Vice President — External
The Ohio State University
Member Since: 1997
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 take diversity, equity and inclusion very seriously. In my time as an AARC member, I have appreciated that the volunteer leadership has become a lot more diverse than in recent years. This demonstrates that we have made progress, but we still have room for improvement to optimize our growth as an organization. Diversity of ideas, expertise, and talent is how we will grow. I believe that these changes have occurred because of the prioritization of diversity, equity and inclusion in all that we do. In my role as VP, I will continue to be a champion for diversity, equity and inclusion through advocacy for topics to be presented that improve our members’ understanding of the diversity and inclusion in our roles as RTs; recruited diverse speakers and experts for volunteer opportunities and speak at our in-person meetings like Summer Forum and Congress; and deliberately make the effort to be very transparent and vocal about discussion of diversity at our AARC Board meetings.
What ideas would you present to increase AARC membership?
Every Respiratory Therapist that is credentialed should also be a member. We must realize that there are strength in numbers and the organization will be able to maximize our impact if we are strong together. Students training to enter the profession, have a duty to support their professional association. Employers should be encouraged to promote the AARC membership as they utilize the evidence-based literature, clinical-practice guidelines and education that is available through the many outlets of the AARC. Finally, I believe we should focus on the individuals’ responsibility to recognize the benefits that are received. The work of the AARC and its members to provide resources, education, and advocacy has benefitted ALL Respiratory Therapists and not just members of the AARC. Imagine what we could do if we grew our membership. We would be unstoppable. I believe the key to increasing membership will be through education, advocacy, and recognition.
Promoting the profession is considered one of the greatest opportunities, what are your ideas to help realize this opportunity?
I was exhilarated when the “Be An RT” initiative was launched and believe we can build upon that with targeted initiatives to bring ambitious and passionate individuals into the profession. I am writing this answer during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic and see that the AARC is working very hard to increase the public understanding that Respiratory Therapists are the running the much talked about ventilators. Have we become a household name by the time this is published for the election? I hope so. I also believe as we continue to expand our services beyond the hospital walls and take on advanced clinical responsibilities (APRT), we must continue to demonstrate efficacy (research) and increase our visibility as cardiopulmonary experts (advocacy and recognition). In summary, I believe the key will be threefold: educating the world about our role; advocating for RTs to maximize our skills and educational preparation; and recognition of our value to the interprofessional healthcare.