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From the GASP Board of Directors and President:
Please renew your GASP membership for 2016. This includes facility members (which give the respective Sleep Center the right for 2 voting members).

Membership can be renewed by fax, regular mail or email – see link: http://www.gasleep.org/files/Membership_app_2016.pdf

We are currently soliciting nominations (including self-nominations) for the following positions on the GASP Board of Directors:
  • President Elect (term: 2016-2017)
  • Treasurer (term: 2016-2018)
  • 1 Clinical Board member (term: 2016-2018)
  • 1 Technical Board Member (term: 2016-2018)
  • 1 Facility Board member ((term: 2016-2018)
Deadline for submissions: June 15th 2016. Only members in good standing can be nominated for these positions (so please renew your membership ASAP!).

Thanks,
Octavian Ioachimescu, MD, PhD
GASP President



News about the 7th GASP Annual Conference 2016:
The GASP 2016 conference will take place on Saturday Sept 24th 2016 at W Hotel in midtown Atlanta, GA.

This year we partnered with the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists (BRPT) and we will be organizing the conference together (GASP-BRPT). On Thu Sept 22nd and Fri Sept 23rd the BRPT will be the organizer of the conference, while on Sat Sept 24th the organizer is GASP.

So, expect that this year the content will be better than ever! We already have a number of outstanding speakers for both the technical and the clinical sections.

All members of GASP are expected to attend the Saturday sessions, although they can also register for the Thursday or Friday sessions (registration is open for the full 3-day conference or on a daily basis). Of note, on Saturday, there will also be BRPT members attending the GASP sessions (excluding the business meeting, which will be reserved for the GASP members in good standing).

Registration is open at: https://paecanada.eventsair.com/QuickEventWebsitePortal/2016-brpt-symposium/brpt2016

Please make your hotel arrangements ASAP, as the room block may expire soon (as more than usual number of attendees will be registering).

Hotel accommodations can be made at:

W ATLANTA - MIDTOWN
Group rate Single / Double Occupancy: $169.00 US
Group rate available until August 28, 2016. Subject to Availability.

Group Rate Hotel Reservation

48 Hour Cancellation Policy
Complimentary Internet
$24 Discounted Valet Parking
Deposit Due at the time of booking.

W Atlanta Midtown
188 14th St NE, 30361 Atlanta, GA, United States
http://www.watlantamidtown.com/
404 733 6941


Message from the GASP President

Dear Georgia Association of Sleep Professionals (GASP) members,
I wanted to share with you a few developments in our professional society:

First, after the election ballots were counted, we have a new Board of Directors (BOD) – see the other announcement that we posted a week ago with the new positions filled. Let me extend my welcome to the new GASP BOD members and I am looking forward to start working with them.

Second, the GASP 2015 Annual Meeting webcast is now available for viewing. The attendees of the live meeting earned 8 CE hours (AMA PRA, CEC and/or CRCEs) and now 3 additional AMA PRA Credits are available for viewing (in both Clinical and Technical tracks).

Last and not least, we have a new management agreement for GASP. We were able to sign a new management contract that gives us staff support from American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). Let's all thank Tara Morrison and Maryann McGrail from The Association Company for their services over the years, for transferring the society's documents to the new management staff and let’s assure them that we are looking forward at possible new models of collaboration in the future. Our new contact person and support staff (from AASM) is Ted Thurn (TThurn@aasmnet.org), while our website manager remains Tim Barnash (tbarnash@ufl.edu). With our renewed and strengthened ties with the AASM, I am hoping that we will also be able to reach the goal of increasing our membership, especially among physicians, psychologists, dentists and other professionals in the field of sleep medicine. Let’s all agree to make an effort to recruit at least 3 new members each in our organization. This way, our society will be renewed and will become stronger for any new legislative, regulatory or professional challenges that may come our way!

Regards,
Octavian Ioachimescu, MD, PhD
GASP President



Message from GASP President about GASP Board of Directors (BOD) Election Results:

Dear GASP Members,
I'm pleased to inform you of the results of the GASP BOD Election:

President Elect
Amy Blanchard, MD

Secretary
Kim Goins, RSPGT

Clinical Board Member
James Daly, III, MD

Technical Board Member
David Gregory, RPSGT, RST

Facility Board Member
Roberta Leu, MD

The above will join the current BOD members:

President
Octavian Ioachimescu, MD, PhD

Treasurer
Jarrod Rowe, RPSGT

Immediate Past President
Hitendra Patel, MD

Clinical Board Member
Mayoor Patel, DDS, MS

Technical Board Member
Kelly Gladden, RRT, RPSGT, RST

Facility Board Member
Parina Shah, MD

Please join me in congratulating the new members of the Board!

Additionally, many thanks to Demi Collins BS, BA, RPSGT, RST, Nancy Collop, MD, Heidi Riney, MD and Scott Leibowitz, MD for their service to the GASP BOD for the past 2 years. I also want to thank Hitendra Patel, MD, Immediate Past President for his contributions and leadership.

