As a world-wide community, we have all had to adapt to the many challenges of working and living during a pandemic. I am exceptionally proud of the resourcefulness and dedication of millions of healthcare workers. It is a mark of our professionalism, creativity and intelligence that CLT-LANA Specialists have brought forth progessive new approaches to continue to provide therapy to the people living with this debilitating condition. I can only express my greatest admiration to the LANA Specialists who have stood up, stood strong, and carried on.
The LANA Board of Directors and our Executive Director have been inspired by you, to adapt, to get creative and to move forward. I would like to highlight to you, what we have accomplished and what we are working on.
The LANA Board of Directors have pivoted from in-person board meetings to virtual meetings which has led to increased efficiencies in both communication and achieving our organizational goals.
We sought out and were granted approval from the American National Standards Institute to provide the LANA examination in a remote proctored format. This allows exam candidates to take the exam in their homes.
A robust and interactive website is on track to launch by the end of the year. Our deepest gratitude to the American Cancer Society for the financial support which has allowed us to build a website that will provide more information, resources and educational opportunities for LANA Specialists and for the public.
A Job Analysis Survey administered by SMT/Prometric should be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2021. This will be LANA’s third JAS, revealing how Lymphedema Specialists in North America are managing the many competing forces in providing lymphedema treatment. It will also demonstrate how therapists have incorporated the newest research regarding Lymphedema and treatment options. This information will be reflected in an updated CIB and incorporated into the examination. In turn we anticipate that this will influence the training schools in their curriculums. We are at a nexus in the evolution of Lymphedema and LANA will be a powerful force in incorporating those approaches which provide the most benefit.
Lymphedema training programs have been severely impacted by the pandemic. Some have modified their programs, and increased their online learning components. LANA is aware, and we have consistently reiterated that our training standards have not changed. We have agreed to look closely at our standards after the JAS has been completed. We are making no judgement, nor inferring in any way that LANA standards will be modified. We are agreeing to be open-minded and fair.
To ensure that continuing education is available to our members, we are promoting online learning in conjunction with our sponsors through the use of webinars. These webinars will count towards recertification of CLT-LANA providers. Recorded webinars will be made available on the new website and will also offer LANA continuing ed credits. Watch when you want, learn when you can, you will be in control of what works best for you.
Conferences and conventions have gone virtual. And so has LANA, we will have virtual conference booths at the NLN and AVLS conferences.
I am extremely pleased to announce that the number of LANA Certified Specialists has (doubled) increased by 50% since 2018. We are broadening our scope from North America to include Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. We are excited to see lymphedema practitioners from around the world ask if they can sit for the LANA exam. Now, we can say yes!
As we look forward to 2021, I anticipate a new “normal” with smarter use of technology and more rapid incorporation of novel and effective treatment in the field of Lymphedema and related disorders. These are uncertain times but the entire field is responding with resilience, intelligence, and creativity. I wish you, your family and your colleagues good health and peace of mind until we are able to welcome the end of this pandemic!