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After my term on the CAAHEP Board, I served as practitioner member on the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA), as a certified surgical first assistant where my understanding and passion for accreditation deepened.
 
Currently, I am about to begin my final year of physician assistant school and am serving as the north central regional director on the national student board of directors. I am board representative for the student leadership committee and am already looking forward to leadership opportunities upon graduation.
 
I want to give a big shout out to both Kathy Megivern for the opportunity as well as Liz Ness, my surgical technology instructor for nominating me for this role. It has opened countless doors and has made a significant impact in my life both personally and professionally.

Katie Lukovich, PA-S3, BS, CSFA, CST
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Posted: 8/22/2019 5:46:00 PM by Lorna Frazier-Lindsey | 0 comments


After my term as President of NN2 in 2004, I became an NN2 Commissioner for CAAHEP and board member of CAAHEP within two years.  I remember distinctly when Sondra Flemming asked me to consider running for Vice President of the CAAHEP board.  I was really surprised because my experience as a board member was so limited.  However, through her mentorship, I knew that I was capable of fulfilling the job.  After two years as Vice President, I served as President of CAAHEP from 2009-2011. 

One of my first assignments as a CAAHEP board member was liaison to CoARC, the Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care.  I had been CoARC’s liaison for about two years when I was invited to attend two of the three “by invitation only” summit meetings sponsored by AARC, the American Association for Respiratory Care. Two notable events occurred during these summits: 1) the push to move the minimum education requirements for a registered respiratory therapist to a bachelor’s degree and 2) a presentation by the Dean of Health Sciences at Eastern Kentucky University that included statements calling for the end of CAAHEP.  He specifically stated that CAAHEP was no longer relevant. I knew then that CoARC was moving toward leaving CAAHEP.  After the presentation, I called Kathy Megivern to report my fears.  Within a year CoARC left CAAHEP to become its own accrediting organization.  I felt that I had failed in being a good liaison, and that somehow, I should have seen the departure coming before it did.  I realized later that nothing I did or could have done would have prevented the CoARC departure.  It is noted that the President of CAAHEP at this time was a CoARC Commissioner.  Later I was re-assigned to NCOPE, the National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education, as a board liaison. 

Most notable during my term as President was the re-affirmation of recognition by CHEA, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, a process that occurs every ten years.  Of course, Kathy Megivern was tasked with writing the self-study.  A concern that we had during the self-study process was the assurance that each Committee on Accreditation was following CAAHEP’s policies and procedures.  We decided to better utilize the CoA liaisons to ensure and prove to CHEA that although each CoA was unique, they were aligned with CAAHEP’s policies and procedures.

We expanded the role of the liaison to include an annual audit of one program’s accreditation process from start to finish (self-study, review of the self-study, site visit and final accreditation recommendation to CAAHEP).  We formalized the liaison report and included all liaisons in a face-to-face meeting with the CAAHEP board in January.  During this meeting, each liaison is tasked with providing either a written report or oral report on the activities and concerns of their CoA. 

Since part of the CHEA re-affirmation process included a site-visit by a CHEA representative during one of our board meetings, we chose the January board meeting to host the CHEA observer.  This was the first of many January Liaison/Board meetings.  Needless to say I was nervous about the board site visit.  To make matters worse, the observer could not comment to us during the meeting. He sat and wrote his observations.  Everyone was anxious about his thoughts. 
 
The last step in the CHEA re-affirmation process was a face-to-face meeting with the CHEA board, answering questions about CAAHEP.  We would be placed in the “hot seat”, not knowing what questions would be asked.  Kathy and I could sit as an observer of this process while another accrediting group was in the “hot seat”.  The first accrediting group was having a difficult time answering CHEA’s questions.  Specifically, CHEA was concerned with the agency’s relationship with the professional association connected with the accrediting group.  When the agency expressed difficulty in keeping the two groups separate and independent, the president of CHEA suggested that they should look at the CAAHEP model for a true third-party accreditation model.  At that point, I turned to Kathy and declared “We’re a model! We’re a model!”  When our time came to sit in the “hot seat”, we had no problems in answering CHEA’s questions.

In retrospect, I had great satisfaction in the re-affirmation process, especially in light of my experience with CoARC.  Since that time, CAAHEP continues to flourish and expand, despite the predictions of that dean so many years ago. Congratulations to CAAHEP on its 25th anniversary and continued ability to be a true third-party accreditor to over 30 allied health professions.  My thanks go to Sondra Flemming for getting me started and being my mentor.  I also want to commend Kathy Megivern and the great CAAHEP staff for making my years with CAAHEP the most exciting and rewarding in my professional career. 
 
