As a reminder, the election for the three seats available for the 2019-2021 term on the Board of Trustees will be held in September this year. Leading up to the election, we are highlighting each of the candidates as identified through the efforts of the Nominations Subcommittee.
For today's BOT Candidate Spotlight, we are featuring John Eckman, MHS, PA(ASCP)CM.
Name: John Eckman, MHS, PA(ASCP)CM
Organization: Mountain States Pathology
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Member Since: 1993
Current AAPA Position: BOT Chair
Please tell the AAPA membership about yourself, and describe your past volunteer work.
I am a former medical technologist, a graduate of the Quinnipiac University PA program, and have 25 years experience as a PA in both community hospital and academic center settings. I have worked with pathology residents, providing training and oversight for the past 13 years. I volunteered with the AAPA as Website Committee Chair from 2000 to 2009. I am section author of the GYN section of the Grossing Guidelines, I help operate the AAPA Twitter account, and have served on the BOT since 2016. My interests are resident education in gross pathology, continuing education for pathologists' assistants, gross photography, and pathology and social media.
Why are you interested in serving on the AAPA BOT?
I will have completed one term on the Board at the end of 2018, serving as Vice Chair in 2017, and as Chair in 2018. I have enjoyed being on the Board, and am very grateful for the opportunity to do so. Ideally, most Board members serve two three-year terms to see projects they started or worked on come to completion. As turnover of BOT members is by design, it is also very important to have some continuity of leadership within the Board to give incoming members time to adjust to the activities of the BOT and to support them as they develop into one of the leadership positions. It is a great honor to serve as Chair, and I would like to continue to do so to provide that continuity, and to help mentor other Board members as they grow into a leadership position. While the BOT has a structured and effective strategic plan in place, my focus is on the basics such as advocacy for the pathologists' assistant, expanding our continuing education offerings to meet the needs of all PAs, improving member engagement, and providing essential information to the membership such as the salary survey.
What do you think should be the most important priority for AAPA?
Advocating for the practicing pathologists' assistant at every opportunity is clearly a top priority.
What is your understanding of the mission and vision of this organization?
The AAPA is the organization that provides professional support specifically for pathologists' assistants by being a strong advocate for PAs, by providing PA-specific continuing education material to ensure professional development and high quality patient care, and by collaborating with other professional organizations to help elevate our profession. No other organization provides this level of support for pathologists' assistants. The AAPA has a rich history of volunteerism, and offers opportunities for members to grow, contribute, and engage with their peers.
Is there a particular area that you feel could be improved within AAPA?
Engaging members and new graduates so that they see the importance of having a strong and growing professional organization that is dedicated to the pathologists' assistant profession. Also, expansion of our continuing education offerings from online CE to more affordable conferences in order to meet the needs of all members.
What is the biggest challenge your lab faces today?
Adjusting to changes such as a new LIS, transition to voice recognition, consolidation and centralization of laboratory services, and doing so with less support staff.
Would you like to see John return to the AAPA Board of Trustees for another term? Make sure to cast your vote in the BOT Election, opening September 4, 2018! Fellow members will have the option to vote online via SurveyMonkey or in-person at the Fall Conference. Remember, we must reach a required quorum of 25% of members. Encourage your colleagues to vote using the hashtags #PAckthepolls and #myVOTEmyBOT!
Check out the profiles of our other candidates: Charlene Gettings, Jennifer Perez, and Roseann Vitale!