News & Press: Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight on Roger Herr PT, MPA

Tuesday, August 18, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Adilah Abdul-Matin
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Roger Herr PT, MPA

Vice President VNSNY Home Care


September 2020


Roger Herr has a been a NYPTA member for 19 years. After graduating from New York University, Roger started working for their large well-known medical center while also continuing his education and getting a Master's degree in Public Administration. Roger’s commendable work ethic is inspired by his hard-working veterinarian parents who own their own practice. Roger feels that he is fortunate to be able to continue working during the Covid-19 pandemic.  Read how he shares his experience in working in the “new normal” and offers sage advice to his fellow PTs.


Take a few minutes and get to know more about this month's member spotlight with us!  Enjoy the Q&A with Roger below.


How Long have you been a member of NYPTA?

19 years total NYPTA, but 5 years 2014-2019, when I returned to NY from a decade on the west coast. I was a member of NYPTA 14 years prior to moving to the west coast.


What do you enjoy most about NYPTA?  What value does NYPTA add to your professional career?

Resources and diversity of members: past presidents, new members, students from many programs and a network across the state of NY.


Tell us a little about your background, and how your path led you to where you are in your career today.

I moved to NY to practice in a larger medical center (NYU) and pursue post graduate study. I completed my master’s in public administration (MPA) at NYU as I saw opportunity as a manager and influencing health care systems where we practice.


What’s the most rewarding part about your work and what are some challenges?

After my initial years at NYU, I worked in SNF, Home Health and Hospice. In my career I worked for University medical center, for profit, not for profit and publicly traded organizations. Each organization has its drivers. While on the west coast I worked for a national data/benchmarking organization for SNF, Home Health and hospice which opened my eyes to data, public reporting and quality. I learned the value of Physical Therapist in leadership, influencing quality and interdisciplinary approach to managing care.  On my return to NY in 2014, I was hired because of my Physical Therapist foundation in functional health and managing populations with other disciplines. This has been both the biggest reward and challenging in working with others who approach care differently. One of my mentors taught me the value of “and” over the use of “but” “or” as AND can bring our differences together. A second learning is with tightening of health care resources, everyone thinks they have the answer to health care if everyone else would change. I think we all need to work on this together and compromise when and where it is beneficial to patients and those we serve. My last challenge is demonstrating the value of Physical Therapists in managing patient populations in addition to the historical role of providing 1:1 intervention. We can manage, guide and oversee care for individuals beyond the direct care, which I see therapists now moving into these roles.


How has your work day changed as the result of COVID-19?

Learning the latest guidelines on using PPE and now when we can stop using some forms of PPE when patients no longer risk. Realizing PPE is part of our ongoing practice and wearing a mask during influenza season may be more normal in the United States in future years.


Who inspires you the most and why? 

My parents, both Cornell graduates who practiced as Veterinarians, owning and managing their own practice, and active in their professional association and People who bring different perspectives, as I learn through their views, ideas and approaches. They can be new members, students, and seasoned professionals.


What’s the most important thing you want to say to your fellow PTs during this Pandemic?

Be safe, find ways to serve your community both in the short term and long-term needs of COVID and the world of infectious diseases. Keeping people healthy is our opportunity both in returning to function, maintaining health wellness and prevention. I was educated in a time where we learned one on one care to address impairments and the future of PT will also include keeping people healthy as we age, work, and live in our communities.


What advice would you give NYPTA members who are new to the profession and want to make a difference? 

Ask where you can help, learn or serve, as we can all grow from both positive and negative experiences as they are all teachable moments. Ask to learn, we have a rich membership and experience. Many of us are happy to share it or connect you to those who may help.


What advice would you offer to people who need PT services during COVID-19? These times are challenging with issues related to patient and clinician access fiscal concerns (personal, organizational and State/national budgets), and concerns on PPE/safety. Ask questions of the providers/people networks you know, seek credible resources in organizations (APTA/NYPTA) as persistence may be needed when challenges arise during these changing times.


How are you personally dealing with your “new normal” in light of COVID-19? (ex. Using social media more to stay connected to family/friends, started a new hobby or exercise program)

Social media to keep up with friends. Web calls to connect with family and friends for holidays and celebrations. Personal health through yoga, walking, biking and outdoors when I can. I hope to return to swimming soon with pool opening or beach open water swim. My new addition is a walking treadmill under my standing desk, it has changed my world. (A geriatric researcher recommended it to me a decade ago, but a pandemic caused me to commit).

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