Posted: 6/7/2019 9:59:57 AM by Lorna Frazier-Lindsey | 0 comments


Borrowing a line from the musical Hamilton, “I was in the room where it happened.”  I was there that October, 1992 morning when the President of the AMA announced to all of Joint Review Committees that it intended to get out of allied health accreditation and how they wanted to support a new, independent agency to assume the accreditation responsibilities of CAHEA.

I served on the first CAAHEP Board and looking back I’m not sure why we kept any commissioners because for several years it seemed like all we did was word smithing of all the AMA policies and procedures. Then when we believed we had everything in place the USDE said they had no idea who was the granting the accreditation. Was it the Board or maybe it was our subcommittee that reviewed self-studies and site visits then again it might be that each CoA was the one granting accreditation?  And because we were afraid that we wouldn’t receive USDE recognition we dropped our sub-committee on accreditation. That lead to us saying goodbye to OT and Rad Tech. But after we made the changes and were recognized by the USDE the Board voted to no longer seek USDE recognition because we didn’t have enough schools that needed federal student loans that we would have been the gate keeper. Now we seemed to have our feet on the ground and reset the Board into committees. We now had a Board that governed, looked to the future and had oversight. We were now listening to the CoAs and working to streamline the accreditation process. One of the biggest changes to the process was changing how we looked at programmatic accreditation by being one of the first to adopt outcomes. And for those of you that weren’t there during this time, boy did you miss out on some fun times.

Back to my term as President, in my first year we voted to have all of schools add Emergency preparedness to their Standards. We were able to help our Program Directors with task by offering workshops on Teaching the Unthinkable.” We continued to revise our Policy and Procedures.  We also added the O&P technician to our ranks. In my second year we received notice that CoARC would be leaving CAAHEP. 

I said then and still believe today that both CAAHEP and CoARC lost something with the separation. There was a financial concern because of the number of schools CoARC would be taking with them. But after review of our finances none of our planned projects were affected. The Board approved up to $30,000.00 for the training and use of “Generalist” for Site Visits. Any CoA could use a CAAHEP trained Generalist at no cost to the CoA. Our Performance Oversight Committee reported that it was taking on average 11.8 months from submission of the Self Study to the awarding of accreditation. We had a visioning session that resulted in many ideas that were placed into our strategic plan. We added a new CoA, the Accreditation and Approval Review Committee on Education in Human Lactation and Breastfeeding and two new Sponsors to the CoAEMSP, the American Ambulance Association and the International Association of Fire Chiefs. 

Looking back over the years we lost OT and Rad Tech because we gave up on our vision of the accreditation process. We lost the PA’s because they didn’t want to be the part of an organization were the majority vote was from certificate programs. Then we lost the Athletic Trainers. To be honest, I believe AT joined us only to learn how to do accreditation and when they learned the process they moved on. And we lost RT because their profession wanted to take accreditation in house. But no what the reason any of these groups left I believe both CAAHEP and they lost something in the separation. CAAHEP lost leadership and some better ideas of how to make the system work better. Those that left lost the collaboration with like-minded professions and maybe more importantly, their professions lost an agency that was accountable to a third party. And our institutions lost a standard of accreditation as well as saving money in accreditation fees.  Alright, let me get down off my soap box and end with what I said in the June 2009 Communique.  “Since 1994 my mantra has been that CAAHEP is not an “Us versus Them” agency. We are all CAAHEP. Remember, you pay your money, you have a vote; a voice in how this agency operates. This Board is elected from the membership. It is not an outside organization telling you how things will be done. If you Chair a CoA go to the leadership meetings. If you are a Sponsor make sure you are not just sending in your dues, get involved. If you are asked to help with a project say “Yes!” Because we are all CAAHEP it will take all of us working together to make it better tomorrow.”
Posted: 4/26/2019 11:42:37 AM by Lorna Frazier-Lindsey | 0 comments


About CAAHEP

Commission on Accreditationof Allied Health Education Programs

CAAHEP is the largest programmatic accreditor in the health sciences field. In collaboration with its Committees on Accreditation, CAAHEP reviews and accredits over 2200 educational programs in 32 health science occupations.