AACN News—August 2007—Association News

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Vol. 24, No. 8, AUGUST 2007

Members Applaud New Free CE Credit Benefit

AACN has received many positive responses to its latest membership enrichment program – unlimited free CE credit for members for CE offerings from its journals and new Online CE Center (www.aacn.org/ce.htm).

Although nonmember CE customers will continue to pay the customary fee per CE offering, they will be able to take advantage of the Online CE Center. The center offers users an array of features, including the ability to select CE offerings by clinical topic, journal or keywords in the title; a comprehensive transcript feature that tracks not only all AACN online CE credits, but also external CE credits customers add; and online storage of individual CE certificates for anytime, anywhere access.

AACN is the first professional nursing association to offer its members free continuing CE credit at this level. The change was based on a desire to reward members for their loyalty and enrich the membership experience.

The response from members was immediate. Such feedback is important to AACN in validating the types of resources and benefits members want and need.

AACN continues to be on the forefront of nursing. You are wonderful.

Being a part of AACN is enriching already, and to think now we can have free CEs. What better way to show your support for nurses.

“Thanks for this awesome change.”

“AACN has always been the best nursing organization now you are proving it again.”

“This is a good
example of living up to your mission statement.”

“I am very proud to be a part of such a dedicated and professional organization!”

“This is truly an unmatched membership enrichment program.”

Illinois Nurses Sponsor Peruvian Colleague’s Visit to NTI in Atlanta

After a recent volunteer mission, Illinois resident Jodi Gunther became inspired to bring Eddy Maria Rivas Cebannos, a critical care nurse from Peru, to NTI 2007 in Atlanta. She saw an opportunity to share the educational and networking opportunity she has experienced at NTI for the past 12 years.

“They do not have the type of organization in Peru that we have here,” explained Gunther. “Eddy is working on getting her masters and is really becoming a leader in her hospital, so I wanted her to experience everything NTI had to offer.”

Through the sponsorship of her local AACN chapter, the Northwest Chicago Chapter, Gunther raised money to pay for Cebannos’ airfare and conference registration fee. She also raised the needed funds to bring her Peruvian colleague to NTI through a points-generating system sponsored by her local chapter. The Northwest Chicago Chapter offers points to its members based on how many hours they volunteer on behalf of the chapter. Those points are then translated into funds to allow members to attend educational opportunities, such as NTI.

Gunther, who was a speaker at her chapter’s annual Midwest Conference, generated enough volunteer points to earn a scholarship to NTI. Because she was planning to attend the conference anyway, she donated her points to Cebannos. “I really got more out of it than I could ever have imagined,” Gunther said.

Gunther said her trip to Peru put into perspective the medical conditions of some countries outside the United States. The mission, called Cardiostart, teaches open-heart surgery techniques to Peruvian physicians and nurses. Gunther has donated training manuals (like the AACN Procedure Manual) to her colleagues in Peru, and has been amazed at how the nurses she met there have already assimilated this new knowledge into practice.

Still, technology that American critical care nurses might take for granted is simply not available to their Peruvian colleagues. For instance, Cebannos said that her hospital still uses oxygen tanks and does not have wall-accessible oxygen – a situation that recently caused a small fire in the hospital. Cebannos and other Peruvian nurses also do not have the benefit of an organization like AACN.

“A conference like this would really be difficult to do in Peru,” Gunther said. “I think of this as my annual spring getaway, but this is a first for Eddy.”

Jodi Gunther (l) helped raise funds to allow Eddy Maria Rivas Cebannaos (c), a nurse in Peru, to attend her first NTI. Jackie Rangel (r), a close friend of Gunther’s, translated for Cebannos at NTI.

Members Continue to ‘Share the Joy’ in June Campaign

The AACN Member-Get-A-Member campaign resulted in outstanding individual and chapter recruitment totals during June.

Ann Brorsen, RN, MSN, CCRN, CEN, of Sun City, Calif. continued her torrid pace by recruiting 36 new members. She continues to hold the overall lead in the campaign with 140 new members recruited. She’ll be difficult to catch, but who knows what can happen in the time remaining?

