Director, Respiratory Care Services
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
Member Since: 1999
Elections Committee Questions:
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the AARC and what do you recommend to address it?
In my opinion, the biggest challenge facing the AARC is membership. At present, membership in the AARC only represents a small percentage of the total number of respiratory therapists in the United States. This puts the AARC at a disadvantage when lobbying congress and/or local officials on legislative issues important to us and to our patients. In chatting with members and non-members around the country I have often heard two key reasons for lack of membership: perceived lack of value or a belief that the organization does not adequately represent them. Working to address these concerns will help to grow our membership. I believe this can be done through transparency and communication of the great work and services offered by the AARC, focus on diversity and inclusion and through mentorship programs that identify and support new leaders and volunteers.
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?
COVID-19 has done a great deal to highlight the role of the respiratory therapist. Despite this, many people still do not know who we are. I believe one of the biggest challenges our profession is facing today is recognition and awareness. RTs are advancing care through research and education every day and deserve to be recognized for their efforts. Within hospital walls, our profession is well known, but much more can be done to elevate the incredible work done by RTs in the eyes of the public, our legislators, and those who write public policy. Investment in marketing and public service announcements to educate the public about RT is crucial. Increasing awareness will better position the AARC when lobbying legislators. It will also help to address the national shortage of RT by inspiring future generations to become respiratory therapists.
Your role as Director-at-large is to represent the general AARC membership. If given the opportunity to represent, how would you use your skills and experience to advance and advocate for the respiratory care profession?
My more than twenty years of experience as a Respiratory Therapist, program educator, leader and volunteer have allowed me to develop skills in effective communication, program development, financial and budgetary analysis, quality improvement and strategic thinking. I am passionate about ensuring that we are providing high quality, efficient and safe care that demonstrates exceptional value to our patients and those we work with.
The past three years I have spent serving as a Director at Large has been a tremendous honor and one that I take very seriously. In that time, I have considered each issue in regard to how it will impact our profession, our patients and each Respiratory Therapist. If granted the opportunity to continuing serving in this capacity I will continue to advocate for our profession and our patients.