Project 435

What is Project 435? The United States is divided into 435 Congressional Districts, each District is represented in Congress by a Member of the House of Representatives elected every two years. Each District covers approximately 600,000 residents.

The goal for the Kansas Respiratory Care Society Project 435 is to identify 2 respiratory therapists (a primary and a back-up) AND a pulmonary patient in each of the Congressional Districts in the state. These identified individuals would agree, when asked by the KRCS PACT Coordinators or the AARC to make contact via correspondence or face to face meetings with their Congressman or his staff. They will educate the Congressman on issues that are important to the Respiratory Care community from both the patient and the respiratory therapist perspectives.

The KRCS will first identify a respiratory therapist for each Congressional District, and then, working with local chapters of consumer groups (Better Breathers Clubs, Asthma Coalitions, local AARP affiliates, local Veterans groups, Emphysema Anonymous, etc.) identify a home based pulmonary patient who also would be willing to bring his or her perspective on what it means to live with a pulmonary or respiratory disease. Both the designated respiratory therapist and the pulmonary patient would work in tandem with each other.

Implementing Project 435 The KRCS PACT Coordinators (Debbie Fox and Suzanne Bollig) are organizing our KRCS 435 Plan. (See the Table below.) We are looking for committed individuals who will see this project through and will maintain it once it is up and running. These individuals will take some time to understand the issues and be prepared to present information and answer questions (or at least find out the answers to their Congressman’s questions and get back to them).

Kansas 435 Plan

Tim Huelskamp (R- 1st)

Lynn Jenkins (R- 2nd)

Kevin Yoder (R – 3rd)

Mike Pompeo (R- 4th )

 

 

 

 

Suzanne Bollig*

Terri Lesser*

Dan Conyers*

Debbie Fox*

Karen Schell*

Pat Munzer*

Troy Gooch*

Meg Trumpp*

Jon Finnegan

Rusty Taylor

 Nathan Richards

Pat Patterson

Ed Anderson

Jeff Scobee

 Paul Mathews

Don Carden

Nancy Jones

Mark Brady

 

Curtis Kidwell

Bill Rea

Regina Chard

 

Charity Clark

Stan Munsch

 

 

Bev Urmey

Ken Killion

 

 

Melanie Asmussen

 

 

 

 Stacie Fox

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Primary contacts for each Congressional District

To Join Project 435:  Contact Debbie Fox at Debbie.fox@wesleymc.com



Looking for a few Good RTs We are also looking for other Respiratory Therapists in every District who are willing to join the contact team for their Congressional District. These therapists would write/email or call their Congressman when requested by their Project 435 District leaders. It is important to note that you live in (therefore vote) rather then work in the District. These RTs will be familiar with the AARC Capitol Connection to send emails. You will show your co-workers and other therapists and patients how to access the site.

The other key task is to find a pulmonary patient from the Congressional District who would also be willing to join you in advocacy efforts. You will help contact local pulmonary patient consumer groups, such as Better Breathers Clubs, Pulmonary Rehab patients, local chapters of the American Lung Association, and other similar patient organizations.

Why Project 435- Simply put, Members of Congress are more inclined to meet with and listen to the concerns and issues of a voting constituent then they are to those from outside of the District. Moreover, having a patient attend any meetings or correspond with the Member puts a human face on the issues. A respiratory therapist may quite capably articulate the need for respiratory therapists to provide, for example, home respiratory care, but it is the patient who can truly make an impact by telling their Congressman why it is important to his or her health to have access to a respiratory therapist.. Patients are the ones who suffer day to day from the effects of pulmonary disease and these are the people who can best describe the importance of a respiratory therapist to his or health care. 
The rapidly evolving health care system in this country requires an ever increasing and sophisticated grassroots response from any organized profession. The AARC/KRCS intends to intensify its legislative and regulatory efforts in Washington, D.C. by advocating for increased coverage of respiratory therapy as provided by respiratory therapists in all health care sites. The AARC/KRCS is also actively participating in projects that promote the respiratory therapist as pulmonary disease managers, whether it is for asthma, COPD or smoking cessation. These types of issues, more often then not, require Congress to stipulate which professions and what services may be included in coverage and reimbursement.  In order to achieve success, the AARC in partnership with our state societies must become more sophisticated in tapping its resources. Project 435 is meant to do just that.
Project 435 Benefits- The benefits of successfully implementing Project 435 in your state are many. You will now have identified in the various geographic areas of your state, not only politically committed respiratory therapists, but pulmonary patients who have also agreed to be politically active. This step alone will enhance your “networking” capabilities, not only with the professional pulmonary community but consumers as well. While the focus on Project 435 is on federal Congressional issues the fact that the KRCS has identified willing respiratory therapists and patients will greatly benefit the society on state issues. The political influence of the state society and the respiratory profession in interfacing with political leaders on both the state and federal level can only be a benefit to the respiratory profession in Kansas.  
Moreover a Project 435 initiative will put in place local “political operatives” who will enhance the profession’s ability to establish rapport with legislative staff, and get our message to the legislators themselves in a timely and personal manner.   

 

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Kansas Congressional Map

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Mission Statement

The Kansas Respiratory Care Society is formed to:

Educate, advocate, and promote the profession and practice of Respiratory Care