Still maintaining second place overall with 76 new members recruited, Kathleen Richuso, RN, MSN, RN-BC, of Chapel Hill, N.C. added eight new members to her total. Susan Rogers, RN, DNS, MSN, of Vienna, Va. continued to hold third place in the campaign with 64 recruits.

Other notable individual performances during June were Adolfo Famas, RN, BSN, CCRN, of Simi Valley, Calif., who got on the board with an impressive 22 new members recruited; Kathleen Burton, RN, BSN, CCRN, of Jasper, Ind. with 13; and Nenita Rattanopas, RN, BS, BSN, CCRN, of North Las Vegas, Nev. with 12. Rattanopas is in fourth place overall with 55.
In chapter recruiting, a close battle is being waged for the overall campaign lead between the Greater Richmond Area Chapter (125 new members recruited) and the Houston Gulf Coast Chapter (121 recruits). In third place with 104 is the Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter. In June, the Greater Mid Cities Chapter added 12 new members and the Greater Washington Chapter added 11.

They are among the 1,495 individuals and chapters that have recruited 7,416 new members since the campaign began May 1, 2006. The campaign ends Aug. 31, 2007. The recruitment period was extended for this year’s campaign to move the program to a 12-month cycle in the future.

Participation in the Member-Get-A-Member campaign gives recruiters a chance to receive valuable rewards, including a $1,000 American Express gift check that will be awarded to the top individual recruiter. Every recruiter who enrolls five new members during the program will be entered in the drawing.

In addition, as individuals recruit new members, they are entered in a drawing for a $100 American Express gift check each month they recruit. Michelle H. Murphy, RN, MS, MSN, CCRN, won the gift certificate in June.

After recruiting their first five new members, participants will receive a $25 gift certificate toward AACN products and services and $50 after recruiting a total of 10 new members.
The chapter recruiting the most new members during the campaign will receive a $1,000 honorarium check. The winning chapter is also eligible for Grand Prize drawings for three $500 honorarium checks for their chapter treasuries. In addition, chapters are eligible for monthly drawings for a free NTI registration any month they recruit a new member. The winner for June was the Greater Milwaukee Area Chapter.

To see the full list of recruiters and their totals, visit www.aacn.org > Membership.

Scene and Heard

Our Voice in the Media
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (April 2007) – “Children’s Sibley Heart Center Nurse Leads Continuing Education Effort for Critical Care Nurses.” Heather Maude, RN, CCRN, led an initiative to start a review course to help other nurses at her hospital earn their CCRN credential. “Encouraging nurses to pursue their CCRN certification will ultimately lead to better patient care, increased job satisfaction, enhanced nurse recruiting efforts and unique professional development opportunities for our staff,” said Marcia Bryant, director of cardiovascular services.

Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce (April 2, 2007) – “Gwinnett Medical Center Earns Beacon Award” was the title of an article announcing the Intensive Care Unit’s recognition. “We are just so proud to receive this award – it is such a reward for a lot of hard work by our staff,” said Joanne Culvern, RN, CCRN, clinical manager of the ICU. “Our ICU is staffed with exceptional, competent nurses who are so passionate about what they do.”

CHEST Physician (April 2007) – “Creating Healthy Work Environments: Appropriate Staffing,” by Karlene Kerfoot, PhD, RN, CNAA, FAAN, Renee Garrick, MD, and Michael Israel, MPH, is the fourth in a series of articles about AACN’s standards for implementing a healthy work environment. They wrote that “one of these standards, appropriate staffing, is the keystone to building healthy work environments … Staffing must ensure the effective match between the patient’s needs and the competencies of the nurse.”

Los Angeles Times (April 18, 2007) – “Group Backs U.S. Critical Care Changes,” an article under this and similar titles, appeared in about 200 other outlets including AP Alert, USA Today, the Houston Chronicle and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. AACN is part of a group that “believes a tiered, regionalized system for treating critically ill patients would centralize expertise and equipment while also treating the patients most in need.” The recommendations are further discussed in an article titled “Prioritizing the Organization and Management of Intensive Care Services in the United States: The PrOMIS Conference” featured in the April 2007 issue of Critical Care Medicine.

