Sleep Specialty Section Chair
Associate Professor. Director of Clinical Education
Youngstown State University
Member Since: 2000
Elections Committee Questions:
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the AARC and what do you recommend to address it?
Integration and engagement are key to recruitment and retention. They constitute the essence of compelling powerful respiratory care and polysomnography learning.
I believe that we should all try to do whatever we can to always help under all circumstances. This simple philosophy is one of the reasons that I entered the world of health care. The 14th Dalai Lama stated, “our prime purpose in life is to help others and if you can’t help them at least don’t hurt them.” We in the health care community are founded in service, so providing service on a professional level was like a welcome homecoming. Now our job as an association is to instill that integration and engagement in all our members. To begin with, it is always important to ensure that the AARC offers benefits that professionals are seeking. I think over the years it has gotten better, yet it is important to frequently remind current and potential members of these benefits.
Healthcare is changing more rapidly than ever. What do you feel is the main issue Respiratory Care Practitioners are facing, and what are the key solutions that you feel should be addressed to support our profession?
It was Benjamin Franklin who said, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn.”
The health care system today can hardly be called a system I do not think. I feel like it would be better called the “healthcare maze”. Major challenges face our healthcare system and many of those challenges do impact the respiratory profession. Communication is one that stands out to me as a struggle. Respiratory health care worker shortage is another struggle that I see in our health care system that can impact the profession. COVID-19 has not helped this issue.
Respiratory care practitioners play an integral role in the healthcare work force. Their role expands beyond the scope of traditional care and encompasses routine bedside care to complex invasive procedures. A solution is to keep Respiratory Therapists involved in all decision making throughout the course of their careers.
Value of section membership is important. If given the opportunity to represent, what would be some steps you would take to continue to increase the value of section membership and gain further engagement of section members?
Currently, our membership for the sleep section is too low to hold a seat on the Board of Directors and I would love to see this change. This change will take time and patience as many are not familiar with the sleep world architecture. I believe the top opportunity to increase the value of the sleep section is to advance the knowledge and promote the pathways that respiratory therapists can use to enter the world of sleep. I believe that respiratory therapists should be the “gold standard” in the sleep arena. I am proud of my university, community, and professional service as it has allowed me to reflect and create collaborations and partnerships with key community organizations. My idea would be to improve enrollment by educating these key community members on the roles respiratory therapists can play in the field of sleep medicine. There is a significant need for the skill sets help by Respiratory Therapists in sleep medicine.