Meet The New AAST Director-at-Large: Peter Allen
The 2016 election for the AAST Board of Directors came to an end with the largest number of participating voters in history
Newly elected AAST Director-at-Large Peter Allen shares his thoughts on winning this year's election.
Q:. For some of us who may not know your prolific background, can you walk us through your career in sleep medicine and your history with the AAST? When did you become a member?
The "sleep bug" bit me in 1988. I became a member after the 1988 APSS/AAST Meeting in Washington, DC. I started in home care medical equipment in 1982. I worked in DME and the sleep field through the 1990s. Then, I worked in Capital Medical Sales for Nellcor Puritan Bennett. In 1993, I graduated from the Drexel University Neurophysiology Technologist Program and then went back to school for my undergrad in respiratory care in 2000-2008.
I was a boarded sleep technologist, before I became a boarded respiratory therapist. I discovered, later than most, that education needs to be on-going and never-ending.
After having attended 15 plus APSS/AAST meetings over the years, I realized that going to these conferences has had a profound impact on my career. I recommend that all members of the profession must go to regional and national conferences for both professional and career growth.
Q: When did you want to become a board of directors member, and talk to me about the change you wanted to see within our organization?
With changes occurring in both the diagnostics and delivery of care to sleep disorders patients, I felt that my clinical credentials, management and professional experiences had prepared me to be of service, at this time. The AAST is rising to these new challenges and I am here to support their existing efforts 1st before I can comment further on change within the organization.
Q: How can regular members be more involved with board of directors initiatives?
First, by keeping in touch, with their concerns and ideas to all board members. Secondly, by attending regional and national meetings. I would also recommend that members join an AAST Committee, get involved, ask, "What can I do as an AAST member?" and "How can I help to show non-member sleep technologists the value of AAST membership?"
Q: How do you hope to bring some of your expertise as a public speaker on sleep technology issues into some of the initiatives the AAST board of directors are planning?
- Improving patient outcomes.
- Enhancing technologist/lab manager career paths and developing revenue opportunities are a prioritiy.
- I look forward to supporting existing and future board initiatives wherever and whenever they appear during my next three years, as a speaker.
I look forward to serving the sleep technologist community by listening to our members and the members of our board of directors. I hope to hear of both “Best Clinical and Business Practices” from around the country and internationally that we, the board, can turned back out, to benefit our members.
Q: What’s one fun fact about you? Something people would least expect...
I became a public/classroom speaker in 4th grade. It got me out of written reports, it got me out of anything I did not want to do, right through high school. For 6 years after high school I used my speaking skills to teach tennis to groups, small and large in the US, Mexico, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Finally came home, learned how to actually study and pass multiple choice question board exams and here we are.
Allen will be at our annual meeting in Denver, Colorado! We hope you can meet him there!