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Good afternoon and welcome to the 2005 INS Annual Meeting and Industrial Exhibition. It is a pleasure to see such a great turnout this year, and it is truly gratifying to see this level dedication within the infusion community. As President of INS, I am pleased to report that the state of our society is excellent. The past year has brought many opportunities to represent INS at other nursing conferences, to collaborate with other nursing groups, and to work with my fellow Board members to promote infusion excellence. I would like now to share with you some of the highlights of my first term as President, as well as the accomplishments of some of my fellow Board members.

Figure. Mary Walsh, ... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. Mary Walsh, BS, CRNI(R), INS President 2004-2005.

In October 2004, the INS Board of Directors convened in York, ME, for its mid-year meeting. Over the course of 3 days, we focused on strategic planning for the organization, and general business issues. With the assistance of Bonnie Niebuhr, President of The Niebuhr Consulting Group, as our facilitator, we crafted a vision statement, revised the INS mission statement, and redefined core values for INS. We were guided by considering current trends in society, healthcare, the nursing profession, and infusion nursing in particular. To make sure that we meet our goals for the organization, we also developed success markers and organizational initiatives that our Board of Directors will monitor throughout the year.


Also at our mid-year meeting, we welcomed Christopher Hughes, PharmD, to the INS Board of Directors as Public Member. Dr. Hughes is Clinical Pharmacy Coordinator for South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, Mass, and is a long-time colleague of mine. All of us on the Board look forward to working with Dr. Hughes. We know that his expertise and his perspective as a non-nursing professional will be a great complement to our Board of nursing experts.


I also have one final Board of Directors change to report. Due to personal reasons, Libby Wilhite-Luterman resigned her position as President-Elect in 2004. I accepted the Board's decision to appoint me to serve an additional term. Jackie Tropp will also serve an additional year on the Board of Directors as Presidential Advisor.


In September of 2004, INS CEO Mary Alexander and I attended the annual conference of the Association of Vascular Access in Vancouver, BC. Here, we had the opportunity to hear presentations by such well-known specialists as Dr. Dennis Maki. It was exciting to represent INS and talk with other infusion professionals about our organization, about clinical issues, and the future of infusion care.


Also in September 2004, Presidential Advisor Jackie Tropp was invited to speak at the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses Annual Conference in Chicago, Ill. Her presentation, "Care and Maintenance of Central and Peripheral Lines," was well received by the nurse attendees. After her presentation, Jackie fielded numerous questions about infusion therapy and about INS.


In November, I and several other members of the INS Board of Directors made the trip to Indian Wells, Calif, to attend the INS Fall National Academy of Infusion Therapy, and the special one-day offering that preceded it, "Innovations and Technological Advancements in Infusion Care," which was supported by continuing nursing education grants from Bard, B Braun, and Medi-Flex. The feedback from this meeting was extremely positive-both because of the educational content and the lovely surroundings-and the presentations were full of information that I could take home to my own nursing practice.


As an offshoot of the program in California, the May/June issue of the Journal of Infusion Nursing featured a supplement that contains articles from the faculty who spoke at the special one-day offering. INS is pleased to have worked with these authors and we thank them for sharing their knowledge with Journal readers who were unable to attend the California meeting.


While I was attending the Fall National Academy in California, INS Director-at-Large Cathy Robinson was representing INS at the National Student Nurses Association (NSNA) Midyear Conference in Daytona Beach, Fla. There she served as a member of the Specialty Nursing Showcase Panel and presented highlights on the specialty practice of infusion nursing to the student nurse attendees. As Cathy has witnessed in the past, the student nurses were enthusiastic and asked many relevant and thought-provoking questions.


Also in November, I had the chance to attend the Third Annual Fall Summit of The Nursing Organizations Alliance in Kansas City, Mo, along with CEO Mary Alexander and Nominations Chair Roxanne Perucca. I should mention that in addition to her continued role as a volunteer leader, Roxanne is also Secretary of The Alliance's Coordinating Team. We are proud to have her representing us on that level.


The Alliance is a federation of approximately 70 nursing-related organizations that come together to increase the visibility and impact of nursing on healthcare through communication, collaboration, and advocacy. At the meeting, Alliance members presented a draft of a plan entitled, "Principles and Elements of a Healthful Practice Environment." It is a list of principles that organizations should observe so that they can foster a culture of respect, shared governance, and nonpunitive accountability. The Alliance encourages all nurses and their organizations to interpret and incorporate these principles into their own daily practices to become more efficient, collaborative, and supportive of the contributions of nurses. You can find the list of Principles in the May/June 2005 issue of the INS member newsletter, Newsline.


In December of 2004, INS became 1 of 4 endorsing organizations for the Food and Drug Administration's new informational brochure "Home Healthcare Medical Devices: Infusion Therapy, Getting the Most Out of Your Pump." This free, downloadable brochure was created to assist patients who receive infusion therapies in the home. INS was pleased to review and offer guidance on the brochure's contents, and we hope that it will help patients to get the most out of infusion pump technologies in a safe and effective manner.


