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Welcome to Minneapolis 2000! We have many accomplishments to look back on with pride and even more to look forward to in the new century. We are here to challenge the future!


Our Society has made tremendous strides this year in every aspect of our work. We have responded to the changes in healthcare with clearheadedness, courage, and collective initiative. We have renewed our mission and our commitment to excellent infusion care in all practice settings. We have created outstanding resources and educational opportunities, reflecting the latest developments in infusion technology and treatment. And we have broadened our horizons by joining forces with national and international partners, sharing knowledge with experts in all aspects of healthcare.


My fellow INS members, leaders, and partners of INS: your dedication and hard work have strengthened our Society and prepared us to meet the challenges of the future. I am honored to take this time to look back on the year's successes and pay tribute to all those who made them possible.


It was my dream to see INS continue to grow on every level. This year, I am pleased to say, we revitalized our leadership by adding new members to the Board of Directors. The addition of Charles Edmiston, our first public director, will provide another, much-valued perspective on the future challenges faced by INS. Our expanded Board is helping us to widen our scope and reach out to diverse segments of the healthcare sphere.


We also made a great leap forward with the development of the INS Strategic Plan. In November 1999, a group consisting of INS members, the INS Board of Directors, INS staff members, and a group facilitator met to discuss the Strategic Plan for INS. Several days were spent discussing how far the organization has come, and projecting where the opportunities of the future will lead. Through the strategic planning initiatives, the committee developed a blueprint for the organization to meet the challenges of the changing healthcare environment. The initiatives include redefining the role of the infusion nurse, supporting members in leadership roles within the specialty, creating and promoting new resources and programs for infusion nurses, and conducting outcomes research. The Strategic Plan is a working document. It will need to be reviewed and revised as healthcare issues change and the goals of the Society evolve to meet the needs of the membership and the safety of the public.


The Strategic Planning Committee also revised the INS Mission Statement to reflect the emboldened vision for the Society-emphasizing advocacy, professional development, resource networking, and opportunities to enhance the knowledge of infusion nurses, while upholding the enduring commitment to the highest quality infusion care. As we move forward to challenge the future, the underlying values of integrity, excellence, and commitment will be our guide.


INS Committees are the voice of the membership. This year more members than ever before made their voices heard by participating on committees and task forces. The Alternate Site Practice Committee was created in response to the overwhelming trend moving infusion care out of the hospital and into the alternate setting. It is divided into three subcommittees: Homecare, Ambulatory Infusion Centers, and Long-Term/Subacute Care. Each committee has worked to identify the unique needs of its setting and has contributed a regular column to Newsline in which members share their expertise with their infusion nursing colleagues.


INS wishes to honor the outstanding contributions that many of our members have made-to committees, to the membership, to the development of INS resources, and to their practice. This year, we have developed Special Recognition Awards to celebrate the dedication and accomplishments of particular members. I am thrilled to see these awards bestowed on members who contributed their efforts and expertise to INS. It is appropriate that we give special recognition to a few of those members who demonstrate extraordinary commitment and passion.


Members have been better served on the local level by the new Regional Liaisons program. The Local Chapter system was restructured last May to include Regional Liaisons-volunteers who agreed to serve as links between the INS National Office and groups of INS Local Chapters in specific geographic areas. The INS Local Chapter network stretches across the nation, bringing the benefits of INS membership to local communities. The Regional Liaisons are recognized INS leaders who understand the importance of professional development, collegial networking, and strong involvement on the local level. They facilitate chapter leadership and management by supporting the organizational goals established by their assigned chapters. They have improved communication between the INS National Office and INS Local Chapters and enhanced efficiency and convenience for Local Chapter leaders and members. INS National Office staff work with the Regional Liaisons to help maintain effective communication between the National Office and INS Local Chapters across the country.


We continue to move forward with our educational programs, which are drawing a diverse array of healthcare professionals in increasing numbers. The 1999 Fall National Academy had the highest attendance ever, in part because of the attraction of the special one-day program that preceded it. These one-day educational programs, focused on current topics in infusion care and taught by top specialists from around the country, are garnering lots of interest. Manuscripts based on the presentations given in Chicago last summer resulted in a special supplement to the Journal of Intravenous Nursing; more such supplements are planned based on upcoming one-day programs.


