if hospital leaders are left in the dark about outcomes, by default they must draw their own conclusions about your program – which ultimately may not reflect its true worth. On the other hand, sharing program outcomes over a period of time can help your leadership team better understand the wonderful service that is cardiopulmonary rehabilitation. This is a way to advocate for your program and our industry, and a step in the right direction to answer my presidential challenge.
#2: “DO” DOTH
Another starting point is AACVPR’s annual Day On The Hill (DOTH). The event will resume in-person for the first time in three years on March 7-8, 2023.
In my previous article inviting you to play a more active role in shaping the future of our profession, I noted that the cardiopulmonary rehabilitation landscape is in flux. No one knows more than us, the PR/CR experts, what our industry needs; and no one can tell our story better than we can. Therefore, AACVPR Nation, I urge you not to underestimate the power of your voice in Washington, D.C. You can advocate – through electronic letter submission, for example – even if you cannot attend our in-person event.
Our legislative priorities affect every program across the country, despite the common misperception that what happens on Capitol Hill doesn’t impact day-to-day program operations. Check out this recent News & Views article that highlights our focus during the upcoming meetings with legislative members. DOTH registration is now open and, by the way, it’s free!
This is our industry, and it’s up to us to do what we can to help it thrive and deliver excellence in care. 2023 is a new year and a new opportunity to play your part, starting with these two calls to action.
Are you up for the challenge?!