2007 Spring Critical Care Specialty Guide – “Dear Donna” included a letter from an RN asking about certification. Donna replied, “Here is some information about certification available through AACN Certification Corporation, www.certcorp.org. If you don’t already belong to that organization, you should join and become active. Many nurses think that as they approach retirement, they should give up on professional development. There’s no reason to do that. It’s never too late to go back to school or to get certified.”

NurseWeek (April 12, 2007) – “Hill-Rom Names Melissa Fitzpatrick, RN, MSN, FAAN, Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer: New position underscores commitment to clinical research and evidence-based initiatives.” This article, which noted that “Fitzpatrick is a past president of the Foundation for Critical Care and AACN, the largest specialty nursing organization in the world,” also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Seattle Post-Intelligencer and many other outlets.

Copley Hospital Press Room (April 17, 2007) – “Copley Nurses Receive Certification.” Several nurses were recognized for earning their CCRN certification. “We are proud of these nurses’ accomplishments and their commitment to providing the highest level of patient care,” said Peter Wright, FACHE, hospital spokesman. There is also a “Culture of Certification” board that promotes and supports certified nursing practice. The board is prominently displayed in the unit for everyone to see.”

Yahoo News (April 22, 2007) – “Mosby’s Nursing CE and MC Strategies Announce New Course.” MC Strategies has released “Standards-Based Nursing,” an online CE program for staff nurses and nurse managers. The article indicated that part of the organizational framework was based on AACN’s practice standards.

American Nurse Today (April 2007) – “Issues Up Close: Too Tired to Be Safe?” included a quote from Dave Hanson, RN, MSN, CCRN, CNS, then AACN president-elect: “AACN published its statement against mandatory overtime in 2001 and has been working with its members to address fatigue – which he calls a ‘huge and sometimes unspoken issue.’ … We must create a healthcare environment in which nurses aren’t put – or put themselves – in unsafe situations because they’re fatigued.”

CHCM (Creative Health Care Management) News (April 2007) – “The AACN Synergy Model for Patient Care and Relationship-Based Care” was the title of an in-depth article on these two nursing care models. The article stated that “In Synergy for Clinical Excellence, Sonya R. Hardin and Roberta Kaplow describe the AACN Synergy Model for Patient Care and help nurses apply it to their clinical practice. The model is based on the belief that nurses need to critically think about the care process and not just engage in task mastery.”

Our Voice at the Table
Hanson was the keynote speaker and presented “Powered by Insight: The Unique Contributions of Acute and Critical Care Nurses” at the 18th Annual Future Is Now Symposium, sponsored by AACN’s Chesapeake Bay (Md.) Chapter. He also gave a clinical breakout session, “Differential Diagnosis of Chest Pain: No Time for Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda.” Hanson and Patricia Gonce Morton, RN, PhD, ACNP, FAAN, AACN board member, presented a national AACN Update.

Mary Fran Tracy, RN, PhD, CCRN, CCNS, FAAN, then AACN board president, attended the Greater Memphis (Tenn.) Area Chapter’s Spring Seminar. She presented the keynote, “Powered by Insight” and the breakout session, “CATS in the ICU: Critical Care Nurses’ Attitudes and Perspectives.” She also presented these speeches at the Critical Care Conundrums conference sponsored by AACN’s West Michigan Chapter.

Mary Stahl, RN, MSN, APRN-BC, CCRN, CCNS, AACN board member, presented the keynote, “Powered by Insight: AACN Board of Directors Update,” at AACN’s Greater St. Louis Chapter’s Spring Symposium. She also presented a breakout session, “How to Read Research for the Nurse at the Bedside.”

Hanson was the keynote speaker at the Critical Care Nursing Symposium, sponsored by AACN’s San Antonio (Texas) Chapter. His speech was called “Powered by Insight: The Unique Contributions of Acute and Critical Care Nurses.”

Debby Greenlaw, RN, MS, CCRN, NP-C, AACN Certification Corporation board member, attended Making the Critical Difference, South Carolina Midstate Chapter’s spring workshop, in Columbia. She spoke on “Anemia in the Critically Ill Patient” and “Acute Pancreatitis.”

