Association of Rehabilitation Nurses

ARN Southeast Texas Chapter


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Southeast Texas

Chapter ARN

POB #300121

Houston, TX 77230

To: Lois Stephens-Newman, MSN, RN, CRRN


Chartered 1978



ARN National



   Contact Us:



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ARN's mission is to promote and advance professional rehabilitation nursing practice through education, advocacy, collaboration, and research to enhance the quality of life for those afflicted by disability and chronic illness.


Southeast Texas Chapter ARN holds monthly educational sessions, usually on the fourth Tuesday of the

month, from 5:00-7:30 PM.  Programs with approved contact hours, dinner, and networking are offered.  

We visit and tour rehabilitation facilities throughout the greater Houston area.

Our primary purpose is to promote professional growth and excellence in rehabilitation nursing through knowledge, education and networking.   

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The Southeast Texas Chapter ARN mailing address is going to be changing in December 2011, please make sure that you update your files. We will keep you posted.
Southeast Texas ARN
POB # 300121
Houston, Texas 77230


 A grateful THANK YOU to our 2014 Expo Sponsors & Exhibitors:

Gold Sponsors: BARD Medical
Silver Sponsor: ALLERGAN
ARJOHuntleigh / KCI
Gulf Coast Prosthetics, LLC
TIRR /Memorial Hermann Hospital
Stryker Medical
Victoria Personal Care
Bronze Sponsors: Stead Med
Exhibitors: Brawner Paper
CNS Neuro Skills
REVA Medical, Inc.
Smith & Nephew Wound Care


And to our....
2014 Monthly meeting hosts
January: Canceled due to weather
February: The Methodist Hospital—Medical Center
March: Michael E. DeBakey VAMC—Medical Center
April: TIRR/Memorial Hermann
May: Touchstone Neurorecovery Center & Nexus Specialty Hospital
June: SETX Expo and Scholarship Fundraiser
July: Michael E. DeBakey VAMC
August: Regenesis Biomedical
September: HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital - North Houston
October: Memorial Hermann Northwest
November: Holiday Gala & Awards Banquet/ SETX Chapter ARN

We sincerely appreciate your support!

Memorial Hermann NW & SETX Chapter ARN GALA


For Our October / November
Educational Meeting / GALA

   Monthly Meeting Flyers:

Beginning in March 2009, SE Texas Chapter ARN will send out monthly meeting flyers by email only. Meetings will also continue to be posted on this website. Members, if we do not have a current email address for you, please send your current email address to Betty Clark at

   November 2015 Gala & Awards Meeting

The November 2015 Gala & Awards Meeting will be held on Tuesday November 17, 2015 at Location Cavatores 2120 Ella Blvd, Houston, Texas 77008. Time 6:00-0830PM. Sponsor: SETX Chapter ARN. Click here for further details.



   Rehabilitation Nursing CE Workshop:

The SETX Chapter of ARN will have the CE & CCM Workshop for nurses to maintain their Certification in Rehabilitation. The planned date will be scheduled for two programs in 2015 and the locations are TBA. Please encourage your staff to consider participating in this CE & CCM Workshop to help obtain CEs for recertification in rehabilitation nursing. Registration forms are always available at our monthly educational meetings.

   Scholarship Awards:

Scholarships will be considered for rehabilitation nursing related education such as formal course work, continuing education programs and conferences, National ARN Educational Conference, and the SETX Chapter Rehabilitation Nursing CE / CCM Workshops. Start planning ahead for a scholarship award for 2015!!! There are going to be 5 scholarships awarded in 2015. Three scholarships will be awarded in the following categories for the 2015 National Conference: Perfect attendance at monthly educational meetings, Committee Chairperson, and Paper/Poster presentation. A total of seven scholarships will be awarded for SETX Chapter members who apply. Please consider applying for a scholarship in 2015. Click Here for an application.

Scholarship Winners for the June Expo 2015: 5 scholarships to be awarded to the National Conference in New Orleans, LA.
National ARN Conference Scholarships: IT COULD BE YOU!!!!

