AACN News—May 2009—Association News

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Vol. 26, No. 5, MAY 2009

Recognizing Excellence Beacon Award Recipients Announced

Thirty-five outstanding units from 30 hospitals in 21 states and the District of Columbia received AACN’s prestigious Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence in April. These units have demonstrated a greater use of best practices, stronger teamwork, higher morale, better patient care and improved patient outcomes. The Beacon Award recognizes high-caliber nursing in adult critical care, pediatric critical care and progressive care units, and provides a benchmark for hospital units to measure their standards against evidence-based national criteria for excellence.

With the addition of the most recent award recipients, the total number of Beacon units is now 186.

For more information about the Beacon Award visit www.aacn.org/beacon or call (800) 899-2226.

Visionary Leaders, Flame of Excellence Award Recipients Honored

Each year, the highest of AACN’s Circle of Excellence awards honor individuals who have made a difference in acute and critical care nursing. Among these are the Marguerite Rodgers Kinney Award for a Distinguished Career and the GE Healthcare-AACN Pioneering Spirit Award, presented to individuals considered to be Visionary Leaders. Flame of Excellence Awards recognize outstanding contributions at regional and national levels. Recipients of these awards are selected by a unanimous vote of the AACN Board of Directors.

2009 Marguerite Rodgers Kinney Award for a Distinguished Career

This award recognizes individuals who are completing or have completed an extraordinary and distinguished professional career. Recipients show consistent and exceptional contributions throughout a career that has enhanced the care of acutely and critically ill patients and their families by furthering the mission and vision of AACN. The award is named in honor of its first recipient, AACN past president Marguerite R. Kinney.

Kathleen Dracup, RN, DNSc, FAAN

Kathy Dracup is best known for her highly visible editorial role – first, as nurse co-editor of AACN’s first journal, Heart & Lung, and later, as founding co-editor of the American Journal of Critical Care. However, the scope of her professional accomplishments and contributions to critical care reaches much further. Her career spans four decades of sustained leadership in making AACN’s vision a reality: a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families. Her values of respect for all, solidarity, dialogue and balance in life are in complete synchrony with AACN’s healthy work environment initiative.

As dean of the UCSF School of Nursing, Dracup teaches students at all three levels in the nursing curriculum and regularly guides doctoral dissertation advisees. She maintains her clinical connection as a certified family nurse practitioner. She began her professional career as a staff nurse in the ICU and emergency department, then as assistant head nurse and critical care staff nurse. She ch??aired the UCLA School of Nursing’s acute care section and twice served as acting associate dean.

2009 GE Healthcare-AACN Pioneering Spirit Award

This award recognizes significant contributions that influence acute and critical care nursing. Successful nominees demonstrate a far-reaching contribution that exemplifies a pioneering spirit and influences the direction of acute and critical care nursing. The contribution must be clearly defined and have a regional or national effect. It must be timely and address or resolve a significant issue facing acute and critical care nursing, and must be related to the mission, vision and values of AACN. Following are this year’s recipients.

Kathleen G. Andreoli, RN, DSN, FAAN

Dr. Kathleen Andreoli’s career has influenced major academic medical centers across the country. Her significant contributions include participation in the development and implementation of the first physician assistant program and coronary care unit at Duke University Medical Center, authorship of a major textbook on coronary care for seven editions, leadership of one of the first national family nurse practitioner programs at the University of Alabama, dean of the Rush College of Nursing and vice president for Nursing Academic Affairs at Rush University Medical Center, among many others.

As nurse co-editor during Heart & Lung’s early years, she not only ensured that the new journal remained aligned with AACN’s strategic intent, she framed and refined its voice for nursing. Having retired from Rush University Medical Center in 2005, she currently holds the title of Kellogg Emeritus Dean at Rush College of Nursing at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. She serves on numerous health and cultural boards in Chicago and works part-time for an executive search firm.

