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professional organizations

Should industry be allowed to serve as a board member of a professional organization?

Should industry be allowed on the conference committee of a professional organization?

Should industry be allowed on any committee that pertains to the issuing of clinical standards?

How does one separate bias when working for industry if one serves on the board or a committee.  It is not easy as I am in industry myself so I reallize the difficulty in this situation.

I realize this is not going to be a popular post and will lead to controversy

This is a new frontier in healthcare with all the new regulations and industry belongs in the educational arena however this arena is in privately funded and controlled by industry presentations that have been regulatory approved by their own industry legal departments.

Kathy Kokotis RN BS MBA

Bard Access Systems


I am not quite sure where you

I am not quite sure where you are coming from on these questions. You know how some organizations (e.g., AVA) are set up to allow industry employees to be a member with the same rights as all other members (e.g., voting, office holding, etc). Many highly experienced clinical professionals are now working for industry. I do not believe that should immediately disqualify them from making significant contributions through work for a professional organization. I have successfully done this for 22 years now. My guiding principle is that the patient, not the product, is my bottom line. I work for all companies and do not sign contracts containing a non-compete clause. I believe this approach provides an unbiased presentation. You are correct that these presentations usually go through legal and regulatory review within the manufacturer. Their purpose is to ensure that trademark symbols are used correctly, that all claims are supported by other publications, etc. Legal and regulatory does not try to enforce a special marketing spin for their products. I address that up front with the sales and marketing staff long before it gets to the legal and regulatory review process. Not only is there guidance to the manufacturers from Advamed on prohibiting the manufacturer's influence on educational content, there are also rules from the accrediting bodies (e.g., AACN, ASHP) prohibiting the same thing. If you mention a product category by brand name, you must include all brands in that category. No presentation should ever be a product promotional piece. I do know that some companies create presentations that are frequently used at meetings, conferences, etc. that use a single product name with company logos on every slide. These companies state these are not intended for continuing education purposes, but the fact remains that they do get used on programs that do offer CE. This usually happens at a local or regional conference or seminar. This is not appropriate. I firmly believe that one can stay within the confines of the rules for both the manufacuter and the accrediting body and give a presentation sponsored by that manufacturer. I do it all the time. Of course there is full disclosure of who paid me to create and present that program. That disclosure is critical! Lynn

Lynn Hadaway, M.Ed., RN, BC, CRNI

Lynn Hadaway Associates, Inc.

126 Main Street, PO Box 10

Milner, GA 30257


Office Phone 770-358-7861

Chris Cavanaugh
AVA Board member, right?

If I recall correctly, didn't you serve as a board member for AVA for a few years?   Hasn't Paul Blackburn been Treasurer of AVA for a few years, and isn't he now running for President-Elect? 

As a response to your questions, it depends on the organization.  AVA has always embraced members of industry, both clinical and non-clinical as full fledged voting members, therefore able to run for board positions and committee positions.  INS is very different, it is a NURSING only organization, it does not embrace industry in the same way, however, RNs who are empolyed by industry can be full fledged voting members. 


Chris Cavanaugh, RN, BSN, CRNI, VA-BC

new rules

I did serve on the board five years ago.  Five years ago the climate for healthcare differed in regulations regarding conflict of interest.  I believe it is time to evaluate separation and change to reduce conflict of interest.  This is a new era


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