AARC Election 2024 — Aaron Light


Aaron Light

Dean of Health Sciences
Ozarks Technical Community College
Member Since: 2003

AARC Activities:

  • AARC Compact Task Force, 2022-present
  • AARC Editorial Board for the Respiratory Care Education Annual, 2019-present
  • AARC BOD Secretary Treasurer, 2020-2022
  • AARC Director at Large, 2019-2020 (Appointment)
  • Subcommittee Chair on Research and Supporting AARC Strategic Objectives, 2017-2019

House of Delegates Activities:

  • Delegate Missouri Society for Respiratory Care, 2017-2019, 2023

Affiliate Activities:

  • Missouri Society for Respiratory Care Vice President, 2012-2014
  • Missouri Society for Respiratory Care Fall Symposium Adult Critical Care Chair, 2010-2014

Related Organizations:

  • American Heart Association ACLS instructor 2010-2015
  • Ozarks Technical Community College Title IX investigative Team 2015-2021
  • Ozarks Technical Community College Institutional Review Board 2008-2021
  • Member of the Missouri Community College Association 2003-present
  • Member of Coalition for Baccalaureate and Graduate Respiratory Therapy Education 2013-present


  • Doctorate of Health Science, Nova Southeastern University, 2012
  • Master of Science in Respiratory Care Leadership, Northeastern University, 2009
  • Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care, Missouri State University, 2001
  • Bachelor of Science in Management, Missouri State University, 2000
  • Associate of Applied Science in Respiratory Therapy, Ozarks Technical Community College, 2001

Elections Committee Questions:

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the profession of respiratory care, and what do you recommend the ARC do to address it?

I feel that the profession is poorly recognized/known by the general population and we are experiencing one of our worst workforce shortages ever. Some of this is due to lack of exposure to the general population, some is due to pure numbers. There are millions of nurses and physicians in the country. Additionally, these professions are older than RT and this is why the general population does not know about RT’s, or for that matter Rad-Techs, Surgical Tech’s,….I believe a focus of the AARC needs to be a more public campaign to the general public that is focused on educating youth about our profession, but also non traditional students. Our workforce shortage will not be fixed with simply recruiting high school aged students as the number of high school graduates is dropping in most areas.

Healthcare is changing more rapidly than ever. What ideas do you have to help today’s respiratory therapist meet these changes?

Micro credentials is an area that I believe hospitals and local educational institutions could partner together to address these changes. These micro credentials while not equal to NBRC credentials in anyway, could provide a way for short-term training and “”proof”” of knowledge in areas of the health care community has changed. As new modalities, therapies, procedures,…enter an area of practice, the hospital could work with the educational institution to create a short-term training program to get therapist up to speed on them. This training would then produce a micro credential that the therapist could share with current or future employers to show knowledge that was not covered in traditional entry to practice respiratory care education.

Role-Specific Questions:

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?

I would make sure that all respiratory therapist are represented within the AARC. I have moved through all levels of the profession from associates degree level, staff therapist working in all areas of the hospital, education, and now administration. During all this, I have always felt that I was a Respiratory Therapist first and an educator/administrator second. We as therapist need to come together with a shared vision of the future and make sure that we move our profession into the future. This future could include things like compact licensure, expanded tele-health roles, improved recognition, and more pathways for advancement within respiratory therapy. My goal would be to make sure I continue to listen to the every day therapist in the country and represent them to the best of my ability.

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