Bernice Coleman, PhD, ACNP-BC, FAHA

Bernice Coleman has been a pioneer on many levels. In the evolving field of heart and lung transplantation, she established one of the earliest destination therapy ventricular assist device programs to support people for whom transplantation is not an option. As an African-American woman her career path grew from nursing assistant to licensed practical nurse to registered nurse to advanced practice nurse to doctorally prepared scientist. As a clinical practitioner with an active program of research in applied immunogenics, she has translated bench research to the bedside.

Her research began when she noticed that African-Americans in her clinical practice had poorer outcomes after heart transplants than their white counterparts. Linking bench science with clinical application, she studied the impact of cytokine gene polymorphism on ethnic transplant outcomes and is currently leading a study to explore the changes in cytokine genes between African-American and Caucasian-American heart transplant patients. Coleman is an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Physiologic Nursing at UCSF, and a nurse practitioner in the Comprehensive Transplantation Center and Ventricular Assist Programs at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Barbara J. Daly, RN, PhD

Barbara Daly’s clinical interests include caregiving in chronic critical illness, long-term ventilation and end-of-life issues. Her trailblazing work to establish a clinical unit and acquire evidence about the care of chronically critically ill patients has been widely recognized. Initially funded by NIH in 1991 and several times subsequently, Daly established a special care unit at University Hospitals of Cleveland, to meet such patients’ needs under a case management practice model. The unit, with private rooms open to a central hallway, accommodated overnight family stays in a homelike atmosphere with an exterior view. Her extensive work in healthcare ethics is equally pioneering and derives from her ongoing study of chronic critical illness.

Daly is a professor in oncology nursing at Case Western Reserve University’s Bolton School of Nursing in Cleveland, Ohio, and director of clinical ethics at University Hospitals Case Medical Center.

2009 AACN Flame of Excellence Awards

This award, first given in 2008, honors Circle of Excellence recipients at the highest level of sustained regional and national excellence. Recipients will be chosen from among members of the recently formed Circle of Excellence Society. It is envisioned that the society will permanently connect award recipients to one another and to AACN, providing a network of experts who will be a source of continuing ideas for innovation and excellence in nursing practice.


Mary Kay Bader is currently a neuroscience and critical care clinical nurse specialist at Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center in Mission Viejo, Calif., where she practices in collaboration with neurosurgeons, trauma surgeons, nurses, therapists and pharmacists. In her 30 years of nursing, she has functioned in roles as intensive care staff nurse, trauma nurse responder, clinical educator, clinical faculty and clinical nurse specialist. She has held clinical and joint faculty positions at Georgetown University and Loyola University of Chicago. She is known nationally and internationally as a clinical expert in neuroscience nursing, especially on topics such as traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, increased intracranial pressure, stroke, neurointerventional therapy and aneurysms.

Connie Barden, RN, MSN, CCRN, CCNS

Connie Barden is a certified clinical nurse specialist in the eICU at Baptist Health South Florida, having recently transitioned from a role with hospital-wide responsibility for patient safety and clinical outcomes at Mercy Miami Hospital. Ever the ardent advocate for healthy work environments, she will guide the creation of healthy and excellent work environments in the emerging practice area of an eICU.

Her vision, passion and energy guided development of AACN’s healthy work environment initiative. In 2004, she took on the challenge of directly addressing a major barrier to professional practice – the need to transform toxic work environments – and served as editor-in-chief to guide writing of the AACN Standards for Establishing and Sustaining Healthy Work Environments: A Journey to Excellence. Under her leadership, a comprehensive document was produced that addressed all the important components of workplace transformation. Since then she has presented extensively on the standards and generated commitment at every level.

Mary Lou Sole, RN, PhD, CCRN, CCNS

Dr. Mary Lou Sole is professor of nursing at the University of Central Florida and clinical research scientist at Orlando Regional Medical Center in Florida. Her quiet passion for nursing has fueled the systematic evolution of a multifaceted professional career. Academically, she extended her education from an entry-level diploma to a doctorate in nursing. She complemented her academic credentials initially with CCRN certification, and more recently with CCNS and national clinical nurse leader certifications.

