Vice President — Internal
Respiratory Care Director — Illinois Region
Advocate Aurora Health
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?
I believe that the most significant challenge facing the AARC today 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. When I have had the opportunity to talk with members and non-members around the country I have often heard two key reasons for lack of membership: perceived lack of member 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, understanding the needs of members and addressing them, and through mentorship programs that identify and support new leaders/volunteers.
What ideas do you have to help todays Respiratory Therapist recover from the pandemic and what do you feel is the main issue Respiratory Care Practitioners are facing, and what key solutions should be addressed to support our profession?
Respiratory Therapists have been crucial to the care of patients throughout the pandemic. Despite this, many people still do not know who we are. Recognition and awareness for our profession is a critical issue. RTs are advancing care through research and education every day and deserve to be recognized for their efforts. In the hospital setting our profession is well known but much more must be done to elevate the incredible work done by RTs in the eyes of the public. Investment in a multi-media marketing campaign to educate the public about Respiratory Therapy is crucial. Increasing awareness is urgently needed in order to address the national shortage of RT by inspiring future generations to become respiratory therapists.
Promoting the profession is considered one of the greatest opportunities, what are your ideas to help realize this opportunity?
Promoting our profession is perhaps one of the most significant issues that must be addressed in order to ensure a successful future for Respiratory Therapists. The AARC, working with partner groups, should begin a multi-media marketing campaign to reach members of the public, students who have yet to decide on a career path, and elected officials who write public policy. Increasing our presence on social media platforms should be a priority.
We must also continue working to advance the scope and level of practice of the RT. This can be done by increasing the utilization of RT driven protocols and other initiatives that enhance autonomy of care and by continuing the work toward the Advanced Practice Respiratory Therapist (APRT).