   ARN National Conference Scholarships:

TARN National Conference Scholarships:
Three scholarship drawings to help towards attendance at the November ARN National Education Conference will be drawn at the August educational meeting of 2015 at the Michael E. DeBakey VAMC. Chapter members who meet requirements in the following three categories were awarded to the following Chapter Members:

• Perfect Meeting Attendance: attend 100% of Chapter meetings January through August, 2015
• Committee Chairperson: All active committee chairpersons
• Paper or Poster Presenter: All who will be presenting a paper or poster at the ARN National Conference

   Rehabilitation Nurse of the Year Award:

Members are encouraged to nominate colleagues who are members of the SETX Chapter of ARN for this annual award. Forms to nominate a member are handed out at each of our monthly meetings or available on the website: . Click here for nomination form. Contact Virginia (Becky) Thayer @ for further information.

Deadline for nominating a member for this prestigious award is August 31, 2015.

   ***2015 Rehabilitation Nurse of the Year***

***CONGRATULATIONS Virginia “Becky” Thayer, MSN, RN, CRRN***

We are proud of your contributions to rehabilitation and your dedication to the pursuit of excellence in Rehabilitation Nursing Practice.

    New CRRNs

Congratulations to our newest CRRNs!!!


Latishia Graves, BSN, RN, CRRN

Please inform us of your newest CRRNs so that we can congratulate them here on our Website.

 We are proud of your achievements. 

      CRRN EXAM: New Registration Deadlines

Due to a change in testing companies, the registration process and deadlines for the CRRN exam have changed.  Candidate applications and fees must be mailed in to CASTLE WORLDWIDE, INC. by the following deadlines:

ARN members: $270
Nonmembers: $400

If you are not currently an ARN Member but would like to become one and receive the reduced rate, simply click here to join ARN prior to submitting your application.

The fees are subject to change.

To register for the examination, candidates must submit the application received by the application deadline.


Exam Dates Application Receipt Deadlines
June 1-30, 2015 April 15, 2015 (May 1, 2015, with late fee)
December 1-31, 2015 October 15, 2015 (November 1, 2015, with late fee)


          Late fee options are now available; contact ARN National.


          A new content outline became effective for the June 2007 examination. This is posted at The exam
          now has only 175 questions (25 pretest: un-scored), and candidates will have up to 3 hours to complete the exam.

Candidate handbooks and application forms are available from ARN National (1-800-229-7530).  Registration forms may also be downloaded from the ARN National website( ). 

    Get Involved!!

SE Texas Chapter is very active, with thirteen committees working throughout the year. Committee members are needed!! Get involved – it’s a great way to meet colleagues, share ideas, learn, and… have fun! Contact Virginia (Becky) Thayer at for more information or to sign-up. Committee sign-up sheets will be available at our Monthly Educational meetings to sign up and become more active in our Chapter’s activities.

    Membership Contest

SETX Chapter ARN is holding a membership contest from April through July 2015. The member recruiting the most new members will receive a $25 Chili’s gift card.

A second membership contest will be held August through November 2015. The member recruiting the most new members will receive a $25 gift card for Ramono’s Macaroni Grill.

     Membership Participation Incentive: Back for 2015

Those SE Texas Chapter ARN members who actively serve on:
1) the Board of Directors
2) Chair a committee
3) actively serve on a committee OR
4) attend a Chapter meeting 8 out of 10 months in 2015
will be awarded a free ticket to the 2015 Holiday Gala & Awards Banquet in November.

Thank you for your active participation!

   Update Your Contact Information:

Please help us keep our membership roster current! Update your address, phone, e-mail, and other contact information at in the Members only section. Please notify Betty Clark at also, so that the Chapter records are current.

    On-line Membership Directory:

Did you know that you are able to obtain other members’ contact information through the on-line Membership Directory at in the Members only section? A listing of all SE Texas Chapter members is also available, using the search by Chapter section

    Community Activity Report:

Are you involved in a rehabilitation related community activity? Be sure to report your volunteer service to SETX Chapter ARN!! One of the Chapter goals for 2008-2009, 2009-2010, 2010-2011, 2011-2012, 2012-2013 and again for 2013-2014 is to increase our involvement in rehabilitation related community activities, and this will help toward our application for the Chapter of the Year award for the National Conference, in New Orleans, LA in 2015.

Examples of activities include health fairs, SIRES therapeutic riding, Parish nursing activities, the MS 150 bicycle ride, and events such as nurses involved in RSVP Click here to download the form to complete, and turn in at the next Chapter meeting. It is important for our Chapter to document the hours of related community activity our members are giving to advance rehabilitation in our communities throughout the Houston and surrounding areas. Activities from July 2013 and after are eligible.

