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Annual Conference Highlights
Meetings > 2016 Annual Conference

2014 ASET Annual Conference
Where Great Minds Connect

Thursday, August 21
8:15 - 9:15 a.m.
Lewis Kull Memorial Keynote Address
“Combat Communication - Debriefing: Your Key to Improving Care While Managing Risk
The Corporate ACEs
The Corporate ACEs are a team of ex-military pilots who have used their training for combat readiness and flights into battle  to help health care workers reduce risk and improve patient outcome.  They teach “Situation Awareness” skills, to help staff comply with protocols, communicate correctly and make the right decisions in stressful situations when every minute counts.  You will learn how to:
  • Recognize the potential for errors
  • Debrief your team after an error to build sustainable improvements in performance and patient outcome
  • Communicate correctly: speak to the correct person, at the correct time and the correct way to ensure that the patient care team will understand the situation and carry out the correct actions in the most urgent patient care scenarios
You will be able to apply these skills in your everyday work as a neurodiagnostic technologist: ensuring patient safety in the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit, communicating with the surgical team as you provide intra-operative neuromonitoring, or during a medical emergency in your lab.
Meet the Corporate ACEs
Walter Kurtz, President
Walter graduated from the University of Georgia in 1986 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting.  After graduation, he worked as an accountant with Arthur Andersen & Co. until he joined the United States Air Force.  In 1987, Walter attended pilot training at Williams Air Force Base, Arizona, where he graduated at the top of his class.  Walter attended F-15 training at Luke Air Force base where he graduated as the class “Top Gun”.  From 1988 until 1996 Walt logged more than 1000 hours as an F-15 Instructor Pilot at Dobbins Air Force Base, Georgia.  Walter is currently a 737 Pilot for a major airline.  He lives in Milton, Georgia with his wife Leslie and their three sons.
Scott Turner, CEO
Scott graduated in 1978 from the United States Air Force Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree.  He attended pilot training in Columbus, Mississippi graduating at the top of his class.   During his air force career he flew F-15s for 18 years accumulating over 2500 fighter hours.  Scott achieved Distinguished Graduate status from every Air Force school he attended to include, Squadron Officer’s School, Command and Staff College, as well as the Air Force Fighter Weapons School.  Additionally, in 1984, Scott won the overall “Top Gun” award during the Air Force William Tell Air-to-Air competition.  In 1987, Scott was selected as the best Instructor Pilot in the United States Air Force.   He also has a Masters in Political Science from Troy State University.  Today, Scott is a 737 pilot for a major airline where he also served in management as the airline’s L-1011 Fleet Captain for three years.  He lives in Marietta, Georgia with his wife Sara and their three sons.

The Keynote Address is sponsored in perpetuity by ABRET, in memory of Lewis Kull.

Friday, August 22
8:00 - 9:00 a.m.
Ellen Grass Lecture
Determining Death by Neurological Criteria: Not So Simple"
Stuart Youngner, M.D.
There have been several high profile cases in the media this year involving a “brain dead” patient who is sustained on life support for unusual reasons.  This brings to light the many ethical issues surrounding brain death and other states of decreased awareness that may precede brain death.  In our role as neurodiagnostic technologists we are often at the bedside of a critically ill patient as difficult decisions are being made.  Dr. Youngner will address some of the challenging questions raised in today’s modern medical culture:
  • What role should neurodiagnostics play in the determination of brain death?
  • How is withdrawal of life support influenced by personal, religious and cultural beliefs?
  • Is death a process or a single event?
  • Can we consider death of the higher brain vs. the whole brain?
  • How can the patient and family maintain autonomy of choice in the face of conflict of interest?
Stuart Youngner, M.D.
Dr. Youngner is an internationally recognized expert on bioethical issues. He is the Chair of the Department of Bioethics at Case Western Reserve University.  He has served as a consultant to the United States Congress Office of Technology Assessment, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Institute of Medicine and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Dr. Youngner has testified before the United States Congress. He served as President of the Society for Bioethics Consultation from 1994-1997 and is a founding member of the Board of Directors of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities and was given the organization’s Distinguished Service Award in 2000. He co-directed a national task force that examined the need for standards for ethics committees and clinical ethics consultation.  He is a widely recognized scholar in biomedical ethics and has published and spoken on topics including: decisions to limit life-sustaining treatment, ethics committees, physician-assisted suicide, advance directives, definitions of death, and ethical issues in organ and tissue retrieval and transplantation. He has published over 100 articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals. He is the editor or coeditor of nine books, including “The Definition of Death: Contemporary Controversies”.
Ellen Grass Lecture Abstract:
The transition from life to death, from living human being to corpse, is a profound one in every culture.  This transition triggers many important social and cultural behaviors.  Medical treatment stops.  Dead patients are moved from their hospital beds to the morgue. Loved ones grieve.  Dead bodies are buried or cremated.  Important religious rituals are performed.  
In most deaths, vital biological functions cease at the same time. But, in some cases, high technology and critical care have allowed us to stretch out the dying process, allowing some life functions to remain while other have been irreversibly lost.  Brain death is a diagnosis of death in the presence of a great quantity of life—the life of tissues, organs and organ systems.  It was adopted, in large part, to facilitate retrieval of organs for transplantation.  However, in many ways brain death as death is counterintuitive.  How can a breathing (albeit with a ventilator), heart-beating body be dead?  Moreover, brain death’s conceptual and even clinical foundations have been consistently challenged by scholars.
This talk will address some of the ambiguities and uncertainties about brain death but will conclude that for a variety of reasons, brain death remains a serviceable and acceptable diagnosis to facilitate organ retrieval."

Saturday, August 23
8:00 - 9:00 a.m.
Kathleen Mears Memorial Lecture
I Can Do That!  Skill-building through Volunteering
Kathy Johnson, R. EEG/EP T., RPSGT, FASET
Time is a precious commodity and one of the few things that cannot be replaced once it is gone.   Most of us lead very busy lives with our neurodiagnostic professional careers, church activities, continuing education, extra curricular activities for ourselves and our family and then there may be a little time left for social engagements.  And we still have to find time to sleep!  Sometimes it may seem that requests for you to volunteer your time just cannot be worked into this already delicately balanced dance that is your life and it is simply not possible to add one more item to your “to do” list.  But those who find the time and the motivation to work for a cause that is important to them often realize the rewards are well worth the effort.  Volunteering may provide you with many surprising benefits that can help you succeed and advance in your “real” job as well as in your life outside work.
Kathy Johnson, R. EEG/EP T.,
Kathy is the manager of the Neurophysiology and Regional Sleep Center at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Huntington, WV where she has worked for 40 years, initially as a technologist trainee.  In the 1980’s she was instrumental in the expansion of the department services to include intraoperative monitoring and sleep medicine in the 1990’s.    She has served as Trustee and as Secretary-Treasurer on the ASET Board of Directors and is a charter member and past President of the West Virginia Sleep Society and a charter member of the Mid-Atlantic Neurodiagnostic Society.  She has served on numerous ASET committees and task forces and currently is the Chair of the Volunteer Development & Leadership Committee, co-chair of the Leadership Academy workgroup, Media Review editor for the ASET Journal and co-leader of the Special Interest Section on Polysomnography.   She is a member of the first group to be awarded the designation as a fellow of ASET and is a frequent presenter at ASET and other professional neurodiagnostic and sleep medicine conferences.