By Ronald Kruzel, CST, MA, CAE, Executive Director, ARC/STSA

Big things are coming to the surgical technology and surgical assisting education communities! The ARC/STSA Board of Directors met on Saturday, February 18, 2017, to lay the groundwork for the ARC/STSA 2017-2020 Strategic Plan. In conjunction with the AST Educators Conference, the Saturday meeting began with a renewed commitment to the mission and vision of the ARC/STSA.

ARC/STSA Mission Statement

The mission of the ARC/STSA is to provide accreditation services to our communities of interest that validate excellence of education programs in order to advance the professions and ensure quality patient care

ARC/STSA Vision Statement

The vision of the ARC/STSA is to be the premier organization for surgical technology and surgical assisting programmatic accreditation services

Led by Dale West, CAE, Strategic Planning Consultant, meeting participants spent a full day moving through the strategic planning process with meaningful discussion, focused assessment and team activities. Meeting participants included current and former ARC/STSA board members and staff, as well as representatives from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP):

T. Van Bates, CST, BA — President, ARC/STSA

Kathy Snyder, CST, FAST, BS — Vice- President, ARC/STSA

Dorothy Rothgery, CST, CSFA, MS, FAST — Secretary-Treasurer, ARC/STSA

Dr. Cynthia Casparis, EdD — Director, ARC/STSA

Scott Geist, MBA, CST — Director, ARC/STSA

Robin Keith, BSN, RN, CNOR, CST — Director, ARC/STSA

Chris Keegan, MS, CST, FAST — Chair, SASA

Helga Olson, M.Sc., CSA, CSFA — Member, SASA

Dr. Greg Frazer, PhD, FASAHP — CAAHEP Liaison

Betsy Slagle, MS, RN, CST, FAST — CAAHEP Board of Directors; ARC/STSA Commissioner

Connie Bell, CST, FAST — Past ARC/STSA Board of Director

Keith Orloff, CST, FAST — Past ARC/STSA Executive Director

Ronald Kruzel, CST, MA, CAE — Executive Director, ARC/STSA

Having last met in 2013, the updated plan continues ARC/STSA’s commitment of streamlining the accreditation reporting and enhancement of accreditation services to our community. In addition, the Board of Directors approved the following Strategic Areas of Focus as the organization continues to build momentum into 2017 and beyond:

Strategic Areas of Focus

Outstanding Program Support

Goal: The ARC/STSA will develop and implement a comprehensive resource and support system to cultivate successful and dynamic surgical technology and surgical assisting programs.

Revenue Diversification

Goal: ARC/STSA will identify, define, and develop products and services that support a viable operating budget, the establishment of vested reserves, and fund future initiatives.


Goal: ARC/STSA will access, define, enhance, and develop partnerships to ensure quality patient care through education and practice.

Within the Strategic Areas of Focus, meeting participants defined specific strategic goals and objectives, including action steps and a timeline for implementation. Currently, action steps and the operational timeline are in the final stages of development, with final approval of the completed ARC/STSA 2017-2020 Strategic Plan scheduled for June 2017. Once approved, the ARC/STSA Board of Directors will actively monitor progress toward achieving plan goals and objectives, including adjusting the plan based on changes to the environment of potential barriers to success. ARC/STSA executive staff will provide a quarterly dashboard to update the board of directors on progress.

Look for significant changes from the ARC/STSA starting in 2017 … and beyond!