    Community Action – SILENT AUCTION:

Beginning in 2004 & 2005 the Chapter supported two worthy causes in the community: T.H. Rodgers School and Camp Xtreme. T.H. Rodgers is an HISD school that educates many children with disabilities, and Camp Xtreme is a summer camp devoted to children who use wheelchairs. Since these first donations the Chapter has contributed to the “Be an Angel Fund” for playground equipment for children with disabilities and Camp Xtreme, the SIRES Therapeutic Riding: a therapeutic horse riding program for individuals with disabilities; June Rusche Hamrah Camp for All, a barrier free camp for children and adults with chronic illness or disabilities and their families; the Paws for Patriots an organization that trains specially bred dogs from Florida to assist veterans, American Heroes, with disabilities; the Jonie & Friends an organization that provides rehabilitation camps and activities for wounded warriors and their families; a not-for-profit organization providing physical rehabilitation services to uninsured individuals with disabilities. In 2014, the Chapter contributed $930.00 to Lighthouse of Houston from the silent auction at the annual Gala and Silent Auction. Lighthouse of Houston is an organization based in Houston, Texas that provides physical rehabilitation services for Children’s Summer Day Camp for children with disabilities. We are proud to be able to contribute to their efforts and outreach to make a difference.

The Chapter wishes to continue to assist community agencies who provide services for persons with disabilities. If you know of an organization or program that we can help support please contact one of the Board members so we can consider them for a donation in 2015.

Thanks to the generous support of Chapter members, the 2014 Silent Auction was once again a tremendous success!!!


2014 Silent Auction!!!
November 2013

SETX Chapter’s Gala raised $930.00
from the Silent Auction to Lighthouse of Houston.
GREAT job SETX Chapter Members!!!!


Plan ahead because before we know it the 2015 Gala and Silent Auction will be on our doorsteps. Start thinking of items that could be donated to generate funds for our Community Organizations that focus on rehabilitation for individuals with disabilities. It is a great way for our Chapter to continue supporting the services available within the Houston and surrounding communities.

Items to donate!!

• Handmade items: jewelry, crafts, sewing,…
• Gift Cards to favorite local restaurants or stores
• Christmas items for the Holidays
• Collectables: coins, paper weights, dolls,…
• Themed Baskets
• What ever creative ideas are always welcome

Help support our Communities throughout the Houston area by donating an item(s) to Auction!

    Newsletter: "Rehab Round-Up"    

Our Newsletter, “Rehab Round-Up” is published twice yearly and sent out electronically. Glennys Asselin, MSN/ED, RN, CRRN, AA is the editor. The Fall 2014 edition will be emailed out early April and the fall edition will be emailed out in early October. Make sure we have your current email address so you do not miss an issue. If you would like a copy, please contact Glennys Asselin at

Items are needed for the newsletter – brief articles, promotions, legislative updates, clinical tips, etc. Submit to Glennys Asselin at

     National ARN News:

Please visit the National ARN website,  or refer to your ARN Network newsletter to learn more about :

  1. ARN –CAT – Competency Assessment Tool

  2. New RNF Research Agenda

  3. Locating members or updating your contact information

  4. CRRN Exam New Content Outline

  5. Safe Patient Handling Toolkit

  6. Rehabilitation Nursing online

  7. New Position Statement on Documentation of Medical Necessity

  8. New On-line CRRN Practice Exam

  9. FREE on-line contact hours for members

  10. Member-Get-A-Member Campaign


    Continuing Education Contact Hours:


                    ARN National is no longer an approved maintenance provider for CDMSC, CCM or

                    CRCC continuing education. 


                    However,  SETX chapter membership voted to provide CCM continuing education units

                    for at least five (5) of the ten (10) annual educational programs.  Please see the calendar

                    page each month for posting of CCM contact hours.  If you have any questions or

                    concerns, please contact us at 

   Continuing Education Contact Hours:CERTIFICATION UPDATE

CRRN Update: Enhancing the Points-of-Credit Renewal Procedure
By Therese Pietsch, PhD RN CRRN CNE, RNCB Chair
The Rehabilitation Nursing Certification Board met in October 2012 and approved a modification to the points of credit renewal procedure that will become approved a modification to the point of credit renewal procedure that will become effective January 1, 2014. The change is primarily based on national trends and expectations of RNs who maintain certification in specialty areas of practice. This article provides specific details about the upcoming change to your CRRN renewal procedure. More details to come.....

