As a worldwide 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 tens of thousands of healthcare workers. It is a mark of the professionalism, creativity, and resilience of CLT-LANA specialists that despite the constraints of the pandemic they have continued to provide therapy to those living with lymphedema and related disorders by employing novel and progressive approaches. I can only express my greatest admiration to the CLT-LANA specialists who have 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 for you what we have accomplished and what we are working on.
The LANA Board continues to meet virtually. It is our hope that we will soon be able to meet in person for at least one of the meetings this year.
We sought out and were granted approval from the American National Standards Institute National Accreditation Board (ANAB) to provide the LANA examination in a remote proctored or an in-person format. This allows exam candidates to have a choice.
LANA launched a robust and interactive website last year. Our deepest gratitude to the American Cancer Society (ACS) for the financial support which has allowed us to build a website that will provide more information, resources, and educational opportunities for CLT-LANA specialists and the public.
In response to multiple urgent requests from many of the lymphedema training programs, the LANA Board of Directors, in partnership with the ACS, spent more than a year reviewing LANA’s eligibility requirements to identify options that would allow greater flexibility in curriculum delivery as a response to the pandemic. The process, which was mediated by two independent consulting firms, included a survey of LANA therapists, instructors, and school directors. Additionally, there was a thorough review of recent literature on remote and virtual learning. A virtual workshop was hosted by the ACS and attended by training program directors. The final eligibility requirements were approved by a vote of the full LANA board. The culmination of this process resulted in the adoption of options that would allow for flexibility in the delivery of high-quality education and the addition of in-person lab testing of manual skills including MLD and bandaging and critical analysis of a lymphedema case study analysis with application of manual skills to ensure competency in the psychomotor skills. Click here to view a video explaining the new eligibility requirements.
A Job Analysis Study was completed with the assistance of SMT/Prometric. LANA will announce an updated exam content outline later this year. The training program directors have been given the updated content outline to prepare their curriculums.
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. Recorded webinars will be made available on the website and will offer LANA continuing education credits. Watch when you want, learn when you can, you will be in control of what works best for you.
As conferences and conventions return to in-person, LANA will be present in a variety of arenas, including working with the American Venous and Lymphatic Society (AVLS). Watch for information about the Power Lymphatics Conference in (March) the AVLS Regional in June and AVLS Annual Congress in (October)
I am extremely pleased to announce that the number of CLT-LANA specialists has 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!
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.
Paula Stewart, M.D., CLT-LANA