The first legislation regarding our licensure has been released. SB219 and HB550 have been referred to committee and public testimony has been given. These bills are language clearification bills, but are directly linked to the legislation needed to keep our license in the future. On Feb. 25, President-Elect Gayleen Lee offered public testimony showing TSRC support for the passage of SB219. On March 2, President Russell Graham and President Elect gaylene Lee offered public testimony showing TSRC support for the passage of HB550. We will continue to represent our members and all RCP's in Texas when any legislative information is released. We ask all RCP's, family and friends to stay ready to send in letters and make phone calls when the time comes. Until then, rest assured we are keeping a close eye on things.
As you all know, the TSRC is continually working on state legislative action in regards to the Sunset Recommendations and we continue to ask your support in this matter. While Sunset is our #1 priority, there are other legislative actions, on a national level, that we need your help with.
PACT Legislative Lobby Day
March 17-18, 2015, the TSRC will be sending 3 repesentitaves to the Political Advocacy Contact Team (PACT) Legislative Lobby Day in Washington D.C. Our representatives, along with representatives from other states, will converge on Washington to solicit support for the Medicare Telehealth Parity Act. We are asking our members and all RCP's in the state of Texas to secure appointments for our PACT team members with your U.S. Senators and Representatives for Wedensday March 18 between 8:00 - 5:00.
Where to start:
There are a number of ways to reach your House of Representative member or your two Senators. You can find them by going to the following websites:
Another option is to call the Capitol Hill switchboard at 202-224-3121 and request to be connected to your members or Senators office. Or you can download, personalize and fax this letter with your information to your member or Senator's office. Please do not send this letter on your employers letterhead as this letter is to represent you and the RT community, not your employer.
The main thing is to call as early in advance of these dates as possible to have the best chance of securing a meeting. Please make the offices aware you will have someone meeting on your behalf and it is in regards to the Medicare Telehealth Parity Act.
Once a Meeting Is Confirmed:
For more information on why we support the Medicare Telehealth Patiry Act, Click Here
The TSRC PACT members are:
Virtual Lobby Week
Virtual Looby Week runs from Monday, March 9 through Friday, March 20, 2015. This is another way for you to connect with you U.S. Legislators in regards to the Medicare Telehealth Parity Act and gies our PACT team members a platform to show support for the Telehealth legislation. This runs through the AARC website. The AARC runs a compitition with the states to see who has the best participation. We want Texas to be #1, so when the time comes, we ask for your full participation. More details are to come.
Over the next week or two, we will be going through a telephone system upgrade. We feel this upgrade will help better serve the members and, as a bonus, save the society money. During this time, there may be delays in response to phone calls and voice-mails. If you do not receive a response to a call or voice-mail within 4 hours during regular business hours, please send us an email through the "Contact Us" page. We will try to get through this transition as quickly as possible.
The walks have begun! On Monday, 1/26, we began calling on the members of the Legislature to increase awareness about our struggle for continued Licensure. I am pleased to announce that it wasn't just the BOD on the list! Linda Mills, RRT accepted the challenge and walked with us! That offer is open to all of you! We met with several Legislators, many Chiefs of Staff, as well as Legislative Analysts. We've learned the layout and the lingo. Thanks to those of you who scheduled appointments for us to proxy!
Folks, the water is still a bit muddy and thus the path somewhat unclear. We're waiting for the House to finish Committee appointments. That has to occur before legislation can be moved forward. The good news is that there is a plan that will result in legislation to move us to the Texas Medical Board. The bad news is that it has not been introduced. We will let you know as soon as it happens. We do need you to write your State House and Senate members encouraging them to support any and all legislation pertaining to our Licensure. They must hear it from you! It doesn't need to be long-winded or elaborately worded. They just need to hear from thier constituency to know how to vote. It doesn't just need to be RCP's - family and friends are tied to this push as well! If your House/Senate Members are on the Sunset Commission, you can hold up for now - they "get it" and are working to move this forward. If thy aren't, then we need you to help increase awareness!
We met with the offices of almost 1/3 of the Legislature (there are 181 members of the Texas Legislature). We dropped business cards and fact sheets. As a rule, we were warmly greeted and allowed to explain our cause. We were encouraged to follow up. We will do that and more. Simply put - your future depends on you! We need you to be heard. We need to be able to claim you as a represented member. Not all who read this are members of either the TSRC or the AARC. If that is the case, you're reaping the rewards of someone else's work. We need you not to sit on the fence any longer!
Your BOD is leading the way to your continued licensure. But that's not all! Did you know that they are also:
- Planning the best ever Annual Meeting in Houston?
- Putting on events in every Region as well?
- Accepting applications for the Disaster Preparedness Team?
- Continuing daily operations of the Society without an Executive Office?
These are just a few of the happenings. You and I owe them a big "Thank You" for thier willingness to serve! Stay tuned!
The TSRC Board of Directors is currently seeking nominations for Practioners of the Year. Please nominate yourself or someone you know who goes above and beyond in the area of respiratory care. There are nine (9) areas of care to be nominated in:
- Adult Acute Care
- Continuing Care/Rehabilitation
- Home Care
Winners will be recognized by the TSRC President at the 2015 State Convention and Exhibition in Houston, Texas on Thursday, July 9th at the Awards Ceremony.
To nominate, fill out the attached form and follow the submission instructions on the form. Nomination deadline is May 4, 2015.
Congratulations to the Texas National Sputum Bowl Team for
winning 3rd place at the National Sputum Bowl in Las Vegas, Nevada!
We are proud of you!
Codi Galloway, Tori Theobalt and Kelsey Edinger
Collin College, McKinney, Texas
The Texas National Sputum Bowl Team
Gary Pipes, RRT; Angie Switzer, BS, RRT-NPS; Julie Boganwright, BS, RRT-NPS
First off, best wishes for a Happy Holiday season! So much always happens at the end of the year! I have been in attendance at both the House of Delgates as well as the General Sessions of the AARC. It's been a long week, but it's been a good one! You're about to notice a distinctive upturn in activity from TSRC. It started this morning. The call is out, it's time to get active! It's also time to follow the web and/or social media sites to stay up to date. The liks are on the right side of this page. This year's AARC theme was this: It begins with you! Now is the time! Here is the place! Texas RCP's - the nation is watching! Our push for Sunset passage is the subject of more conversations than you can imagine. Everyone is pulling for us. Now we need to deliver. This is our fight, not just the BOD's fight! Make those calls. Write those letters. Send those emails. Tell everyone you know. It's not just RCP's who can request time with a legislator. So, enjoy your holidays. But remember: It's up to you! Now is the time! Here is the place! See you in Austin ! Russell
The Texas Legislative session will begin in January. The TSRC Board of Directors will be in Austin to call on the legislatures beginning January 26, 2015. We intend to raise awareness of an rally for legislator support for passage of the Sunset bill. We are asking you to call your legislators to book a time we can meet with them on your behalf. It is important for all of our members and non-members to let your respective legislators know you have a voice and you want it to be heard!
TSRC Board of Directors