     ARN Health Policy Digest (From National ARN):       

Welcome to this month’s edition of the ARN Health Policy Digest. This member benefit provides monthly updates on health policy, legislative, and regulatory developments that may be of interest to rehabilitation nurses.
ARN Meets with MedPAC

On February 9 ARN Health Policy Committee member Beth Demakos, Health Policy & Advocacy Manager Jordan Wildermuth, and District Policy Group’s Kara Gainer met with staff from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) to discuss ARN’s concerns with MedPAC’s recommendation to Congress for site neutrality for 22 conditions. Overall, ARN believes that the determination of the need for intensive rehabilitation is dependent on the effects of a patient’s injury or illness (impairments, functional deficits, achievable goals), as opposed to the diagnosis. Basing a site-neutral determination on an acute discharge-diagnosis-related group (DRG) prevents the assessment of function, an important component in determining the proper post-acute setting. ARN continues to actively engage in this issue.

ARN Meets with Cosponsors of Better Care, Lower Cost Act
On February 24, President Sharon Murphy-Potts, Health Policy Committee Member Beth Demakos, Health Policy & Advocacy Manager Jordan Wildermuth, and District Policy Group’s Jeremy Scott met with the offices of Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT), Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) to discuss reintroduction of the Better Care, Lower Cost Act in the 114th Congress. ARN supported the legislation in the 113th Congress and continues to work with the sponsors and has recommended additional language in regards to care transitions and including the rehabilitation nurse as a care provider.

The Better Care, Lower Cost Act would amend Medicare to establish an integrated chronic care delivery program, or Better Care Program (BCP), that would promote coordination among care providers, case managers, and social workers to ensure that patients with chronic illness are empowered to seek the appropriate care.

ARN attends AMRPA Spring Executive Forum
President Sharon Murphy-Potts and Health Policy & Advocacy Manager Jordan Wildermuth attended AMRPA’s Spring Executive Forum which is held for AMRPA members to meet and hear from federal policy makers about the key issues that are impacting inpatient rehabilitation hospitals and units. Speakers included Sean Cavanaugh, Deputy Administrator and Director, CMS; Laurence Wilson, Director, Chronic Care Group, CMS; and Veronica Dunn, Legislative Assistant to Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY).

ARN to attend Listening Session on the IMPACT Act
ARN has been invited, along with other stakeholders, to attend a listening session in Washington D.C. on March 5 with the purpose of providing input to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on the implementation of the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 (IMPACT Act).

The IMPACT Act was passed on September 18, 2014. The Act requires the submission of standardized clinical assessment data for measures in five domains: Functional status, cognitive function, and changes in function and cognitive function; skin integrity and changes in skin integrity; medication reconciliation; incidence of major falls; and communicating the existence of and providing for the transfer of health information and care preferences. The Act will use assessments submitted to CMS by Long-Term Care Hospitals (LTCH), Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF), Home Health Agencies (HHA) and Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRF). The goal of the Act is to enable comparison of assessment data across post-acute care settings.

Modern Healthcare: Looming Nursing Shortage Fueled by Faculty Shortfall
This school year, more than half of nursing colleges reported having vacant full-time positions, and 78,000 student applications could not be accepted because of faculty shortages, according to an American Association of Colleges of Nursing survey. The Institute of Medicine has recommended increasing the number of nurses with doctorates. "We did see this shortage coming, so the good news is that we have been preparing to bring more faculty on board," ANA President Pamela Cipriano said. For more information, please click here.

Nursing Administration Scope and Standards Revision Workgroup Seeks Public Comments
The Nursing Administration Scope and Standards Revision Workgroup seeks public comments on the draft document Nursing Administration: Scope and Standards of Practice, Second Edition. The draft document is available for download here.

CMS Announces Five Changes to RAC Program, Halts Documentation Requests
In December, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) extended its currents contracts with the Recovery Auditor (RAC) program, despite the fact that RACs contribute significantly to the over 900,000 appeals submitted to the Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals. Given its apparent need for improvement, CMS announced a series of changes to the RAC program for 2015; they are explained in detail on the following page.