While maintaining staff nurse and/or clinical nurse specialist appointments, she established solid credentials as an academic educator.

Over the past 15 years at a university that does not have an academic medical center, she has built a solid professorial and investigational dossier that includes research funded by the National Institutes of Health. Her groundbreaking research in SvO2 monitoring and prevention of ventilator-associated pneumonia are just two examples of the power, influence and far-reaching impact of her work.

Further details on these exemplary individuals can be found online at www.aacn.org/awards.

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Member Get A Member

Caring for the Community

By Kathleen McCarthy, RN, BSN, MAED/AEDL, CCRN, and Cynthia Zapotosky, RN, BSN

AACN member Denise Cannon with her grandson, Kyle, after removal of his C-collar.

AACN’s Greater Toledo Area Chapter (GTAC) is confidently standing up for the community through our service projects, and we are making a difference. We have committed financial resources to various organizations, collected food and clothing for those in need, provided Christmas ornaments for the families of troops overseas, and helped to support a member’s grandson who suffered a life-altering injury.

Our monthly chapter meetings are held at area restaurants, and the money we collect is donated to various charities, including a women’s shelter, a food bank, a local mission and the American Heart Association. GTAC also supported Operation Evergreen with the donation of 206 Christmas ornaments. One of our members made 125 ornaments by hand, and the rest were donated or purchased by GTAC members. We worked with the White House Christmas Tree Farm and the Anthony Wayne and Maumee Girl Scouts who sponsored the operation, also known as “Trees for Troops.”

The past year has been especially challenging for many people, because of the economy, but all we have to do is put the word out and our members help with food and clothing for our community organizations. Donations are brought to our meetings and given to those in need. We also worked with other organizations to help pack more than 1,500 boxes of food last Christmas.

Kyle Cannon, the 14-year-old grandson of chapter member Denise Cannon, recently suffered a severe spinal injury while playing hockey at a local high school tournament. His injury has created many challenges for him and his family. Community support has been overwhelming. GTAC members donated prizes to be raffled off at one of our meetings, and a 50/50 raffle was held, too. The winner of the 50/50 raffle donated her share to the family. We believe we can make a difference in this young man’s life and are committed to doing what we can. On May 13, our chapter is sponsoring a fundraiser at a local restaurant, and 15 percent of sales will be donated to the fund. If you would like to help, please send donations to “Kyle Cannon Fund,” c/o GTAC-AACN, P.O. Box 351203, Toledo, OH 43635.

Our chapter members always think about what we can do for our community and we make plans and act on them. We are confident in our ability to stand up for those in need. Our community, like many others, faces serious financial challenges, but our efforts demonstrate how strong we are.

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AACN Helps Inform a 2008 HHS Patient Consent Ruling

Last year, AACN and five medical organizations collaborated to inform a patient consent ruling by the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP), the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C.
The medical organizations include the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM), National Association for Medical Direction of Respiratory Care, American Thoracic Society (ATS) and Society of Hospital Medicine.

OHRP agreed with AACN and the five medical organizations that the internal review board of Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, could waive consent for patients who participate in quality improvement initiatives using scientifically effective therapies to improve outcomes, provided the patients receive the same standard of care. OHRP’s ruling came in response to “Catheter-Related Bloodstream Infections,” a 2007 New England Journal of Medicine report by Peter Pronovost, MD, PhD, Johns Hopkins, suggesting that use of an intensive care unit checklist could prevent catheter infections in Michigan hospitals.

Jo Rae Wright, PhD, ATS president, supports the OHRP patient consent ruling. She predicts that upcoming dynamic changes to healthcare delivery will require access to research participants.

“The transformation of the American healthcare system mandates unprecedented data collection, analysis and dissemination of results across a continuum of care. While healthcare professionals must remain vigilant to protect patient privacy and safety, they also need to ensure that we don’t impede quality improvement research,” she explained.

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AACN Responds to Federal ‘Never Events’ Regulations

AACN recently collaborated with four medical organizations to find ways to protect Medicare patients from complications related to hospital-acquired conditions (HAC), which Congress calls “never events.” This collaboration is an effort to help the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services respond to a congressional mandate identifying four HACs that should never occur during the care of Medicare patients.

