The California Sleep Society (CSS) was formed in December 4, 2007 and incorporated on January 9, 2008 as a 501(c)6 California corporation, largely in response to an issuance of an order by the Respiratory Care Board of California on August 24, 2007 to begin citing sleep facilities and individuals not licensed in respiratory care for violation of state law.

Clete A. Kushida, M.D., Ph.D., RPSGT contacted sleep technologists and specialists in California and selected an interim committee comprised of 5 sleep technologists (Sharon Keenan, Ph.D., RPSGT, Al Reichert, RPSGT, Glenn Roldan, RPSGT, Michael Salemi, RPSGT, Kimberly Trotter, RPSGT) and 5 sleep specialists (Alon Avidan, M.D., MPH, Michael Cohen, M.D., Clete A. Kushida, M.D., Ph.D., RPSGT, Milton Erman, M.D., Paul Selecky, M.D.), all of whom were widely known and preeminent in the field of sleep medicine.

This interim committee became the inaugural CSS Board of Directors, with the following officers:

  • Clete A. Kushida, M.D., Ph.D., RPSGT (President),
  • Al Reichert, RPSGT (Vice-President),
  • Michael Salemi, RPSGT (Secretary/Treasurer).

Task Forces were created and the following Chairs were selected:

  • Alon Avidan, M.D., MPH (Education),
  • Glenn Roldan, RPSGT (Membership),
  • Michael Cohen, M.D. (Home Sleep Testing).

The CSS received significant assistance from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), which provided initial funding and logistical support; Ted Thurn and Jerry Barrett were instrumental in the formation of the CSS.  The initial goals of the society were to provide sleep technologists and specialists with a unified, clear, and strong voice in the California Assembly and Senate, to serve as a communication hub among the interested parties throughout the state, and to help mobilize and coordinate the multiple, ongoing efforts in halting the issuance of citations stemming from the Respiratory Care Practice Act.

Key events in the early history of the CSS included:

  • The first business meeting of the CSS was held on January 26, 2008 at the School of Sleep Medicine, Palo Alto, California; this meeting established the groundwork for future work of the CSS.
  • The first educational meeting of the CSS was held on November 22-23, 2008 at the Scripps Memorial Hall in San Diego, California with over 160 sleep professionals in attendance.
  • On February 9, 2009, California Senate Bill (SB) 132 was introduced by Senator Jeff Denham (R), which mirrored earlier legislation (SB 1526) that was unexpectedly vetoed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.  SB 132 defined and protected the scope of practice of sleep technologists and was signed by Governor Schwarzenegger on October 23, 2009, which took effect immediately (Chapter 536, Statutes of 2009).  This bill represented the culmination of nearly 2 years of countless hours of dedicated effort, frequent trips to Sacramento, and successful lobbying efforts by the CSS and its Board of Directors.

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