In marketing, we have been getting the word out using every means of communication available to us in this high-tech information age. The expanded INS Website now allows users to purchase INS resources or register for programs online. INS collaborated with VerticalNet, a virtual business-to-business community, to develop an INS Branch Office on the website, bringing our products to an ever-expanding community of web-savvy healthcare professionals. INS also collaborated with Primedia Workplace Learning and the Health and Sciences Television Network to develop and produce three infusion therapy videos that were broadcast to more than 100 hospitals and 1,000 long-term care facilities. Media technology is the future, and we will continue to harness its breathtaking possibilities for the benefit of our members, colleagues, and patients.


Printed publications had another shining year. INS published the second edition of the Core Curriculum for Intravenous Nursing, and introduced the new Policies and Procedures for Infusion Nursing. These indispensable resources represent the hard work and dedication of INS volunteers and staff, bringing together cutting-edge information on the specialty for the benefit of all nurses involved in the delivery of infusion therapy. The INS textbook, Intravenous Therapy: Clinical Principles and Practice, also is undergoing a revision and update, and the latest revision of the Intravenous Nursing Standards of Practice will be completed before the end of 2000.


The Journal of Intravenous Nursing continues to be the premier source of up-to-the-minute information on infusion therapy and technology. In addition to a wide variety of important clinical articles, the Journal brought readers a special supplement in November, and Special Focus Issues on homecare and international infusion practices. More supplements and Special Focus Issues are planned. This year, the Journal was enhanced with the debut of the continuing education testing program, providing a new option for nurses seeking contact hours or recertification units.


As we embrace this century of expanded opportunity, we must expand our reach as well. It has been important to me as President that our outreach extend beyond the borders of the United States, that we form international partnerships for the benefit of our nurses and those in other countries. We can now contribute to our specialty on a global scale. Last June, I traveled to Japan with INS Presidential Advisor Crystal Miller to take part in a collaborative educational infusion therapy program. The nurses and their colleagues demonstrated a tremendous interest in improving the quality of infusion care. We were similarly committed to supporting our Japanese colleagues in their practice. INS Chief Executive Officer Mary Alexander and I represented INS' global interests in London at the International Council of Nurses Centennial Conference. There were 7,000 nurses in attendance from 128 countries, and yet the main concern for all nurses worldwide is the delivery of quality patient care. INS also exhibited at the Canadian Intravenous Nurses Association conference in Toronto.


During each of these international encounters, we shared INS' priorities and established and strengthened partnerships with colleagues from foreign healthcare organizations. These partnerships represent important steps toward increasing INS' visibility on a global scale and preserving the organization's viability long into the new millennium. Infusion nurses' concerns are the same the world over: we are determined to provide high-quality infusion care in all practice settings. By sharing our resources and committing ourselves to learn from and teach our international colleagues, we can create a worldwide collaboration dedicated to this common goal.


This past year also saw many fruitful domestic partnerships as INS joined forces with several other organizations to enhance the specialty in countless ways. I am proud to announce that my successor, Brenda Dugger, has been named Secretary of the National Federation of Specialty Nursing Organizations. Brenda attended their joint conference with the Nursing Organization Liaison Forum in November, where they discussed the mutual concerns of this country's diverse nursing specialties. This is a wonderful example of nurses from different healthcare arenas working together to meet the challenges of the present and future-including declining numbers of specialists and overall nursing shortages.


Furthermore, in an effort to improve communication among specialties and across the entire healthcare spectrum, the American Nurses Association adopted a resolution to explore a means for specialty nursing organizations to be recognized as full members of the ANA delegate assembly. This recognition would permit organizations such as INS to speak and vote on issues pertaining to the larger nursing sphere as well as those that specifically affect our specialty, providing yet another link between infusion nurses and healthcare colleagues in other specialties.