Yours sincerely,
Octavian C. Ioachimescu
GASP President




Field Safety Notice about ASV therapy:

ResMed Corporation posted in May an announcement regarding preliminary results of the SERVE-HF Study, comparing adaptive servo-ventilation (ASV) to usual care in patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (LVEF < 45%) and predominantly central sleep apnea (AHI > 15, with > 50% central events). As noted in their initial announcement, treatment with ASV was associated with a significant increase in mortality, from 7.5% per year in the usual care group to 10% per year in the ASV group. Although analysis of the data is quite preliminary, it appears that the lower the LV ejection fraction, the greater the excess mortality risk in the ASV-treated group. No other predictors of risk or safety have yet been identified. Central sleep apnea was well controlled in a large majority of patients, and the pressures required for control were generally low (most patients had an EPAP of 5 cm H2O); neither failure to control sleep apnea with ASV, nor the pressures required for control of sleep apnea, appear to identify an at-risk subgroup. No significant improvements in quality of life were seen with ASV.

At this time, ResMed recommends that patients with symptomatic heart failure, predominantly central sleep apnea, and LVEF < 45% not to be started on ASV. They recommend that patients with these characteristics already on ASV be evaluated and a risk-benefit determination be made on an individual basis regarding withdrawal of therapy, taking into consideration symptomatic benefits versus increased mortality risk.

Further information from ResMed is available at SERVE-HFfaqs.com or http://www.resmed.com/us/en/serve-hf.html.

Philips-Respironics has posted a similar recommendation for their ASV device, pending further analysis of the data (http://www.newscenter.philips.com/us_en/).

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has issued similar guidance in a Special Safety Notice that is available on the AASM web site at http://aasmnet.org/articles.aspx?id=5562. During the recent AASM meeting in Seattle, an extensive discussion with questions and answers on this topic happened. It is expected that the full results and details of the study will be published in September 2015.

GASP Board of Directors



Letter from the GASP President

Dear Members of the Georgia Association of Sleep Professionals (GASP),
My name is Octavian Ioachimescu, and it is my great pleasure to serve you as GASP President. We may have seen each other at the recent GASP 2015 meeting; if not, this is my first opportunity to communicate with all of you and to find ways to serve you better.

The GASP 2015 meeting was a great success! I wanted to thank all the speakers and the immediate past Presiden, Dr. Hitendra Patel and the current Board of Directors (BOD) for their contributions and leadership. Thanks to our sponsors, too. Kudos to everyone! The entire conference was recorded and all registrants should be able to review the materials online for the next 12 months. Not only that, but also for the sessions that you missed (for example, parallel sessions), you can still get additional educational credits (CEUs, CMEs, etc). The full recording will likely be available soon. That's why it is not too late for those of you who could not attend the meeting altogetherto register online and to get additional after-meeting credits by watching the slides and listening to the audio component of the sessions. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me (octavian.ioachimescu@va.gov).

What business lies ahead of us?

First, we have to understand that in the ever-changing healthcare environment in which we operate, our voice and our actions are as strong as the membership of our organization, not more, not less. Every time we interact with a legislative or regulatory body, we are reminded who we are when we are asked how many active members we represent. As such, it is our duty, as active members of GASP, to engage in a strong grassroots campaign to recruit more members among our peers and to have more dues-paying members in our ranks. This way we will have more strength and leverage, visibility and respectability in a more fractured and resourced-strapped healthcare environment. We have to explain to our colleagues (physicians, psychologists, dentists, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, educators, respiratory therapists, sleep technologists, etc) who have been reticent to join our society or to keep paying dues that going to other states' meetings will not advance our cause and will only weaken us.

Second, there is an active call to volunteer for a standing committee or two. Contact the GASP office or offer your availability online when you renew your membership. We will definitely have activities scheduled throughout the year to increase our funding and membership, to engage in educational endeavors, to participate in population-based research on sleep and sleep disorders, etc. For those of you who did not attend the business meeting that took place during the 2015 Annual GASP Meeting, it is important to understand that our financial situation is not great and we need to find more innovative ways to make sustainability one of our priorities. I will work with the new BOD to strengthen our finances and to find ways to make GASP a strong society, with a loud voice and delivering an important message to the society.

Third, there are many ways by which we can improve communication. I intend to initiate and continue communications like this with you throughout the year and to survey you more about future directions and developments in the life of our wonderful professional society. I will actively work with the current and future BOD to have open channels of communication and to listen to your voices in all we do. I will also work with our Board to have specific subcommittees and delegated members who will be in charge with adding content and keeping up with the news on the GASP website (http://www.gasleep.org/), of various social media applications and interactions and with future surveys that we will send out to our membership.

So, in conclusion, pay your membership dues, be proactive in finding new members and engage the Board with new agenda items that are relevant to you!

Thanks for your strong work and I am looking forward to have a good year together.

My best regards,

Octavian C. Ioachimescu, MD, PhD
Emory University/Atlanta VAMC Sleep Medicine Center
GASP President