This is an exciting and challenging time for the sleep field, keeping us busy on the PA Sleep Society Board of Directors. Questions we face: How do we stay relevant? How do we keep fluid in our responses to the changes thus far and those ahead? For some, this has also meant substantial changes in job descriptions and expectations. Daytime opportunities for night technical staff are still in the works with the Clinical Sleep Educator role. A potential huge role, while we clarify how to finance this job. Patients in the lab are often a sicker population, studies more complicated. Newer technologies have created different testing situations, such as oral appliances and upper airway nerve stimulation and on the horizon diaphragmatic nerve stimulation for central apnea, newer medications for narcolepsy and other disorders. My belief in the importance of this field continues to grow as “our” disorders start to gain more headlines. The media and public are finally noticing such issues as the dangers of sleep deprivation, sleep apnea and heart disease and the impact of other conditions (insomnia, hypersomnias, parasomnias) on quality of life, pharmaceutical concerns and other health impacts.
As for me, I have been in the practice of sleep medicine for over 30 years, coming to the field through internal medicine and pulmonary/ critical care training. Most of my career has been in the Philadelphia area, though I did enjoy a 5-year stint in Arizona, where I served on the nascent AZ Sleep Society Board of Directors with a year as president. Despite our geographic differences, many of the Sleep Medicine issues are similar to those we face in Pennsylvania. My current work life includes an active sleep disorders practice (I am a SLEEP DOCTOR), though I still try to find time for educational efforts (meeting presentations, publications) for the medical and general public audiences. I am excited about a couple research opportunities right now as well.
As president of the PA Sleep Society Board, I am excited about the work the Board has been doing to bring another annual terrific meeting to Harrisburg on April 6th, 2019. We have been focusing on hot topics including diversity in the sleep field, special populations and how sleep disorders impact them, trying to bring more relevance to Sleep Technologists as well as others in the field.
Oh yeah, in my spare time I enjoy my husband and adult children (rather scattered over the States), a big furry dog named Beau, and interests including reading, exercise, gardening, cooking, art and travel. I also enjoy SLEEP! Hope you do too. Please come up and say hello at the meeting or drop a line on the website with your thoughts and goals for yourself and the field. We are always looking for new members and those who might wish to serve on the Board.
President of the Pennsylvania Sleep Society