The four medical organizations are the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM), the National Association for Medical Direction of Respiratory Care, and the American Thoracic Society (ATS). The four HACs are ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), iatrogenic pneumothorax, deep vein thrombosis/pulmonary embolism (when not related to orthopedic procedures) and delirium in critically ill patients.

Congress determined that care for patients with HACs would not be reimbursed and suggested that hospitals and healthcare professionals bear a large financial stake in patient care. Congress further suggested that healthcare workers could prevent HACs by following the treatment guidelines that protect against unnecessary complications. National leaders for the organizations agreed that healthcare workers should be vigilant in their efforts to reduce HACs, but cautioned against the suggestion that they could be eliminated, because HACs occur even when healthcare workers adhere to strict clinical practices.

Caryl Goodyear-Bruch, RN, PhD, CCRN, AACN president, affirmed the importance of inter-organizational collaboration to the eradication of HACs (and ventilator-associated pneumonia in particular). VAP represents the most common and deadly HAC with approximately 25 percent of all ventilator patients developing the condition. AACN and the four organizations formed the Critical Care Workforce Partnership Hospital-Acquired Infections Collaborative to define VAP more precisely; research priorities for its prevention, detection and treatment; and define the role of federal agencies in research efforts.

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Members on the Move


Barden, Holtschneider, Cottrell

Connie Barden, RN, MSN, CCRN, CCNS, former AACN president, has a new position as clinical nurse specialist in the eICU (electronic ICU) at Baptist Health South Florida, Miami, Fla. She will be involved with education and development of eICU staff, collaboration with critical care teams in the five-hospital system, analysis of outcomes of care, implementation of evidence-based practice and inquiry into clinical practice questions.

Maryann Cone, RN, MS, was named chief operating officer at Sharp Grossmont Hospital, La Mesa, Calif., where she will be responsible for patient, clinical and ancillary services.

Twila Buckner, RN, BSN, is the new chief nursing officer at Cass Regional Medical Center, Harrisonville, Mo. She has more than 20 years of experience in the acute care hospital setting.

Mary Holtschneider, RN, BC, BSN, MPA, NREMT-P, former AACN board member, wrote an article for the January/February 2009 issue of Journal for Nurses in Staff Development, titled “Making Sense of the Legislative Process: A Report From the NNSDO Legislative Liaison.” She is director of practice and education for the North Carolina Nurses Association, Raleigh.

Dawn Baker, RN, BS, BSN, CCRN, is the new nurse manager on the acute care nursing team at Baltimore Washington Medical Center, Glen Burnie, Md. She has worked at the center for 28 years.

Tricia Kassab, RN, was named chair of the Accreditation and Licensure Committee for the Hospital Association of Southern California. She is director of clinical quality at St. Joseph Health System, Orange, Calif.

Damon Cottrell, RN, MS, CCNS, CCRN, APRN, BC, CEN, AACN Certification Corporation board member, and Eugenia Welch, RN, MSN, CCRN, longtime AACN member, co-wrote a CE article titled “Caring for a Patient With a Temporary Pacemaker” for the January/February issue of LPN2009.


Beth Broering, RN, MSN, CEN, CCRN, Nashville, Tenn.; Garrett Chan, APRN, PhD, CEN, Los Altos, Calif.; Patricia K. Howard, RN, PhD, CEN, Lexington, Ky.; and Jacqueline Stewart, RN, MSN, CEN, CCRN, South Abington Township, Pa., were recently inducted into the Emergency Nurses Association’s (ENA) Academy of Emergency Nursing (AEN). The FAEN is awarded to nurses who have made substantial contributions to emergency nursing, have advanced the profession and who provide visionary leadership. Since 2004, 70 nurses have earned this distinction.

