The AAST Strategic Plan: On Target or Missing the Mark?
The AAST is aware of the changes in the field and the concern that some technologists have about its relationship with the AASM. To this end, the organization's board has updated its strategic plan to help increase its effectiveness at creating a strong, cohesive community. In some ways, this strategic plan is strong; in others, it misses the mark.
I personally believe the AAST has hit the mark when they talk about the educational offerings they hope to create and their desire to increase communication with the membership. We as a community need to have the updated education as our field continues to develop. This is especially true with private insurances mandating HST and CPAP titrations. Those patients are going to need more support than ever and we are in the best position to give them that support. We can give them the education that they will need and monitor them when they're titrated using autoPAP therapy.
The AAST strategic also addressed the biggest problem that I believe that the organization has had as long as I have been a member: communication with membership. In the past, I had even tried to be on a committee to help but I really did not see a change in the organization. This plan came up with specific ways that they are going to try to increase communication. I hope the AAST implements them soon.
I also like the proposal to evaluate the board and committees. This should have happened a long time ago. People need to be held accountable and there should be tools in place to show the membership how different people and committees are successful and how they need to improve. Hopefully these reports will be available to the membership so board and committee members will not just be accountable to each other but to us as well.
The strategic plan also discussed how the AAST needs to be the force that helps facilitate communications between all associations that affect our field-but they did not address it completely. When they talked about updating education, they talked about the A-STEP but not those programs accredited by the BRPT. We need to get past this AASM/BRPT animosity and create a cohesive community or there will continue to be walls in place that prevent our profession from growing.
We as a community should look at this strategic plan and hold the board to it. We are the AAST and the board members are in place to serve us. If we do not take an active role in our organization then we have no right to expect them to represent us to the best of their ability.