John Lindsey, MEd, RRT, RRT-NPS, FAARC
Southeast Arkansas College
Respiratory Care Program
Director, Clinical Education
Member Since: 1987
Elections Committee Questions:
What AARC or Chartered Affiliate offices/positions have you held where you feel you made a significant contribution to our profession? What is the contribution and how will you apply it to your new position, if elected?
I have served the AARC Board of Directors as a Director-at-Large in 2009 and from 2015 to the present. Having served on the Board of Directors, I have grown accustomed to and have learned much about the business of the AARC and the triumphs we have accomplished and also the struggles that lie in front of us such as membership and the loss of jobs. I am also currently serving in the AARC Taskforce for Career Pathways Committee, where we looking to the future for more advanced degrees for the respiratory therapist. I have also served the AARC as its Federal and State Government Affairs Committee Chair and have worked closely with AARC Past President Frank Salvatore in our quest for passage of the Telehealth Bill. This experience will also aid me if elected AARC President-Elect. I have served in AARC House of Delegates where I was appointed to the Elections Committee.
I have worn many hats with the Arkansas Society for Respiratory Care (ASRC). I have served as the ASRC President, Past President, and President Elect on five separate occasions. In my first term as ASRC President, I was presented with a negative equity in our treasury. In less than one year, this deficit was obliterated and the ASRC now has assets in excess of $100,000. This experience would serve me well in understanding the AARC budget as well as helping to guide state societies with similar financial situations. Also, I have served the ASRC as Vice President, Membership Chair, and Program Committee. As Program Committee Chair, I have seen the ASRC State Meeting grow into one of the best in the nation. I have been honored on seven separate occasions to be named as the ASRC State Respiratory Care Practitioner of the Year.
What experience would you bring to the AARC to accomplish the goals set out by President Walsh?
Quality: Advancing our practice is better for patient safety and quality. Understanding that many programs have had to cut credit hours in their programs, but still need to meet the requirements of CoARC and the NBRC for testing and accreditation. I also understand that quality research is and will continue to be important to our profession. As the AARC President does, I also remain concerned about the quality of respiratory therapy given nationally, which could potentially cause elimination of our profession. There is a need to continue to market the APEX Recognition Program in a very positive way.
Safety: I do not know the actual numbers, but do not believe that ventilators pose the biggest safety issues for us. In my current institution, we are at 100% compliance with patient safety. However, serious safety events are still a problem in our nation and worldwide, so we must be ever diligent in our safety precautions and as a leader in the AARC, I would continue to make my voice heard along with others. We must also not forget our caring and compassion for our patients that suffer from disease processes such as COPD. While there is still no known cure for COPD, we know that the AARC is ever present in our advocacy of cardiopulmonary disease processes. I would like to be more of a voice on the national level to look closer to preventable harm. I would like to see more Best Practices coming from the AARC and the respiratory care community as a whole.
Value: I would continue to work closely with President Walsh and the entire AARC Board of Directors to develop strategies to increase membership to at least 8% or more. I would like to see at least 10%. I will discuss membership in the next questions. I am asked a lot, what I do and when I tell people, they ask what that is or say you’re the breathing man. I would like to work with President Walsh and the AARC Board of Directors as well to develop a possible nationwide advertisement of some type to promote our profession. Obviously, we would need to investigate the cost of such an undertaking. I believe that we should learn from the past, live for today, but always keep our eye to the future.
What ideas do you have to attract non-members to join the AARC?
Membership has dropped which is very concerning to me. President Walsh says that there are nearly 172,000 practicing therapists in the USA! While it may not be entirely possible, I would like to have every one of them as an AARC Member. What I hear most from non-members is: “What Does the AARC Do for Me?” We need to able to answer that question very quickly and to guide them to the answers. I would continue as an AARC Board of Director’s Member, to work with the membership committee to develop more strategies to increase membership. I would like to reach as many affiliate membership chairs as possible to get their ideas to increase membership. I would also attempt to get ideas at the Summer Forum where a lot of educators attend to talk with them about student membership and their ideas to keep students as active members after they graduate. After all, they are our future. We currently sit at around 47,000 total AARC Members. Of that number, 38,000 are classified as active and around 7,000 are students. We need to make sure that the over 7,000 students stay as active. I certainly believe that we can get back to 50,000 and I do not think it is an over-exaggeration to start shooting for 60,000 or higher, but it begins with the leadership of the AARC.
How would you, as a member of the AARC Executive Committee, work to move the profession forward based on the work done by our current and previous presidents?
I see my role as being a positive one. I have served on the AARC Board long enough to have witnessed the ups and downs of our profession. Obviously, membership remains a strong focus of mine. We must always strive to increase AARC Membership. The board needs to continue to work on the AARC President’s Goals and begin to prepare for the new AARC President to take over. We need to continue to advocate for the profession as we currently do on Hill Day every year in Washington, DC. We also need to advocate that as respiratory therapists, we are a focal point in the care of our patients and that the care we give is both beneficial and safe. I have always gone with the thought of: “DO NO HARM.” As a member of the AARC Board of Directors and as a Respiratory Care Director, I am able to help strengthen our profession.