Bold Changes to AACN News

Expect to see bold changes in July when AACN News becomes AACN Bold Voices. The redesigned and reformatted newsletter will continue to celebrate the practice of acute and critical care nursing and recognize the accomplishments of AACN’s unique and diverse caregiving audience. AACN Bold Voices will deliver timely association, certification and clinical practice news in a vibrant new package and a bold, confident tone - a style that reflects the strength, spirit and talent of our members. AACN Bold Voices will arrive in print and in digital format: an exact replica that can be read via a Web browser.

NTI 2010 Live Education Call for Abstracts

Planning to submit an abstract for NTI 2010 in Washington, D.C.? The call for abstracts is now open. Deadline to apply is June 1, 2009. For more information, visit www.aacn.org > Education > National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition > Speaker and Poster Information > NTI 2010 Live Education Call for Abstracts.

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Bookstore Corner

Core Curriculum for Progressive Care Nursing

The only reference focused on progressive care nursing, this complete reference includes key information you need to know for success in practice and for preparing to take the PCCN certification exam. Expert authors from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses provide the most authoritative content on caring for patients in step-down, intermediate and telemetry units and help prepare you to treat patients from every phase of progressive care. Plenty of illustrations and easy-reference tables clarify difficult concepts and make it easy to review content quickly.

Price: Member $66.45, Nonmember $69.95

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Scene and Heard

Our Voice at the Table

AACN brings a bold voice to its collaboration with ACCP — the American College of Chest Physicians, ATS — the American Thoracic Society and SCCM — the Society of Critical Care Medicine. The presidents, presidents-elect and CEOs of the four societies met during SCCM’s 38th Critical Care Congress to plan and design a unified agenda for critical care research and a national survey of e-ICU best practices. They also met to advocate the most appropriate metric to track hospital acquired infections. These representatives will present updates during a 2009 NTI joint session.

ICONS — the Interagency Collaborative on Nursing Statistics — AACN joined representatives from American Association of Colleges of Nursing, American Nurses Association, National League for Nursing and advanced practice nursing organizations to update a resource document, currently posted at www.iconsdata.org. The document includes current research reports and standardized definitions used in workforce research. Updates will be released this summer. Linda Bell, RN, MSN, AACN clinical practice specialist, represents AACN at this twice yearly meeting held to iron out thorny research and data issues in a nonpartisan way and bring consistency to nursing workforce studies. Information gleaned from these studies helps to determine the current supply of nurses and project future needs, nationally, regionally and locally.

The American Board of Nursing Specialties (ABNS) establishes and maintains standards for specialty nursing certification as an advocate for consumer protection. AACN Certification Corporation Chair-Elect Maria Shirey, RN, MS, MBA, CNAA, BC, FACHE, joined 24 national nursing certification groups at the Spring 2009 ABNS Assembly. Shirey serves on the Research Committee planning a nursing certification and competency summit for Oct. 7-9, 2009 in Baltimore, Md., to frame an international research agenda for specialty nursing certification.

Celebrations and Shared Knowledge

President Caryl Goodyear-Bruch delivered a motivational presentation, “With Confidence Live Your Power of One,” at the Houston Gulf Coast Chapter’s Gala to celebrate the caring work of Houston-area acute and critical nurses. Kimberly Curtin, RN, CNS, MS, CCRN, CEN, Houston Gulf Coast Chapter president, planned the event that included a silent auction and door prizes.

Goodyear-Bruch keynoted the Greater Washington Area Chapter’s Spotlight on Critical Care conference. The preconference dinner of “Beacons of Leadership in Pursuit of Healthy Work Environments” celebrated Washington D.C.-area Beacon units. A panel of staff nurses, managers and directors captivated the audience with stories about their units’ Beacon journeys. Goodyear-Bruch emphasized how the Beacon journey requires team members to trust each other in her presentation, “Beacon-ize Your Team: Creating Team Competence and Confidence.” Keeping patients’ front and center represents the mission of effective teams, which clearly defines ground rules for communication that help members connect with each other. Goodyear-Bruch said that well-oiled teams demonstrate positive attitudes and create confident actions that improve patient outcomes. Team member accomplishments must be celebrated equally whether they save a life or support a dignified and peaceful death.

