This month in our Catching Up series, we’re learning more about Dianne Lewis MS, RRT, FAARC, AARC president 1993. Lewis shares details about her career path, road to presidency, as well as tips and advice for members interested in pursuing leadership roles in the AARC.
Describe Your Career Path
Lewis: I have always been a person interested in all areas of respiratory care. As a therapist, I worked with neonates, pediatrics and adults. My career path after graduation led me into hospital education. I then was in respiratory care management for 10 years. I also worked in long term care and home care was my passion for the last 15 years. Currently I am a case manager at an acute care hospital.
Why did you choose to pursue the President Office?
Lewis: I became interested in the AARC in my early years when I attended my first AARC Congress in Anaheim, CA during my senior year at the University of Missouri. Mentors along the way suggested I become involved at the state level and then volunteer for AARC committees. I became a delegate to the AARC House of Delegates and my first AARC appointment was to the program committee.
What was the most memorable experience during your Presidency?
Lewis: I had so many great memories as AARC President. I was proud to have begun discussions for the development of the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC), which replaced the Joint Review Committee for Respiratory Care (JRCRTE) as the profession’s accreditation body. The focus of my presidency was ‘Marketing the Respiratory Care Practitioner.’ It was important to me to show individuals outside of the profession who we were and what we did. Most of all, I am proud I can say I helped participate in advancing the direction of my profession.
What advice would you give someone interested in pursuing a leadership role in AARC?
Lewis: Individuals interested in becoming a leader in the AARC need to become a member of the AARC first and foremost! Obtain a bachelor’s degree, and then a master’s degree. Volunteer their time at the local, state, and national level. Work each day and show you are a professional. This is not just a job!
How has your membership in the AARC benefited your career?
Lewis: As a member of the AARC, the things I have learned are countless. It has helped keep me current on the always-changing practice of respiratory care. It has made me more knowledgeable in the operation of an organization as well as the complexity of government affairs, and it has shown me why I love this profession.