Board Briefings – Fall 2018

The following is a synopsis of issues, policies, and positions that the Board of Trustees has acted on since the last reporting.

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Board Names Winners of 2018 Maureen Berkeley Award 

The Maureen Berkeley Memorial Award was established in 1966 to perpetuate the dignity, stature and professional attitude that Maureen brought to the profession by recognizing outstanding papers in The Neurodiagnostic Journal. The award is given for the most outstanding educational article or paper written by a neurodiagnostic technologist during the year and published in the journal. Papers are nominated by the journal’s editorial board and then voted on by the ASET Board of Trustees. The recipients of this year’s award are Kristy Fox, BS, R. EEG T., CLTM, and Mary Ellen Wells, Ph.D., R. EEG T., RPSGT, R.NCS.T., co-authors of their paper, “Febrile Infection-Related Epilepsy Syndrome (FIRES): A Literature Review and Case Study.” The paper was published in the September 2017 issue of the journal. 

Board Selects Recipient of 2018 Theda Sannit Award 

The Theda Sannit Outstanding Educator Award was established in 1990 by the Philadelphia Regional EEG Technologists Association and the Eastern Society of EEG Technologists to honor Theda’s accomplishments and contributions to EEG. The award was first presented to Theda Sannit herself. In 1992, ASET continued the award on a national basis, recognizing outstanding educators in the field of neurodiagnostics. In light of Theda’s passing, this award now serves as memory to her legacy.  

This year’s recipient of the Theda Sannit Outstanding Educator Award is Sharyn Katz, R. EEG T., FASET.  Sharyn actually trained with Theda, and Theda was always proud of her commitment to education and development in the field of neurodiagnostics. Sharyn has been educating technologists as well as physicians for many years, and many owe their careers to her mentorship and guidance. She has a special skill and energy for providing one-on-one education to anyone in neurodiagnostics, and she tirelessly would take time from a busy schedule to sit down and go over important issues with any leaner. Sharyn has an unequaled passion and love for the profession and has a strong commitment to ASET. Most recently, Sharyn wrote the script and helped produce the Society’s video and online course on skin safety.  

Board Names 2018 Class of Fellows Inductee 

Any individual who has been a member of the Society in good standing for a minimum of ten continuous years and who is highly esteemed in the neurodiagnostic profession as evidenced by the giving of their time and talents in service to the Society and to the neurodiagnostic profession, and as an ambassador exemplifying and advancing the neurodiagnostic profession, is eligible for nomination and election as a Fellow. The conferment of Fellow is an honorary designation. Fellows are authorized to use the letters FASET for business and professional purposes.  

This year’s lone inductee into the 2018 Class of Fellows is Anna-Marie Beck, MOL, R. EEG T. Anna-Marie is the Neurophysiology Program Manager – Education at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, MO, and Clinical Instructor at Johnson County Community College’s accredited Neurodiagnostic Technology Program, Olathe, KS. When asked about her most notable moments as a neurodiagnostic professional, Anna–Marie relayed that by far, the most notable moments are the messages from students letting her know that they have passed their board exams and are now registered technologists. Those words “I passed!” make her heart full.   

Anna-Marie was inducted on August 17, 2018 at the Awards Ceremony Luncheon held in conjunction with the 2018 ASET Annual Conference in New Orleans, LA. For the list of Fellows inducted in previous years, select “Fellows” from the pulldown menu under the Membership tab of the ASET website, and then click on Fellow Inductees 

Membership Votes Down Proposed Bylaws Amendment 

The proposed bylaws amendment that would have expanded the time for Past President Lifetime members to be eligible to again serve on the ASET Board of Trustees from three to twenty years was voted down by the membership. The amendment was placed before the membership for a vote at the August 16, 2018 annual business meeting held in conjunction with the 2018 ASET Annual Conference in New Orleans, LA. The majority of comments voiced against the amendment thought that 20 years was too long a waiting period. 

New and Updated Neurodiagnostic Job Descriptions Approved – Board Tasks S&P Committee to Recommend Guidelines for Writing Technical Descriptions 

As part of the Standards & Practices Committee’s cycle of reviewing and updating the neurodiagnostic job descriptions every three years, the board unanimously approved the committee’s recommended updates to the following job descriptions: 

  • Neurodiagnostic Manager or Supervisor 
  • Neurodiagnostic Director 
  • Neurodiagnostic Technology Clinical Instructor 
  • Neurodiagnostic Technology Program Director 
  • Neurodiagnostic Education Specialist 

The board also adopted the Standards & Practices Committee’s recommended revisions to the Neurodiagnostic Practice Levels description, and new job descriptions for Magnetoencephalography (MEG) Specialist I and Magnetoencephalography (MEG) Specialist II.  

The updated job descriptions will be published in the third edition of ASET’s “Handbook of Neurodiagnostic Job Descriptions and Competencies.”  

In related action, the Board tasked the Standards & Practices Committee to draft a position statement for writing technical descriptions for EEG and LTM tests.  

