Vice President — Internal
Teresa “Teri” Miller
Chair, Department of Respiratory Therapy
Middle Georgia State University
Member Since: 1989
Elections Committee Questions:
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the AARC and what do you recommend to address it?
I believe our greatest challenge is professional recognition and identity. The world needs to know who we are. We have an opportunity to leverage our pandemic experience to profile our value and achieve goals such as reimbursement for skilled services, professional advancement and the thrill of hearing kids say they want to grow up to be respiratory therapists. To achieve this, we must strategically unite, collaborate and move as one, listening to the needs of all RTs and inviting them to join us. Our chartered affiliates are some of our strongest resources and alignment with them is essential. We must harness the power of our evidence, expanding and promoting it while using our resources to share the story of the RT to recruit the best and brightest into the profession. Finally, we must work to instill professional pride in new RTs and inspire them forward. Through a clear, strong, united voice we can achieve the recognition we need and deserve for our patients.
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?
The pandemic highlighted the need for RTs while straining our workforce. A coordinated effort to demonstrate the value of the RT to those who employ and govern is paramount. We need to arm RT leaders with the resources to support RTs each day to grow our profession both in numbers and in scope. We need to ask and listen to the needs of RTs and be responsive, working to remove barriers. The pandemic showed us the importance of community and we need to continue to develop a more robust, inclusive, caring, and collaborative RT community. We need to clarify who we are and what we do, removing those things which cause confusion about our profession, and clearly forge a path forward for advanced practice. Finally, we need to strategically develop and support our future researchers and educators who will be essential in our progress as a profession. We have many choices and opportunities ahead. Together we must share a positive message and fight for what we want.
Promoting the profession is considered one of the greatest opportunities, what are your ideas to help realize this opportunity?
I believe our strength is through our unity and communication as a profession. When RTs and our supporters work together, we achieve extraordinary things. I would love to work with our members and chartered affiliates to align our strategic initiatives so we are working toward common goals, assuring our voices as RTs are strong across the US and with our key stakeholders, community partners and leaders. The RT at the bedside has the most powerful voice of all and an informed, passionate RT can make a tremendous difference for our patients and for our profession. Sharing the story of the RT for others is powerful and through collaboration and alignment we can work toward sharing that story and advancing our opportunities for our patients and our future.