Step by Step Help in
Starting A Vascular Access Network (VAN)
Step 1: DETERMINING AN INTEREST
The first step in starting a Network in your area is to determine if there is an interest. Contact professionals involved with Vascular Access in any specialty in your area who might be interested in a networking organization devoted to providing optimal patient care and outcomes.
Set up Network discovery meeting to identify potential officers, supporters and members.
Step 2: DEVELOPING A MEMBERSHIP
Utilize membership lists from AVA and other professional organizations. If you are a member of AVA go to www.avainfo.org, sign in and click on the Directory Search under the Resources tab. You will then be able to see other members in your area along with their contact information.
Contact local home health agencies, hospitals, nursing homes, infusion companies, manufacturers and industry partners to solicit their participation. Remember: AVA is a multidisciplinary organization so your membership can be varied. Encourage Doctors, Pharmacists, Infection Prevention and Interventional Radiologists to become involved. Include consumers who have received infusion therapy, as well.
Use Social Media posts to engage local vascular access professionals.
Network with your colleagues. Word of mouth is the best advertising.
Make sure your members are aware and become members of AVA as well as your local Network. Membership brochures can be provided for you. Please call the AVA office at (801) 792-9079, located at 5526 W 13400 S Ste #229 Herriman, UT 84096. They are also available for download on the Network Leaders resource page on the AVA website (www.avainfo.org/networkleaders).
Communicate often with the National Office. AVA can help send e-blasts and connect you with members in your area.
It’s important to keep track of your members through a database. With a database program, you can easily generate mailing lists, update membership information and track dues. Contact AVA for help.
Step 3: GETTING STARTED
- Find a convenient meeting place for your discovery meeting. Try your local hospitals, health care companies or local restaurants.
- Elect or designate network officers. A minimum of 2 members responsible for reporting and finance management is required. Each officer MUST maintain their AVA membership.
- Name your Network. (See Branding Guidelines for help).
- Create a logo. (See Branding Guidelines for help). Contact AVA if you need a graphic design contact.
- Establish Goals and Mission Statement.
- Determine frequency, time and duration of meetings. Discuss programs/speakers you’d like to offer in the upcoming year.
- Contact the IRS and obtain a tax ID number (See Instructions) (See Tax Requirements).
- Open a checking account at a local bank. Make sure that you include at least two officers as signatures on the account.
- Complete the IRS Consent to Be Included Form.
- Complete the AVA Network Start-up Application.
- Pay Annual Dues. (An invoice will be sent to you after you submit your application)
- Sign and Submit Network Affiliation Agreement. (The affiliation agreement will be sent to you after you submit your application)
**All paperwork must be completed and approved before you can have an official meeting.
FINANCING YOUR NETWORK
Consider feasibility of annual dues. Most Networks charge between $20.00-$55.00 per year for a membership. This will help cover the cost of your meetings, which includes brochures, membership applications, refreshments, supplies and scholarships. Establish the per event charge for guest/non-members. This is especially appropriate when CE credits are offered.
Ask your local industry partners to support a meeting. Vendors play a major role in AVA by bringing information on the latest technologies and products available in vascular access management. Remember to ask your vendors early so they can get the necessary approvals and include your Network in their budget. Vendors can either sponsor the specific meeting through refreshments or through a nominal fee. This is a great source of revenue for your Network and great exposure for the vendor. Allow time after the meeting for the vendor to display and/or speak. Encourage manufacturer representatives to join your network as contributor members.
SETTING THE AGENDA
Meeting agendas may vary. They should include a brief business meeting to keep your members informed about what your Network and AVA are doing.
Educational Programs are generally well attended. Make sure the topic is relevant to your membership. Watch the Network Chatter in IQ, AVA’s quarterly newsletter to see what the other Networks are providing. If your state requires Continuing Education Credits, try to offer these through a Provider in your group. You can also obtain contact hours through AVA. Contact the AVA office for information on how to do this.
Allow time for your members to network with each other. This is very important.
Network with other Networks!
KEEPING THINGS GOING
One of the most difficult tasks to running a Network is keeping the momentum going. Make sure your meetings are planned well in advance and well publicized. Send out reminder notices to your members and prospective members. AVA will announce all Network events on the AVA website, Network page and through all social media outlets.
Don’t try to be a one-man show! Ask others in your area to help and spread the workload around. Use the Network Leader Slack channel to get advise from other networks.
Contact AVA for help and advice. We’re there to support you.
Keep the AVA up to date with what’s happening with your Network. This information can be published in the electronic newsletter IQ on a quarterly basis.