Julie Miller, RN, BSN, CCRN, AACN board member, presented a preconference on “Noninvasive Assessment of Hemodynamics and Titrating Drips” and concurrent sessions on “DVT” and “Fluid and Electrolyte Imbalance” at the Nursing2007 Symposium in Orlando, Fla.

Miller discussed the value of certification at Care of the High-Acuity Patient, a two-day seminar at Medical Center Hospital, Odessa, Texas.

Marian Altman, RN, MS, CCRN, ANP, AACN board member, attended “Creating Nursing’s Action Agenda,” a workshop at the Invitational Meeting for Virginia’s Nursing Leaders, sponsored by the Virginia Partnership for Nursing and the Virginia Nurses Association. The leaders of Virginia’s nursing specialty organizations shared organizational priorities and issues. They also identified areas for collaboration and discussed solutions to the state’s nursing shortage.

Janice Wojcik, RN, MSN, CCRN, APRN-BC, AACN board member, gave a Nurses’ Week presentation, “Celebrate Nursing: Excellence in Action” at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson, N.J.

Maria Shirey, RN, MS, MBA, CNAA, BC, FACHE, AACN Certification Corporation board member, presented “Leadership and Organizational Strategies to Increase Innovative Thinking” at the 2nd annual National Nurse Entrepreneurship Conference, in Indianapolis, Ind. She discussed cultures of professional certification and implementation of AACN's Synergy Model as examples of innovative strategies in the healthcare work setting.

Hanson gave the keynote address, “Powered by Insight: Identifying the Elements for Establishing and Sustaining Healthy Work Environments,” and a breakout session, “Cardiovascular Surgery Critical Care Pathway Outcomes: Using Evidence to Guide Care,” at the 19th Annual Trends in Critical Care Conference sponsored by AACN’s Greater Cincinnati Chapter in Fairfield, Ohio.

Hanson presented the keynote, “Powered by Insight: The Unique Contributions of Acute & Critical Care Nurses,” and a breakout session, “AACN Healthy Work Environment Standards: A Journey to Excellence,” at the San Antonio Chapter’s Extreme Makeover Professional Image seminar.

Hanson gave the keynote, “Powered by Insight: Identifying the Elements for Establishing and Sustaining Healthy Work Environments,” and a breakout session, “Differential Diagnosis of Chest Pain: No Time for Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda,” at TRENDS in Trauma and Cardiovascular Nursing sponsored by AACN and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter in King of Prussia, Pa.

Members On the Move

Holtschneider, Rolle

Ritchey, Morton

Tirrel, Kranteras



Patricia Gonce Morton, RN, PhD, ACNP, FAAN, AACN board member, was appointed associate dean for academic affairs at the University of Maryland School of Nursing.

Denise Nash-Luckenbach, RN, MSN, CCRN, and Jeanne Ruggiero, RN, PhD, APN-C, were appointed to the faculty of the College of Nursing, Seton Hall University, N.J.

Connie Sobon Sensor, RN, MSN, CCRN, CTN, has been accepted as one of nine nurse leaders in the inaugural class of Seton Hall University’s doctoral program.
Marie Lasater, RN, MSN, CCRN, CNRN, accepted the position of director of RN education at Texas County Technical Institute, Houston, Mo.

Maria Shirey, RN, MS, MBA, CNAA, BC, FACHE, AACN Certification Corporation board member, wrote an article titled “The Entrepreneur and the Business Plan,” for the May/June 2007 issue of Clinical Nurse Specialist.

Barbara Tirrell, RN, MA, was elected to serve a one-year term on the Board of Trustees of the Kansas Foundation for Medical Care.

Mary Holtschneider, RN, BSN, MPA, former AACN board member, wrote an article titled “Tech Update: Better Communication, Better Care Through High-Fidelity Simulation,” which was featured in the May 2007 issue of Nursing Management.

Linda Burnette, RN, BSN, MSA, has been named the chief nursing officer at Sandhills Regional Medical Center, Hamlet, N.C.

Mila Rolle, RN, BS, BSN, CCRN, is the new nurse manager of two med-surg units at Our Lady of the Resurrection Medical Center, Chicago.