At the Greater Evansville (Ind.) Chapter’s 15th Heart of Cardiovascular Nursing Conference, Shirey updated attendees about AACN and AACN Certification Corporation’s current initiatives. Dave Hanson, RN, MSN, CCRN, CNS, AACN immediate past president, delivered opening and closing conference presentations about how AACN standards can create vibrant and innovative healthy work environments.

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Munro Named AJCC Nurse Co-editor

Cindy L. Munro, RN, PhD, ANP, FAAN, has been appointed as the new nurse co-editor of the American Journal of Critical Care (AJCC), AACN’s interdisciplinary evidence-based journal. Munro steps into the position previously held by journal co-founder Kathleen Dracup, RN, DNSc, who recently retired after serving AACN publications for 28 years.

“I am delighted that Dr. Cindy Munro has assumed the position of nurse co-editor for the journal,” Dracup noted. “She brings great knowledge and expertise about critical illness to the role and she will be a wonderful partner to Dr. Pete Morris. I left the role of co-?editor with a heavy heart, but I’m taking consolation in the fact that the journal is in such capable hands.”

Physician co-editor Pete Morris said, “Dr. Munro has the energy and enthusiasm that this position requires, in addition to her absolutely outstanding academic record of successful leadership of investigation and multidisciplinary collaboration. I look forward to working with her on the critical care issues now facing our researchers, clinicians and administrators.”

Munro is a professor at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing, in Richmond. Her research programs have been well funded, widely disseminated in varied publications and presentations, and nationally acknowledged.

She has presented her findings in many venues, including the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science and the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses’ National Teaching Institute.

Her commitment to disseminating knowledge for clinical practice has yielded many publications, including one that received the Academy of MEDSURG Nurses Writer’s Award. She has written for more than 60 peer-reviewed publications and has collaborated with colleagues from many disciplines. Her articles have been published in the American Journal of Critical Care, Academic Medicine, Journal of Professional Nursing, Applied Nursing Research, Biological Research for Nursing, Critical Care Medicine, Heart & Lung, Infection and Immunity, and Intensive and Critical Care Nursing, among others.

Over the past 15 years she has focused on improving outcomes for critically ill adults through evidence-based nursing practice, and implementing best practices to reduce the risk of ventilator-associated pneumonia.

Her funded work (more than $6 million in direct costs as either a principal or co-investigator) has examined oral health and prevention of systemic disease. She is currently the principal investigator of a National Institutes of Health-sponsored randomized clinical trial to test oral care protocols in critically ill adults.

Munro said, “This is an exciting time for critical care and for the journal. As the journal moves forward, finding innovative and cost- effective strategies to disseminate the knowledge necessary for critical care practice will be both challenging and rewarding.”

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Nominations Open for AACN Leadership Posts

AACN is accepting nominations for governance leadership positions on the AACN Board of Directors and the AACN Nominating Committee. The competencies for these positions have been defined in the AACN Framework for Governance Leadership Positions (below). Please review them and then submit nominations for colleagues who you believe would provide strong leadership in advancing AACN’s mission and vision. You may also nominate yourself. Please fill out the accompanying form or visit www.aacn.org > Call for Nominations. The deadline is May 31, 2009.

AACN Essential Competencies for Governance Leadership

The ability to assess, manage and develop oneself in order to preserve and optimize relationships and add value to the outcomes of one’s organization.

Global Thinking
The ability to think beyond one’s current role and practice and apply new perspectives that will improve and optimize one’s role and practice.

The ability to create a clear view of the preferred future resulting from global analysis in order to lead other people and the organization to this preferred future.

Consensus Building
The ability to achieve practical consensus within groups to promote strong teamwork and garner commitment and participation of others to achieve solutions and effect positive change.

Delivering Effective Messages
The ability to deliver effective messages in order to motivate others to thought and action.

Knowing and Committing to AACN
The ability to demonstrate knowledge and commitment to the mission, values and work of AACN in order to optimize outcomes for nurses and patients and their families.

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