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News & Press: Association News

Association for Vascular Access Announces Continuum of Care Special Interest Group (ConSIG)

Monday, March 18, 2019  
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March 18, 2019 – Today the Association for Vascular Access (AVA) announced the establishment of a special interest group tasked with advancing and executing AVA’s novel Continuum of Care strategy.

“AVA’s Continuum of Care special interest group will be known as ConSIG,” said Gwen Coney, MA, MSN, RN, CRNI®, VA-BC™. “ConSIG will have a major role in helping patients with vascular access devices more effectively navigate an often confusing care journey outside of the hospital setting.”

Coney will serve as ConSIG’s first advisor, with support from Amy Stone, BSN, RN, CRNI®, IgCN, VA-BC™. Both Coney and Stone are Directors-at-Large on the AVA Board. Linda Lembo, MSN, RN, CRNI®, VA-BC™ will serve as secretary while Jennifer Charron, MSN, RN, CNE and Laurie Santo, RN assume roles on the Leadership Counsel.

“AVA is currently in discussions with several acute care facilities about Vicarium, which is our program that aligns patient expectations for hand hygiene and vascular access to hospital policies,” AVA CEO Ramzy Nasrallah said. “That alignment in the hospital is fairly straight-forward, but if we’re going to make those patient expectations portable – while addressing the common confusion of navigating an often fragmented alternate care continuum – we need to have leaders who know this maze.

“ConSIG will be instrumental to customizing Vicarium programs which streamline patient expectations and continuum of care navigation.”

AVA recognizes the need for tying patient expectations to evidence-based practice across the continuum of care regarding vascular access, not just in the acute care setting. ConSIG’s goal is to be the leading vascular access voice in transitional and post-acute care, through programs like Vicarium and in other projects through AVA.

“Currently, most of the scrutiny for vascular access devices best practice is placed on their insertion and use in acute care,” said Beth Gore, AVA Director of Outreach and the mother of a patient with a long-term vascular access device. “However, many of these devices are inserted and/or cared for in the post-acute space. The lack of standardization and coordination of care leaves patients feeling like they are falling through cracks in the system. As a result, there is significant and preventable harm as well as poor patient outcomes that are absorbed by both families and hospital resources.”

“Vascular access is not just seen in an acute care setting,” Lembo added. “AVA is interested in learning from its non-acute stakeholders and coalescing their capability around the needs and expectations of the patient, aligning everyone around best practice and the irreducible number of readmissions.”

ConSIG understands that care environments and their resources are not all created equal and will be engineering its solutions for fragmented care around the patient while aiming to get as close to standardization as possible.

“Knowledge of vascular access and infusion therapy should be no different than knowing any other area of care,” said Santo.

To add your voice to this initiative, visit to join AVA and sign up to be a part of the ConSIG during the registration process. Existing members can contact the ConSIG at Join AVA in Las Vegas at its Annual Scientific Meeting from October 4-7, 2019, where the ConSIG will hold its initial face-to-face meeting. For more information, please visit


The Association for Vascular Access (AVA) is an organization of healthcare professionals founded in 1985 to support and promote the specialty of vascular access. The mission of AVA is to represent and advance the vascular access specialty and community and define standards of vascular access through an evidence-based approach to enhance healthcare and patient outcomes. Today, its multidisciplinary membership advances research, provides professional and public education to shape practice and enhance patient outcomes, and partners with the device manufacturing community to bring about evidence-based innovations in vascular access. To learn more, visit