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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

In many organizations, supporters come and go depending on the political climate or the times, events happening in the world or hot issues of the day. CAAHEP is so fortunate to have been in a unique position where our supporters – sponsoring organizations – have held true in their belief that what CAAHEP does matters. CAAHEP accreditation matters to professions, to programs, to students, and doctors, and educators, and institutions. And we are so proud to have had these strong organizations’ backing year after year. How amazing is it that we can say that of the 71 sponsoring organizations CAAHEP has today, the following 33 organizations were with us on day one and remain a sponsoring organization of CAAHEP? With a tip of our hat and a standing ovation, we say thank you to:

AABB (American Association of Blood Banks)
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Association for Thoracic Surgery
American Association of Medical Assistants
American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion
American Clinical Neurophysiology Society
American College of Cardiology
American College of Emergency Physicians
American College of Radiology
American College of Surgeons
American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine
American Kinesiotherapy Association
American Society for Cytopathology
American Society of Anesthesiologists
American Society of Echocardiography
American Society of Electroneurodiagnostic Technologists (Now known as ASET – The Neurodiagnostic Society)
American Society of ExtraCorporeal Technology
American Society of Radiologic Technologists
American Thoracic Society
Association of Medical Illustrators
Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions
Association of Surgical Technologists
National Network of Health Career Programs in Two-Year Colleges
National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians
Orthotists and Prosthetists National Office (Now known as: American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists and American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics, and Pedorthics)
Perfusion Program Directors’ Council
Society for Vascular Surgery
Society for Vascular Ultrasound
Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists
Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Society of Thoracic Surgeons
US Department of Defense

And, we thank all of the new organizations who have joined us in supporting CAAHEP accreditation over the last 25 years. CAAHEP - Celebrating 25 Years of Doing What Matters
Posted: 3/27/2019 10:06:32 AM by Lorna Frazier-Lindsey | 0 comments

Twenty-five years ago, a fledgling organization once known as CAHEA – a committee of the AMA - took its first steps to independence. The organization chose the name Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, which is a long way to say, “Let’s make sure allied health education programs produce the best-qualified entry-level employees.” And, so it began…

When I think about it, 1994 seems as if it were just a couple of years ago, but looking back on newsletters and reports from CAAHEP’s beginning, times were very different. It was the 1996-1997 Annual Report that announced CAAHEP would be making an “Internet presence.” Early communication was through CompuServe, which was the first major commercial online service provider. It was known for its online chat system and message forums covering a variety of topics. CAAHEP’s CompuServe address was 7576,14444, and most certainly was accessed through a dial-up connection and that unmistakable squeal. CAAHEP’s technology has certainly evolved like most organizations with blast emails, social media, electronic newsletters and such, and it continues to evolve today with a new database, online self-study, and annual reporting module currently in the works.

While the technology, professions, policies and procedures have changed over time, CAAHEP’s mission and core values have remained constant. In January 2019, the CAAHEP Board, Liaisons, and Staff worked to develop a new strategic plan that will take us in to 2021. What’s interesting is the similarity of the goals we developed just last month to what our “founding fathers” developed in CAAHEP’s first strategic initiatives:

1st Annual Report Mission and Goals:
The mission of CAAHEP is to provide recognition and continuous quality improvement of allied health education programs in the CAAHEP system.
  1. To promote and support the education of competent allied health professionals.
  2. To provide programmatic and specialized accreditation, and facilitate coordination service for allied health education.
  3. To maintain recognition as a national specialized accrediting organization.
  4. To streamline the existing accreditation process and effect the reduction of accreditation costs while maintaining integrity and credibility in the accreditation process.
  5. To compile, analyze, and disseminate information and related data on healthcare accreditation.
  6. To promote the research and study of critical issues related to healthcare accreditation.
  7. To work toward the development of an all-inclusive accrediting agency for healthcare education services.
  8. To serve as a primary source of expertise and assistance to institutions and programs in matters of evaluation and quality assurance in pursuit of continuing self-improvement.
  9. To strengthen CAAHEP by increasing its financial viability through the improvement of existing revenue programs, developing new funding resources for the organization, and increasing the efficiency/effectiveness of existing systems.
We will be sharing the new Strategic Plan at the 2019 Annual Meeting in April in San Antonio. It will show you that the mission of CAAHEP remains steadfast. We look towards the future, beginning with a big celebration of our 25-year history this April.

Throughout the coming year, CAAHEP will have guest writers submit Blog posts reviewing their history with the organization and what the issues of the day were when they were involved. There is much to be learned from our history. We hope that you will enjoy our year-long trip down memory lane and will look to the future with us as we work towards continued success in the next 25 years.
Posted: 2/19/2019 10:25:36 AM by Lorna Frazier-Lindsey | 0 comments


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.