Elaine Ritchey, RN, MS, CCRN, CNL, and Judy Stenstrom, RN, MS, CCRN, CNL, earned master of science degrees as clinical nurse leaders from the University of Portland.

Rebecca Reine led a statewide effort to collect supplies for displaced students and faculty at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, which was hard-hit during Hurricane Katrina.

Elizabeth “Jean” Baker, BSN, RN, OCN, was honored as part of the Houston Chronicle’s annual “Salute to Nurses.”

Sheila Gatch, RN, ADN, received a Palmetto Gold award from the South Carolina Nurses Foundation for excellence in the nursing profession.

Jackline Opollo, RN, BS, BSN, was honored as a 2007 Employee of the Year by the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council.

Margaret McNally-Kranteras, RN, received the 2007 Nursing Leadership Award from Our Lady of the Resurrection Medical Center, Chicago, for excellence in nursing mentorship and leadership.

Tammy Marnell, RN, RNC, ADN, Susan Boryca, RN, CPAN, CCRN, Terri Scamardo, RN, MSN, MHA, and Sharon Gunn, RN, BSN, CCRN, were among 17 Baylor Health Care System nurses named to the “Great 100 Nurses” list, sponsored by the Texas Nurses Association - Districts 3 and 4, and the Dallas-Fort Worth Nurse Executives.

Timothy Hudson, RN, BN, MEd, MSHA, CCRN, FACHE, an army major serving in Iraq, was featured in the June 3 issue of Parade magazine. He is also a Beacon Expert Panel reviewer and presented a sunrise session at NTI 2007 in Atlanta.

Winner Announced in Critical Care Nurse Online Reader Survey

Anita Kelloway of Berwick, Maine, won an iPod nano, the prize for participating in an online survey at NTI 2007 about Critical Care Nurse. Kelloway's name was selected from about 400 respondents who completed the survey.

Family Makes Memorial Contribution to Support AACN Membership

Nurses who cared for Bonnie Elmore gather in front of the “Ace of Hearts” plaque they received from their hospital, demonstrating their dedication and compassionate care to Elmore and her family. Pictured are (from left) Haley Gordon, Kayreen Jeter, Jennifer Perry, Amy Frank and Megan Brunson.

Bonnie Elmore was a patient in the CVICU at Saint Joseph Hospital in Atlanta for five weeks. Her husband, Bill, and daughter, Brenda Elmore-Cobb, never missed a visiting hour or an opportunity to communicate with the physicians and nurses during Elmore’s treatment. She passed away as a result of multisystem failure and sepsis, which can be common occurrences after open heart surgery.

In appreciation for the care and compassion of the critical care nurses, the Elmore family presented a plaque to the CVICU nursing team. The plaque proudly hangs at the main entrance of the CVICU. In addition, hospital administrators recognized the unit’s nursing team by awarding them the “Ace of Hearts,” award, an honor given monthly to outstanding employees.
“We cannot thank the nurses enough for their countless hours at Mom’s bedside,” Elmore-Cobb said. Still, the family felt compelled to do more. Megan Brunson, immediate past president of the Atlanta Area Chapter of AACN and one of the nurses who cared for Elmore, suggested a small donation to AACN. However, Elmore’s family wasn’t content with one donation; they reached out to friends and family to make more donations in memory of Bonnie Elmore to support the nurses’ membership in AACN. As a result, the Elmore family raised $1,752 - enough to support 11 chapter membership renewals and five new memberships in national AACN.

Bill Elmore concluded by saying, “It was our way of thanking the nurses for caring for Bonnie, and we wanted to support their continued growth and advancement in critical care nursing.”g

Behind the Scenes: The Vital Role of White House Nurses

Being a White House nurse may appear glamorous, but his or her primary goal is that of any other healthcare provider: treat and maintain the health of their patients, who in this case just happen to be the first and second families.

