Leadership & Management Section Chair
Director of Respiratory Care
Penn State Health, Hershey Medical Center
Member Since: 1992
Elections Committee Questions:
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the AARC and what do you recommend to address it?
I see the biggest challenge facing the AARC right now is how the profession at large feels about the association. There appears to be a big disconnect between how RTs feel about the AARC’s value, and the actual value provided by the profession.
I feel the AARC could engage in a listening tour to understand the current state of RT engagement across the country. The feedback from focus groups, from the voice of the customer, is required to develop a robust strategic plan to guide the AARC. Health care pre-COVID was dysfunctional. How we adjust our sails in the next five years will make the difference in our ability to survive the multiple challenges over the next 20 years.
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?
RCPs are facing more challenges than ever. From my vantage point, we are our own worst enemy at times. We call ourselves the “red-headed stepchildren” in healthcare, and we often live up to this self-fulfilled prophecy. We set our own limits and then live up to them.
The solution to combating how we feel about ourselves is complex. It will involve re-engaging RT leaders and pushing them to rethink the “woe is me” mindset. What are we doing to market our profession and demonstrate the value we bring to our patients? Additionally, I see students early on being sold this idea. Hence, our RT programs also play a crucial part in helping new respiratory professionals understand that the sky is the limit–don’t engage in this self-fulfilling prophecy.
We have a lot of smart, energetic, and driven RTs out there. We need to empower them, give them the tools and stand back as they take the profession forward.
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?
The Leadership and Management section is well positioned to help grow and develop our current and future leaders. We have learned how to leverage technology out of the COVID-19 pandemic and can connect more efficiently now than in the past.
The chair of this section can assist the charted affiliates in providing tools and resources to develop leaders in their respective areas. There is such depth of knowledge in the respiratory community at large around evidence-based leadership and management techniques. The section can be one vehicle in the sharing of this knowledge.