AARC Election 2022 — Cheryl Hoerr

Cheryl Hoerr

President-Elect

Cheryl Hoerr

Director, Respiratory and Sleep Services
Phelps Health
Member Since: 1986

AARC Activities:

  • AARC Board of Directors, 2014-2018, Vice President-Internal Affairs 2018-present
  • Management Specialty Section, Interim Chair 2010, Chair 2014-2018
  • Benchmarking Committee, 2010-2019, Chair 2020
  • Program Committee, 2009-2010; Chair 2011-2013
  • Member, Sleep Section
  • Member, Diagnostics Section

Affiliate Activities:

  • Missouri Society for Respiratory Care
  • President: 2012-2014
  • President-Elect: 2010-2012
  • Director at Large: 2007-2010
  • District I Vice President: 2006-2007
  • District I Secretary: 2004-2006
  • Annual Fall Specialty Conference, Chair: 2010-2012

Related Organizations:

  • Peer Reviewer, Respiratory Care Journal, 2012-present
  • Team Co-Chair, Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI), National Coalition to Promote the Safe Use of Complex Healthcare Technology, 2017 – 2020.
  • Community Advisory Board, St. Louis College of Health Careers, 2018 – present
  • Community Advisory Board, Missouri State University-West Plains, 2012-2018
  • Community Advisory Board, Rolla Technical Institute, 2009 – 2016; Chair 2009-2011

Education:

  • BSRT, Rockhurst University, Kansas City Missouri
  • MBA/Health Care Management, University of Phoenix

Publications:

  • Utilizing respiratory therapists to reduce costs of care. Respiratory Care 2018; 63:102-117.
  • Therapist-Directed protocols designed with health-care reform in mind. Respiratory Care 2015; 60(2):304-305.
  • Do we have the equipment to safely support the pediatric patient with sleep disorders? AARC Times 2010; 34(10):10-12.
  • Titrating oxygen and positive pressure: practical considerations for the respiratory therapist. AARC Times 2010; 34(8):8-1.

Elections Committee Questions:

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the AARC and what do you recommend to address it?

I believe the AARC’s biggest challenge is to address the attitude of apathy that exists about membership in our organization. It tells me that our organization is not meeting their needs, and the AARC needs to concentrate our efforts on identifying what specific needs are not being met and acting to fulfill those needs. While it’s relatively easy to reach out to current members, the difficulty will be reaching non-members to obtain their valuable point of view and input. This could be done through surveys or town hall style meetings, especially if we recruit the help of our state affiliates. Once the input has been collected and prioritized the results need to be communicated so that members know the AARC is listening and acting on their input. Targeted plans will be developed to address each issue. RTs will be motivated out of their apathy when they agree with and are satisfied by the actions being undertaken on their behalf.

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?

RTs are struggling due to a severe shortage of therapists. A common management complaint is how difficult it has been to adequately staff their department as a result of a lack of applicants for their vacant positions. I believe the issue is two-fold: there is a lack of recognition for the field of respiratory therapy which reduces the number of students choosing to enter the field, and there is also a lack of RT education programs available in many areas of the country. The AARC is collaborating with two other organizations, the NBRC and the CoARC, and an outside marketing firm on development of a media campaign to raise public awareness for Respiratory Therapy. I would make it a priority for the AARC to continue to provide support, resources, contacts, etc. to ensure the campaign’s success. I would additionally challenge our education program directors and CoARC to explore creative ways to offer programs in critical need areas.

Role-Specific Questions:

How would you, as AARC President, work to move the profession forward?

I would focus on maintaining and nurturing the relationships the AARC already has in place with partner organizations (e.g., NBRC, CoARC) and ensure we are aligned with our Horizon goals. I would also ensure the AARC is in communication with our corporate partners to keep us aware of updates and changes, and to provide whatever support we can to help them deal with shocks to their business. I would also continue the process of strategic planning implemented by the BOD. This will ensure that the goals we set previously have been achieved, or provide us with an opportunity to re-evaluate, add value, and adjust timelines to fit in a pandemic world. Board meetings are open to membership but there is a perception of secrecy. Our goal will be to reduce wasteful practices and promote collaboration to improve transparency. I will also ask the Diversity and Inclusion Committee to develop policies targeted inclusion and then provide education to members about those policies.

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