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PACT 2010 meetings seek support for bills

The Nebraska Society for Respiratory Care representatives at the PACT Meetings on Capitol Hill this year were Darcy O’Brien-Genrich, Omaha, Linda Nelson, Imperial, and Nancy Nathenson, Lincoln.

Their goal was to garner co-sponsorship of S 342 and HR1077 from our state senators Ben Nelson and Mike Johanns and our Congressmen Adrien Smith, Jeff Fortenberry and Lee Terry. Passage of these bills would provide access to respiratory therapy services for the Medicare pulmonary patient outside of the hospital setting in such sites covered under Medicare Part B including rural health clinics, physician offices, skilled nursing facilities, hospices and outpatient departments.

They also requested support for legislation that would authorize the Chronic Disease Division at CDC to establish a permanent COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) program.

The AARC placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in a solemn ceremony attended by AARC members from across the nation.

With Senator Johanns.
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AARC, Joint Commission Issue Warning on Deceptive Promotion

June 14, 2010

The AARC and the Joint Commission (TJC) are warning health care providers to beware of a promotion from a company that makes antibacterial nasal cannulas. Specifically, Ford Health International, located in Humble, TX, has been communicating information to providers suggesting that TJC has standards mandating these devices.

AARC was also implicated as supportive of these devices in the promotion. We have issued a letter demanding that the company cease and desist this claim.

According to a notice in the June 9 edition of Joint Commission Online, TJC has no such standards, nor does it have any relationship with or knowledge of the company trying to sell the products. Neither does the AARC have a relationship with this company.

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A nurse’s personal story of recovery

We all have our own story to tell and this is mine.  I admit that I had to look at my past mistakes in order to learn from them and to ensure I did not make the same ones again.  I have moved on with my life.

As a healthcare professional, I know that the substance “alcohol” is a depressant, but it was not for me, or so I thought in the beginning.  Alcohol made me feel happy, confident and relaxed.  It was my “magic.”  However, unknowingly to me, after a period of time, “it” stopped working.  I wanted to return to that magic feeling again.  Instead, I became more and more depressed.

On the outside, I always tried to portray a happy appearance while on the inside I was miserable.  I was no longer living but existing.  Truly, I wished I would not wake up in the morning.  My life, even my job, revolved around my alcohol.  I was preoccupied with when I could have my next drink.  I was secretly hiding my drinking from my family and friends.  My drinking consumed my life and I could see no way out!

My drinking had taken over my life.  I was depressed and in despair.  I could not even cry.  I asked myself, “Who am I?”  In hindsight, I believe the worst part of my life and the best part of my life occurred at the same time.  At my lowest point, I felt I was discovered when I became involved with the Nebraska Licensee Assistance Program (LAP).  I initially believed the LAP was punitive, my punishment.  However, in reality, it was my “savior” and my best advocate in my time of need.  The LAP “saved my life and my career!”

Today I continue in my 12-Step recovery activities.  I have found it to be a “fantastic” way of life.  I am alive and so happy.  I found out I do not need substances and medications to get through my days.  I wake up each morning smiling and looking forward to starting a new day.  I am the happiest I have been my entire life.  I have contentment and joy inside.  This is the way “I” now choose to live my life.  I am happy and I have hope.

I try each day to do something kind for someone else to make their day and life better.  I have discovered that an addiction does not have to be a dead end.  We can choose our own destiny and I have chosen to be “free and sober.”  I was in a “black hole” with a bottle of alcohol and with the assistance of my 12-Step recovery program and the LAP, I was able to climb out of that hole and bury the bottle.

I believe acceptance of your addiction is the first step to getting into recovery along with being totally honest with yourself.  I wanted recovery for myself because I discovered I was worth it.  Today, I am engaged in living a happy and healthy life.  As a result of my sobriety, I choose my actions and feelings each and every day “One Day At A Time.”

If you have further questions about the Nebraska Licensee Assistance Program, or feel that you may benefit from the alcohol/drug assistance services of the NE LAP, please contact the NE LAP Coordinator, Judi Leibrock, at (800) 851-2336 or (402) 354-8055.  You may also go to our web site

Published in the Nebraska LAP newsletter, March 2010

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H1N1update: Lessons learned at one large facility

Frank Freihaut, RRT, AE-C tells about his roles in The Nebraska Medical Center’s Bio-Containment Unit. To see the article click here.

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How does Nebraska compare in tobacco control?

Check the American Lung Association’s State of Tobacco Control 2010 to find out.

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