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Lead a Professional Healthcare Association

Lead a Professional Healthcare Association

Jennifer LeClaire /

For those at the top of most healthcare organizations, leadership in a professional healthcare organization isn’t what pays the bills. They typically work full-time in addition to assuming these extracurricular commitments.

“If you have young children, you have to decide just how much of your individual time is going to be taken away from them, and whether it’s going to damage your relationships,” says Marrise Phillips, RN, past president of the Dermatology Nurses’ Association (DNA). “You need your family’s cooperation, because you have to parse some time each day and assign that to the volunteer position that you have assumed.”

Association Advantages

Despite the challenges, most association leaders feel the rewards they reap are worth the time investment.

Davis-Lewis says leading the NBNA has broadened her network of relationships and professional resources. Phillips credits taking charge of the DNA with making her more visible as well as keeping her abreast of legislative issues that affect the industry.

For Lewandowski, assuming the presidency of the SPN brought her the recognition that spurred a positive career change. “I moved from Johns Hopkins into an endowed professorship at Wayne State University,” she says. “The fact that I [was] a national leader in my field didn’t hurt my chances.”

Mizrahi says her presidency at NASW gave her far more than she gave the organization. “My two years as president reconfirmed the value of my profession,” she says. “I recommitted to the work and improving the image of the profession.”

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