AARC Election 2021 — Aaron Light

Aaron Light

Secretary Treasurer

Aaron Light

Ozarks Technical Community College
Program Director
Member Since: 2003

AARC Activities:

  • AARC Board of Director — Director at Large 2020
  • AARC Respiratory Care Education Annual Editorial Board — 2020
  • AARC Education Section Subcommittee on Membership — 2015

House of Delegates Activities:

  • Missouri Society Delegate — 2017–2019

Affiliate Activities:

  • Missouri Society Vice President — 2012–2014
  • Missouri Society fall symposium adult critical care chair — 2010–2014

Related Organizations:

  • AHA ACLS instructor 2010–2015
  • OTC Title IX investigative team — 2015–present
  • OTC Institutional Review Board — 2008–present

Education:

  • Doctor of Health Science, Nova Southeastern University, 2009
  • Master of Science in Respiratory Care Leadership, Northeastern University, 2012
  • Associate of Applied Science in Respiratory Therapy, Ozarks Technical Community College, 2001

Elections Committee Questions:

Within your role, and if given the opportunity, how would you incorporate and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion to uphold, update, and uplift the AARC as an organization, all AARC affiliates, and all AARC members?

I believe addressing underrepresented populations within Respiratory Therapy needs to be addressed in at least two ways. One is to investigate why so few pursue leadership positions within the AARC and the second is the lack of diversity training provided in the profession as a whole. We should actively pursue Respiratory Therapist from diverse populations and discuss with them about their involvement in the profession, the AARC and the potential barriers to their involvement. These discussions could occur face to face or via video meetings where involvement from across the country could occur. Additionally, we should look at creating a mentorship program for underrepresented therapist to support and promote their growth within the profession. To address the lack of diversity training offered in the profession, online courses for students, practicing therapist, and patient centered diversity training should be developed and provided through the AARC University.

What ideas would you present to increase AARC membership?

I believe the AARC needs to perform a needs assessment to determine what the most crucial things are that members and non-members want from their professional organization. While everyone would love to paid more for the wonderful patient centered care we provide, the AARC ability to truly impact that desire is limited and should not be the focus of the assessment. Additionally, I believe the AARC should become even more transparent in the large amount of work that they do for the profession. Until I got involved in the AARC I truly did not understand how much they did from a advocacy standpoint, assist state organizations with their local governments to promote and advance the profession, and work with other national professional organizations on the behalf of the profession. If we can demonstrate all the great work that the AARC is and has already done for our profession, and find out what the critical items are that our therapist want to see accomplished, I believe AARC membership will grow.

Role-Specific Questions:

Promoting the profession is considered one of the greatest opportunities, what are your ideas to help realize this opportunity?

Promoting occurs on multiple different levels and platforms for a profession. The first is the recruitment of new clinicians to the field. The AARC has assisted with this problem with the creation of the BE-AN-RT website and other services provided for educators. Currently Respiratory Therapy ranks in the top 20 best healthcare jobs according to the US News and World Report. Other areas of promotion for recruitment would be to have the AARC work with High School organizations like Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) and Medical Explorers to make sure that Respiratory Therapy is properly represented and that the local affiliates of these organizations have proper connections to Respiratory Therapist in the area.

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