Meet the Society’s New President
Hi everyone. My name is Arif Nazir. I’m the chief medical officer for Signature HealthCARE and president of AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.
How did you first become involved with the Society?
I first got involved with the Society when I started my position as a faculty member at Indiana University more than 10 years ago. One of my roles was to provide medical director services for the post-acute side of things and in that role I had to be medical director of a facility. Honestly, I didn’t really know medical directorship that well. That is when one of my mentors recommended that I should be a part of AMDA, and I think that was great advice.
Why did you decide to run for a position on the AMDA board of directors?
I decided to run for the position on the board because I was told that if you really want to have an impact then you have to be engaged in the decision-making process. I did my due and I was part of many committees and played a role in accomplishing a lot with the Education Committee and the Competencies Curriculum Subcommittee. That is when I was asked if I would like to be on the board. Because if you want to have an impact you have to be on the board and that was my motivation.
Now that you’re president, what are you most excited about?
I am so excited about the year ahead because I think we have the best board at this point. We have the most diverse board. And really the membership—I was energized by seeing more than 1,600 members at the annual meeting this year, so we are all ready to go. And the environment is throwing so many unprecedented challenges at us that we really have to put our minds together and solve these issues together. I think the constraints we are seeing at this point in our setting are making it very exciting because the things we’re going to be accomplishing together will really create some good stories.
You just mentioned challenges. In your opinion what are the biggest challenges facing PALTC?
We are facing a lot of challenges at this point. The patients are getting sicker, the resources are not there, we don't have enough staff, the training is not that great for all the staff members. We have a lot of challenges that we have to come together to solve. But the good news is that together, with the knowledge we have through societies like ours, the passion we have on the front lines, I think we'll be able to manage it.
What are the main benefits of attending the annual conference?
Actually I was with the Futures program and I was just so energized because the biggest thing they were excited about was to build new networks, to build new mentors and coaches and relationships. So I would highly recommend to folks who come to the Society that it is a great place to build lifelong friendships, but also to get all the mentoring, the coaching, the advice you need. I always say that whenever you come to the Society meetings please try to have two or three goals in your mind. One of my goals always is to go back with two or three very energizing actionable ideas that you can then work on over the next few months. The second goal I always have is to build a new network, a new relationship with regards to a mentor or a mentee or just a great friend.
What are the main benefits of Society membership?
I think we should all be members of the Society because there are many benefits. You have to be absolutely on the cutting edge with regards to what the policy changes are in our setting, cutting-edge new science, new knowledge, new strategies, what are the new innovations that are coming out. Without being a member of a society like AMDA you are going to miss out and you will become irrelevant very quickly. The health care is changing at such a fast pace that it is very hard for all of us individually to keep up with it. Without the membership of AMDA I can tell you that there's really no other way at this point to keep up with all those expectations. If you really want to succeed in and have an exciting, very fulfilling post-acute and long-term care career, you have to be a member of the Society.
And the other thing is that the times are amazing. There are so many constraints. People are expecting so much from us and I think we can all deliver, but we will not be able to deliver on our own as individuals. We will have to deliver it together with our team of peers which includes the physicians, the nurses, the nurse practitioners, the front-line staff. We just cannot accomplish things without being part of a robust society like AMDA. So I would highly encourage all of you that if you want to accomplish your vision you have to be part of the Society.
Why should Society members join a committee?
I think everybody out there should be part of some committee. It is the most fulfilling part of the membership of the Society when you start providing and giving information and insights. A lot of people think that being part of the committee is going to consume your life and take so much time away from you. That’s absolutely a myth. Most of the committees you’re going to be joining are going to be a few hours of your time every month. It depends upon how passionate you are about the issue. If you really are passionate about the issue you’re trying to solve it’s not even going to be work or a burden for you. It's going to become part of your life, part of your mission. That’s how I always felt whenever I was part of the committees, particularly part of the Education Committee and the Competencies Curriculum Subcommittee. It was never work for me. It was just an exciting project to work on along with many other team members. Then you look back three years later, four years later like wow, this is what we accomplished together, and you put your mark on something that’s going to be there forever. I would highly recommend that if you want to have the most fulfilling experience and really channel your passion in post-acute and long-term care, you should be part of some committee.