60 Seconds with... ACHCA Board Chairman Sara Sinclair

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Q: What are some of your top goals as the new leader of the American College of Health Care Administrators? A: I'm encouraging each member to get one new member this year. I also want to get true dialogue between our board and the members. We need to just sit back and relax and talk to each other. And we want greater outreach with other organizations related to long-term care.

Q: What do you mean by outreach?

A: We're already working with the American Medical Directors Association to set up a phone call among officers of AMDA, ACHCA, the American Health Care Association and, hopefully, the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging about enhancing the role of the medical director. It's kind of gray and we're trying to clarify it, to educate everyone involved.

Q: What's missing right now?

A: The interdisciplinary care team needs to improve communication. We could do a better job of defining people's roles and responsibilities. You just need better buy-in from everybody.

Q: What's a newer problem that has popped up?

A: A new challenge will be Medicare Part D. Everyone's on a steep learning curve on that. The proposed Medicare and Medicaid cuts, as well as staffing shortages in many parts of the country, are ongoing challenges.

Q: Generally speaking, what do administrators need to do better?

A: As administrators we need to always focus on having a positive, can-do attitude. We need to be forward-looking and optimistic. We need to be positive to input -- positive or negative -- and make it an opportunity.