MedPAC Offers Medicare Reimbursement Recommendations for Rehabilitation Hospitals and Skilled Nursing Facilities
At its December and January meetings, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), composed a set of recommendations related to changes in Medicare reimbursement policy. Specifically, their recommendation states: “The Congress should direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to eliminate the differences in payment between inpatient rehabilitation facilities and skilled nursing facilities for selected conditions…Inpatient rehabilitation facilities should receive relief from regulations specifying the intensity and mix of services for site-neutral conditions.” Click here for a more detailed explanation of the suggested improvements.

MedPAC Finalizes Payment Update Recommendations for IRFs; Reiterates SNF Recommendations
At its January, 2015 meeting, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) adopted a package of draft recommendations to Congress making 2015 payment updates for hospital inpatient and outpatient services, ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs), outpatient dialysis, hospice, inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs), and long-term care hospitals. The commission also decided to rerun several updates from last year’s report, including that for skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). More information may be found on the following page.

HHS: Applications for Awards, Administration for Community Living
The National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) – Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects (DRRPs) – Community Living and Participation, and Health and Function invites applicants to submit for awards within the Administration for Community Living. More information may be found here.

NIDDR FY 2014 Organization Highlights Report Now Available
The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research has announced that the NIDRR FY 2014 Organization Highlights report is now available. The report provides a summary of NIDRR’s activities and accomplishments in fiscal year 2014. The report can be accessed on the following page.

To connect to the links noted in the above updates please visit the National Website at

     Texas Legislation:

       - LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE UPDATE - September, 2015

Complex Rehabilitation Technology is provided under the DME benefit in Medicare and includes the complex and individually configured wheelchairs and equipment used by people with paralysis and other mobility impairments. Problems have occurred with rules that the equipment could only be useful "in the home" and that it is not available to people transitioning from nursing facilities back home.
Competitive bidding program does not exempt manual chairs and Medicare announced that they would include in competitive bidding all "accessories" of manual and power chairs. This includes seating systems, headrests, tilt-and-lift, and more. This will take effect January 1, 2016. This change will exacerbate existing problems and further limit access to appropriate equipment.
The Ensuring Access to Complex Rehabilitation Technology Act (H.R. 1516 / S. 1013) - which ARN supports, would end competitive bidding for CRT and remove CRT from DME entirely and end the "in the home" restriction. It would create a new benefit in Medicare for CRT with quality controls and a new, independent pricing system based on ensuring access.

Support the Better Care, Lower Cost Act
Support the Put a RN in Nursing Home Act (H.R. 952)
Support and promote appropriate quality measures and outcomes across the post-acute care continuum
Support the Enhancing Stature and Visibility of Medical Rehab Research at the NIH Act (S. 800/ H.R. 1631)

The field of cancer rehab is gathering momentum across the country and many professionals in both oncology and rehab are becoming aware that cancer patients have physical, psychosocial, spiritual, and socioeconomic needs that rehab professionals are ideally suited to address. CARF has even recently published Cancer Rehab Specialty Program standards. Despite growing recognition of the needs there is a lack of clarity surrounding components of cancer rehab...there are gaps in care. Stay tuned as there will be more....

CMS released the final rule including updates to the prospective payment rates for inpatient rehab facilities for fiscal year 2016 and is proposing to increase payments by about $135 million, or 1.8% over 2015.
The payment rates for SNFs for fiscal year 2016 by about $430 million, or 1.2% over 2015.

CMS previously proposed in July to modify the rule to allow physicians to exercise judgment to admit patients on a case-by-case basis and then was delayed until September 30, 2015. Now CMS says delay will extend through the end of the year.

Respectfully Submitted,
Cindy Gebhard BSN RN


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Touchstone Neurorecovery Centers is a post acute rehabilitation facility nationally known for being on the leading edge of neurobehavioral rehabilitation.  9727 Wahrenberger Road, Conroe, TX 77304  (936)788-7770  or  Toll Free: 1-800-414-4824

Touchstone Supports ARN!

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BARD Medical Division of C.R. Bard, Inc., is a market leader in urological drainage systems, in addition to providing skin & wound care products, wound drainage products, and a variety of specialty tubing products. 
BARD Supports ARN!


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            For further information, questions or suggestions, e-mail us at:

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