Teresa “Teri” Miller
Chair, Department of Respiratory Therapy
Middle Georgia State University
Member Since: 1989
House of Delegates Activities:
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 believe our greatest challenge is professional recognition and identity. The world needs to know who we are. We must leverage our resources and connections to demonstrate 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 and collaborate, listening to the needs of all RTs and our stakeholders and inviting them to join us. We must then take action to grow. 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 into our profession. Finally, we must instill professional pride in new RTs and inspire them. Through a clear, strong, united voice and vision we can achieve the recognition we need and deserve for our patients.
Healthcare is changing more rapidly than ever. What ideas do you have to help today’s respiratory therapist meet these changes?
Where there is change, there is opportunity and we must grasp it. First, we must grow our numbers and stabilize our workforce. We must also demonstrate the value of the RT to those who employ and govern. We need to arm all RTs, and especially RT leaders, with the resources they need to fight 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 to help them meet their challenges. The pandemic showed us the importance of community and we need to continue to develop a more robust, inclusive, and collaborative RT community– one that is welcoming and essential to them to be a part of. We must clearly forge a path for advanced practice and look for growth opportunities at all levels. Finally, we need to strategically develop and support our future researchers and educators who will be essential in our progress as a profession. Together we must share a positive message for RTs, empower them and fight for what we want.
Two of our greatest ongoing concerns are promoting the profession and increasing membership. What are your solutions to address these needs?
I believe positive change happens when we identify our goals, develop a strong plan to achieve them and inspire others to join us toward that shared future. I firmly believe the AARC has a strong mission, vision and strategic plan in place to address our most pressing issues. What we need now is to align “troops” to work together to achieve those goals. We have an awesome executive office team, but they need each of us to engage at home. We must communicate clearly, regularly, and effectively to assure our members, stakeholders, and communities know what needs to be done and are empowered to take action. We must welcome others to be a part of the team and celebrate our successes along the way. RTs are out there everyday doing some of the best and hardest work– we need to recognize that, profile that, and grow a culture that draws others to us, from the middle school teen who is looking toward a future to the legislator who wants to make a difference for all. We can do it– together!