New York Petition for Chapter Formation Approved 

The ASET Board of Trustees unanimously approved the petition for formation of the New York Chapter of ASET – The Neurodiagnostic Society. The territory covered by the new chapter is the State of New York. It replaces the Tristate Chapter. Contact information for the new entity is as follows: 

President: Justin Silverstein, DHSc, CNIM, R. EP T., R.NCS.T., CNCT 

Mailing Address: 140 Adams Avenue, Suite B 13 

Hauppauge, NY 11788 

Email Inquiries: [email protected]. 

Clarification to ASET/ABRET Joint Statement of Renewed Commitment 

An ASET/ABRET Joint Statement was distributed to the ASET membership in an August 8, 2018 broadcast mail. The statement also is posted on the ASET and ABRET websites. Apparently, not all ASET members were familiar with the referenced “divisive issue” in the statement.  

The Joint Statement reads as follows: 

On July 21, 2018 the Officers and Executive Directors of ASET and ABRET met in Chicago for a mediated session, led by an independent facilitator, to encourage a candid conversation in order to understand and process the differences and unintended consequences of a recent divisive issue.  The goal of the session was to develop a process framework for future discussion of common issues that may result in conflicting positions, and for identifying collective strategies for resolving any such conflicts.  

The principles agreed to during the session were framed as follows: (1) Assume that each organization and their respective governing bodies have good intent for the community of Neurodiagnostic professionals; and (2) Engage in candid discussions while respecting the unique fiduciary responsibilities of each organization. The framework will be incorporated into the Memorandum of Understanding which was executed in September 2017 between the two organizations. 

“Helen Keller once said, ‘Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.’ The commitment ABRET and ASET shares to having a strong collaborative working relationship is vital to the advancement and protection of the Neurodiagnostic profession. It is our pledge to remain devoir to enhancing the unification of our organizations through mutual respect and support. I was truly inspired by the devotion and adoration that was exhibited by both Executive Committees during our session.” Sabrina Faust, ABRET President

“ABRET and ASET have separate missions, but similar visions and values. Both organizations are dedicated to better the profession of Neurodiagnostics and desire our technologist colleagues succeed in their careers. During my tenure as ABRET Executive Director, ASET and ABRET have enjoyed a supportive and respectful relationship, and we desire that to continue through future intelligent collaboration. This is a commitment to move forward together.” Janice Walbert, ABRET Executive Director

“The Executive Committees of ASET and ABRET have identified and agreed on a framework for restoring the valued partnership between our two organizations that has been in place for oh so many years. Neurodiagnostic technologists, whether they are ABRET certificants, ASET members, or both, will certainly benefit from the mutually renewed commitment to cooperation and advancement of the Neurodiagnostic profession.” - Arlen Reimnitz, ASET Executive Director 

“The Neurodiagnostic Technology landscape is constantly evolving, and now more than ever we are faced with new threats and challenges that have and will continue to impact our field in many ways. Coming together to strategize on best ways to handle those situations is essential.  I was inspired by the spirit of collaboration and desire to work together to strengthen our relationship that was demonstrated during this session.  Both ASET and ABRET shared a commitment to maintain a strong alliance to serve our Neurodiagnostic community with respect, improved communication and unity now and for years to come” - Susan Agostini, ASET President 

The “divisive issue” was simply a substantive disagreement between ASET and ABRET over some of the language in the Registered Neurodiagnostic Technologist Title Protection Act drafted by ABRET and introduced in the Illinois Senate as SB 3126 this past February. ASET’s position was that all neurodiagnostic credentials and their respective credentialing bodies that define the occupational title of Neurodiagnostic Technology needed to be included in the bill. ASET also had a concern on whether an on-the-job trained technologist who holds at least one of the ABRET credentials listed in the bill would meet the bill’s eligibility requirements for being included on the state’s registry list. Subsequently, amendments addressing both of ASET’s concerns were agreed to by ABRET and the Senate sponsor of the bill. Unfortunately, time ran out in Illinois’ legislative session for the Senate Committee to take action on the amendments or the bill. It is believed that the process framework that came out of the mediated session between the ABRET and ASET Executive Committees will go a long way toward heading off any potential future disagreements. 

Policy for Surveying ASET Members Approved 

ASET periodically receives requests for a list of members’ names and contact information for the purpose of surveying the members. Requests come from a variety of sectors, including ASET members, academics involved in research, related non-profit organizations interested in information about patient care and laboratory practices, providers, and device and drug manufacturers. As a caution against survey fatigue, the board adopted a policy for guiding the Society in determining the release and publication of ASET data and requests to survey its members. Under the new policy, access to ASET data will be determined on a case-by-case basis. All members and entities are eligible to apply for access to ASET members for research and/or publication purposes. The application requires a description of the specific data being requested and the purpose of the request; a written proposal to include research question, introduction of problem, proposed methodology and data analysis; copy of the draft survey instrument; and CV of the applicant. Applications are review by the Board of Trustees, which may request ASET’s Research Committee to further vet the application before taking final action. 

In related action, the Board approved a request to send a survey targeted to the AEEG audience on safety in Ambulatory EEG and the home environment.

This article was written by Arlen Reimnitz, Executive Director at ASET.