INS also recently teamed up with the Association of Vascular Access to endorse the Oley Foundation's SAFE poster. The letters of the acronym "SAFE" stand for 4 easy-to-memorize points that will improve adherence to sterile technique in infusion therapy. Patients on parenteral nutrition can take this poster with them to the hospital, nursing home, or rehabilitation centers, to remind their healthcare providers of the importance of stringent infection control practices when using their long-term VADs. To further support the Oley Foundation, I will be presenting at their upcoming conference on June 29th in Saratoga Springs, NY. At the conference, I plan to deliver a presentation on reducing the risk of catheter-related bloodstream infections and occlusions in the home parenteral nutrition patient.


This March, along with other nursing thought leaders, I attended the Leading Edge Symposium sponsored by Venetec International in La Jolla, Calif. The meeting focused on biofilm, catheter motion, foreign body reactions, skin colonization and other factors leading to catheter-related complications. The research that was presented generated lively discussions and pertinent questions. Dissemination of the science related to prevention of device-related infections will be a critical component in educating clinicians about new technologies and practice that can impact patient care in a positive manner.


Just a few weeks ago, I also attended a special one-day symposium sponsored by Cubist Medical in Dallas, Texas. Cubist is a pharmaceutical company that develops anti-infective products for the acute care setting. At this meeting, the company presented a monograph on its targeted patient population and indications for use of its drug, Cubicin. The presentation also included information about Medicare reimbursement for the drug, and its fast-track FDA approval process.


As you can see, the INS Board of Directors has been busy promoting this organization and standards-based infusion care. But I would also like to call attention to the contributions of our volunteer committees. INS has been hard at work on revisions to the Infusion Nursing Standards of Practice, with the expert help of our all-volunteer Standards Committee. This group of professionals represents a wide range of practice settings and specialties, and their input has been invaluable in revising and updating this important resource. You can find a list of the committee members in the front of your Convention Journal Program. I would like to thank them for their dedication to this long process of revision. At present, the committee is performing its final review, and INS plans to publish the next edition of the Standards in the first quarter of 2006 as a supplement to the Journal of Infusion Nursing. We will concurrently release the third edition of Policies and Procedures for Infusion Nursing, which has become the perfect companion piece for the Standards.


INS has also been fortunate to have the assistance of another set of independent reviewers to help us complete an important new tool. By now, you may have seen INS' latest product, the Infusion Therapy Team Implementation Module, which is on display at the INS Book Store and online. The module is a 3-part system that is designed to help infusion nurses determine the need for an infusion team, and then present an official proposal to administrators, complete with a Power Point presentation, cost estimates, and supporting literature. This content of the module was developed with the help of a select group of reviewers both inside and outside INS. We greatly appreciate their contributions and helpful comments, and we are very pleased with the final product. I encourage you to visit the INS Book Store or exhibit hall booth to learn more about the Infusion Therapy Team Implementation Module.


Finally, I should take a moment to recognize and thank our very dedicated National Council on Education, who works throughout the year to put this meeting together. The quality of education at INS meetings is aided largely by their contributions and recommendations. You can find the NCOE members also listed at the front of the Convention Journal Program, and they are on hand here during the Annual Meeting to introduce our speakers prior to each presentation and facilitate a question-and-answer period.


Yesterday at the start of this meeting, INS held a Leadership Forum to encourage our members to take a greater interest in INS local chapters. Members of the INS staff offered presentations and discussions on how to attract INS members at the local level, and cultivate member participation. INS chapters are historically one of our greatest sources of future leaders. Many past presidents got their start by first becoming active in their local chapter. INS believes that reaching out to local chapters and strengthening the Regional Liaison program will better assist chapter growth and foster collaboration between local chapters and the INS national office. If you are interested in learning more about local chapters, or starting one, please see an INS Staff member at the registration desk or the exhibit hall.


As we look to the coming year, INS will continue to support its members in their professional growth, promote evidence-based practices, and advocate for public policies that will protect infusion patients. This final point is a personal concern of mine, and my involvement and interest in public policy continues to guide me in my role as INS President. The INS Board of Directors recently resolved to support the National Home Infusion Association's initiative to challenge the Medicare Part D Drug Benefit, which will limit reimbursement for home infusion drugs and supplies. We believe that this poses a serious threat to the safety of home infusion patients, and we will continue to update you on our activities related to this policy.


In closing, I would like to sincerely thank my fellow Board members for all of their support and hard work over the last year. Your contributions to this organization are admirable, and I am grateful for all of the time and effort you have put into our meetings, our strategic planning, and our goals for the future. I look forward to working with you all during my second term. I would also like to thank you, the membership, for supporting INS through the years. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve you for a second term. Enjoy the rest of your meeting and your stay here in Ft. Lauderdale.