Feature Interview: New Board Member Debra Hauptman

The BC Care Providers Association Board of Directors elected four new board members at its recent Annual General Meeting during the BCCPA Annual Conference last month.

With the largest Annual Conference in BCCPA history now behind us, and the Second Annual Health Minister’s Luncheon as well as a new season of Care to Chat ahead, it is sure to be a busy year at the BCCPA. We are pleased to have Debra Hauptman, Elissa Gamble, Rowena Rizzotti, and Kristan Ash join the Board of Directors.

Last week we touched base with newly elected board member Elissa Gamble for a short interview. We are pleased to carry on the conversation with our new board members in an interview with Debra Hauptman. Read on for the full interview.

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What is your current role with Langley Care Society Seniors Care? How long have you worked there and what was the career journey to where you are?

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Debra Hauptman- Langley Care Society Seniors Care

I have been employed with the Langley Care Society for nearly 5 years, in the role of CEO. I have worked in community based healthcare services for the majority of my career. I am a Registered Psychiatric Nurse by profession. I have worked in a variety of settings during my career, including acute psychiatry,  juvenile crime prevention (counselling), primary care in the downtown eastside; long-term care, vocational and mental health day- rehabilitation services. I have been in management for only a couple of decades.

What inspired you to run for a board position with the BC Care Providers Association?

I have always been interested in government relations and have a history of “accidental” GR work stemming from serving on various local-area business development boards. The challenges we face in healthcare and the kinds of solutions that have been imposed on our sector are the inspiration for getting involved and working with the BCCPA to develop solutions that create a win-win for our sector and the health authorities/Ministry of Health.

Could you tell us about a few personal accomplishments in your life, career related or outside of work?

I have two sons and a step-daughter and family is very important to me, so much of my spare time is spent hosting family gatherings with immediate and extended family. In our spare time, my husband and I enjoy skiing Whistler-Blackcomb every season; we love to garden, and we have road bikes, and enjoy cycling along some of the beautiful rural vistas in Langley where we live. Professionally, I returned to university 14 years ago to undertake the two-year Executive MBA program  while working full-time in an Executive role and being a single-parent. Graduation was an accomplishment! I am currently serving a two-year term on the Senior’s Advisory Committee of the Township of Langley, doing this as a volunteer to give back to my home community.

What do you believe have been key accomplishments or milestones in the continuing care sector?

Adjusting to continual funding constraints, while measurable improving services to our residents; taking steps to create SafeCare BC to reduce injury rates among our workers and delivering services to an increasingly complex client base, to name a few.

What do you see as obstacles that must still be overcome for the sector?

Keeping pace with the demand for more spaces, in a funding environment that is static and acute-care centric. A primary obstacle is having an effective development relationship with funders who are also competitors. BCCPA has a very important role; our sector can influence government with a goal to have sustainable independent service providers and inspire future investment to meet the growth projections of an aging population.

Where do you see the future of the continuing care sector, 10years, 20 years, beyond?

There will need to be more private and independent operators; and quite possibly future clients of long-term care will have to pay a greater share towards the cost of care.  A more balanced continuum of care options to provide “the right services at the right time” will be ideal. I heard the word “consolidation” at the conference; I think having healthy competition and small, medium and large operators is good for future clients and the sector overall.

What is it that you love most about your job?

As a nurse, mother and daughter,  I am always grounded by our residents; those whom we serve. On a tough day, connecting with a resident reinforces my purpose and commitment to my work. 

When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I always wanted to be a nurse. I had two aunts who were RNs and they were my inspiration. One of them is 95 years old now and is still a going concern.

Is there anything else you would like to tell our members?

I hope to be a contributing member of the Board of the BCCPA and I look forward to meeting more of the membership.

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Be sure to stay on the look out for interviews with Rowena Rizzotti and Kristan Ash in the coming days!