“Whether it’s traveling with the president on Air Force One, advancing a trip overseas or responding to a medical emergency at the White House complex, these can all be referred to as our typical day. Each one is different and each one requires different skills,” said Lieutenant Commander Charles Hartung, one of the White House nurses. “But the same critical thinking, problem solving and time management skills that make us good critical care nurses are the same ones that we use on a daily basis at the White House.”
Role of the Critical Care Nurse

Medical support at the White House began with George Washington. Of the 43 presidents, 21 have had some form of significant illness or injury during their time in office and eight have died; four from illness and four from assassinations.

“Our overall mission at the White House Medical Unit is to provide comprehensive medical care and emergency response to the president, vice president and their families,” said Lieutenant Colonel Cynthia Wright at an NTI 2007 session “History of White House Nursing: Applying Lessons Learned.”

The White House nurse is a non-political military assignment for three years and does not change with a new administration. The nurse’s duties entail 24-hour medical care for the president, vice president and their families. They must also have knowledge of basic veterinary medicine to treat White House pets. Responsibilities also include national and international travel with the president and the creation and thorough review of medical emergency/contingency preparedness plans.

“Medical care for the president or other principals, like care for any other patient, must be thorough and complete and should not be altered due to hectic scheduling demands,” said Hartung.

Meeting the Requirements

The White House Medical Unit is selected from the Army, Navy or Air Force active-duty personnel. The president chooses his own personal physician who leaves when the president’s term is over.

Being a White House nurse requires several skills beyond a nursing degree. He or she must be physically fit, have a variety of experience, be an excellent communicator and be humble, according to Major Thomas Weichart.

“The position we hold is bigger than the person,” he said. “Our role is to serve unselfishly and faithfully. Most nurses believe in patient care and not self gain. It is no different in this role, except for the patients we represent.”

Like any other nursing position, being a White House nurse has its fair share of stress and long days. However, all the nurses agreed that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“We are truly in the background and it is an awesome job. I am honored to be working in the White House,” Wright said.

Sample NTI Online

GE Healthcare is again this year sponsoring videos online from several NTI 2007 sessions. The NTI e-sampler will feature four sessions. In addition to Mary Fran Tracy’s Opening Session and President-elect Dave Hanson’s Speech, two clinical sessions that were sponsored by GE Healthcare are offered. They are “What’s the Hyper About Hyperacute Stroke?” presented by Mary Kay Bader and Melody Davidson, and “Case Studies in Hemodynamics,” presented by Leanna Miller.

To access the presentations, visit:


Regional Chapter Representatives Are Vital Communication Leaders

The Chapter Advisory Team provides an important link between chapters and the national office, ensuring effective communication among the AACN Board of Directors, national office and local chapters on pressing issues chapters face. Advisers are volunteers who have expert knowledge about chapter issues and trends in their region as well as information about developments at the national level and how those developments affect chapters. Following are the Chapter Advisory Team representatives for 2007-08.

Monthly Super Savers

These Super Saver prices are valid until Sept. 30, 2007. All orders must be received or postmarked by Sept. 30 to be eligible for the Super Saver price.

Mentoring in Nursing: A Dynamic and Collaborative Process (Product #303102)
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The Ultimate Guide to Competency Assessment in Health Care, 3rd Ed. (Product #128663)
This edition includes lots of new forms and tools to help you design competencies that are creative and compliant with the current JCAHO standards.
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Instant Teaching Tools for the New Millennium
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This book contains 87 ready-to-use, easily replicated interactive teaching exercises designed specifically for educators and trainers in the healthcare profession. Exercises are designed to promote student/participant involvement and self-directed learning. It features a stimulating, highly visual format and easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions for each exercise. All exercises are brief and inexpensive, requiring minimal props or preparation time. Icons identify the topic, tools needed, time, preparation, implementation and educator secrets. Includes CD-ROM with book.
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This Month’s Featured Product

AACN Certification and Core Review for High Acuity and
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The 6th edition of this review guide helps readers assess and build their knowledge of critical care nursing as they prepare for the certification exam. The book consists of three 200-question sample examinations that provide extensive practice and review key content. An in-depth rationale, complete with references, is included for each question. Written under the authority of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), this book is an ideal study tool to facilitate preparation for critical care nursing certification.
New to this edition:
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Price: Member: $42.75, Nonmember: $44.95
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