INS was recognized by the National Student Nurses' Association at their Annual Convention as a sponsor of their recruitment videos, The Sky's the Limit and Nursing: the Ultimate Adventure. At the NSNA Mid-Year Conference in Charlotte this past November, the popularity of the IV Skills Booth presented by INS members Lynda Cook and Carleane Coltrane showed the demand for IV therapy training among nursing students. This demand was acknowledged by NSNA's House of Delegates last year, when it passed a resolution in support of basic intravenous insertion and therapy training in all nursing schools. INS stands behind NSNA's efforts and will continue to market its resources and opportunities to nursing school students-the nurses of tomorrow, on whom our future depends.


INS leaders participated in a number of conferences on crucial issues related to infusion therapy. We co-sponsored the ANA teleconference on needlestick safety. We were represented at the multidisciplinary Consensus Conference on the Use of Alteplase for Thrombotic Catheter Clearance, where healthcare organizations and industry leaders collaborated on a consensus statement that we hope will lead to the development, implementation, and standardization of scientifically based protocols for the management of thrombotic catheter dysfunction. We participated in the National Interdisciplinary Conference on Re-engineering the Medication Use System, sponsored by the Joint Commission of Pharmacy Practitioners. INS will be part of the committee to revise the Guidelines for the Prevention of Catheter-Related Blood-stream Infections, along with several national healthcare organizations concerned with infection control. Our involvement in each of these efforts contributed to improving the safety and efficacy of healthcare in this country. INS is proud to represent the interests of infusion therapy patients on the national healthcare stage.


In the past year, INS has received recognition and publicity that acknowledge the unique role of our specialty organization. The American Nurse printed Mary Alexander's article on the infusion specialty in a special issue exploring the experiences of nurses in different specialty practices. This is another example of the trend toward uniting the specialties while celebrating each one's unique contribution.


With so much to celebrate and so many leaps forward toward our goals, it is amazing to me how fast the time has flown. It seems that only yesterday I was in Charlotte, inviting you all to challenge the future in the year 2000. But now I am proud to look back and say that you are not only challenging the future, you are creating it. Each of the remarkable achievements that I have mentioned did not happen on its own, but was created by the energy, dedication, and passion of INS members, leaders, partners, and staff. Your accomplishments will endure for many years to come and will be the basis on which future presidents build their vision for the Society. In your hands, the future of INS is bright, indeed.


I would like to take this opportunity to thank all INS members for your participation in INS programs and activities. Thank you for representing INS in your practice and for your dedication to excellence in the care of your patients. I also owe a very special appreciation and thanks to my fellow INS Board members. This Board has a strong commitment to the specialty practice and to diversity of ideas. It is an honor to work with each of these individuals, and I thank them for their commitment, their support, and their friendship. Let me also thank the Past Presidents of INS, the Regional Liaisons, and the INS Committees for their hard work and dedication. This year has been filled with so many triumphs and achievements, which are due to the dedication of these volunteers. The goals of INS can only be achieved through the efforts of the membership. This year could not have been such a success without the dedication of members to their professional specialty and INS.


A special appreciation goes to Mary Alexander and the rest of the INS National Office staff for their continuing work and commitment to INS and to its membership. The accomplishments of this year and the improvement in the membership support services are a direct result of the skill and dedication of the National Office staff.


There must be a special acknowledgment to my colleagues at IVonyx in Livonia, Michigan. A most sincere thank you to Peter Molloy, IVonyx President, for his support of me during this presidential year. Thanks to my IVonyx co-workers and especially my clinical nursing staff for their support and friendship. Thanks to my friends and professional colleagues who provided me with their counsel and friendship during this year. Thanks for the phone calls, the notes, and the e-mails.


Finally, I extend my warmest gratitude and admiration to my mother, Elizabeth Fabian. She inspired me with her own dedication to the nursing profession, including hospital, school, and military nursing. Mother served during World War II, in the US Army Nurse Corps. She was at the D-day invasion in Normandy, France, June 1944. I am proud of my mother and honored to be her daughter. I pray I may live my life with a sense of that same dedication, professionalism, and caring that my mother has always shown each day of her life.


This has been an extraordinary year of accomplishments for me as well as for INS. I am honored to have served the Intravenous Nurses Society during this exciting time of transition across the millennium and into a new century. I look forward to another year of tremendous progress. There are no limits on the future of INS. As long as INS maintains its strength of purpose and character of its membership, the challenges of the future will be surpassed by even more remarkable achievements. Let us always continue to challenge the future, together!