2001: A Year in Review

Roger Siegfried, RCIS, FSICP SICP President
Roger Siegfried, RCIS, FSICP SICP President
It will be impossible to reflect on the events of 2001 and not realize that it will be a year permanently etched in American history. The election of a new president provided some of the greatest drama in political history, with an unlikely winner emerging headlong into great challenges no one could have predicted. A booming economy busted by oil prices yielded the lowest loan rates for decades. Bipartisan bickering began, threatening to thwart the economy into a full recession. Then, on a fateful Tuesday morning, we stood together transfixed and horrified as thousands of brave Americans from 80 countries died in plain view of the Statue of Liberty, the result of a radical and debased act of terrorists. As in all past conflicts, our great country united with a wave of patriotism. Having served for twenty years in the United States Army, I feel proud to see us rally behind our leaders and military personnel. As I watched our elected officials stand on the steps of the Capitol and sing, God Bless America, I was struck with the thought of carpe diem, to seize the moment and plow full ahead to make a difference in these historical times in which we live. The SICP made a difference in the year 2001. Great strides were made with broader infrastructure in our organization. Chris Nelson, stepping up and down, and then back up to the presidential podium helped bring in quality leaders with the background and determination to make things happen. His guidance was instrumental in providing the tools to finish out a new and larger Board of Directors that could maintain the global aspect the SICP wishes to achieve. Last year, Chris was awarded a much-deserved President’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedication to the advancement of our profession and the recognition of the invasive cardiovascular professional. 2001 was the year of new growth for the SICP. We established a new relationship with an experienced management company, and relocated our office to closer proximity of Washington, D.C. We now sit on boards and committees alongside the physicians of the American College of Cardiology and the Society of Cardiac Angiography and Interventions, making sure issues are addressed as new standards of care and guidelines are written and rewritten. We have forged stronger relationships with other societies that represent the invasive cardiology arena, such as the ACVP. We have met with established government officials to ensure our initiatives and decisions are reasonable, and are in line with serving both the membership and the patients who depend on our skills to survive. In 2001, your voice was heard as the SICP continued its active involvement in the debate over federal legislation introduced by the Alliance of Quality Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy. The bill could affect the work environment for Cardiovascular Invasive Specialists and we are closely monitoring this bill (the CARE bill) through our Alliance involvement. We have had numerous victories in a number of states (such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky) for recognition of the RCIS credential as a critical element in the cath lab. It is our strong expectation that this trend will continue as part of our plan for broadly endorsed certification and competencies for all cath lab personnel is both recognized and put in place by cardiovascular managers across the country. The SICP continues to be involved with continuing education via regional seminars co-sponsored by SICP and provided by HMP Communications. If you attend the Cardiac Cath seminars from HMP, you will notice that most speakers are affiliated with the SICP, and many times are fellows of the society. We contribute a large number of articles written in Cath Lab Digest (CLD), and will continue our presence in CLD in the future. The SICP was also recognized and asked to send a representative to serve on the American College of Cardiology (ACC) CQI Taskforce team. This important initiative is will develop a CQI Toolkit that cath labs across the country will utilize to increase the quality of the programs they offer. It is hoped this toolkit will assist cardiovascular administrators in the development of their institutional CQI programs. The SICP has also worked on the revision of new written Standards of Care and Scope of Practice Guidelines that will be published soon. Both the Scope of Practice and Standards of Care were carefully revised to ensure that they met the newly developed Essentials and Guidelines for programs in Cardiovascular Technology published by the Joint Review Committee in Cardiovascular Technology (JRC-CVT) and approved by the Commission on the Accreditation of Allied Health Educational Programs (CAAHEP). Throughout the year, conference calls strengthened the communications of the SICP Board. New board members were received onto the Board and included Ken Gorski, RN, RCIS, of the Cleveland Clinic. Ken will assume the chairmanship of the Professional Practice and Standards Committee. Tom Salerno, RN also joined the SICP Board as chairman of the Education Council. Tom is currently Cath Lab Manager for Presbyterian Hospital, in Philadelphia, PA. Marsha Holton, RN will also accept a position on the SICP Board for our operations committee. As always, we are seeking some sharp individuals to help us accomplish work in these areas. Are you ready? Throughout the coming year, the Board of the SICP hopes to develop new membership benefits and services. Rick Meece, SICP’s current secretary to the Board, also serves as the chairperson for our membership committee and has done a tremendous job of putting together research and materials, which will meet this challenge. SICP board members have been attending cardiovascular symposiums throughout the country to encourage the growth of SICP and to promote the unification of our profession. I had the pleasure of attending symposiums in Nashville, TN and lectured on the importance of SICP history and our future goals to approximately 200 people in attendance. The SICP was once again successful in receiving a grant for Eli Lilly, which will support 50% of the dues of all new members within SICP. This is a great benefit for our new members and demonstrates a true commitment to the professionals in our community from Eli Lilly. The next two years will be the most eventful years in our short history of involvement in invasive cardiology. The increase of high technology, coupled with a decrease in qualified personnel has put us in the hot seat to resolve important issues, and to ensure the public continues to be treated with the quality of care America is known for. I feel confident that the SICP leadership will remain deeply involved in the mediation between all respected professional groups to reach common goals and the recognition our membership deserves for the work they do. The question is, are you a member? The SICP needs your support through membership now more than ever to accomplish the goals you have asked us to reach and to ensure all professionals are recognized for the work they do across the country. We have plans to bring about online CEU programs and online education opportunities, but this can only be accomplished through growth in our membership, which will bring about increased funding for projects. The SICP has the plan, but we need the commitment and investment of Invasive Cardiovascular Professionals. Members are encouraged to recruit members and enrollment as a member is now available online at www.sicp.com. Encourage your colleagues and peers to make the decision in 2002 to promote their career choice and help the SICP and its community of members to make a difference in job security, income, and recognition of the Invasive Cardiovascular Professional. What will the story be next year? It’s up to you, because the SICP is your organization, and I hope to see all of you on the playing field. All the best, Roger A. Siegfried, RCIS, FSICP, President, Society of Invasive Cardiovascular Professionals