As director of the Arkansas Health Care Association (AHCA), Rachel Bunch advocates on behalf of long-term care providers. While still in college, she began working for AHCA as member services director in 2008. She became the director of the organization in 2014. AHCA represents more than 300 long- term care facilities, about 90 percent of the industry.
What motivates you to keep coming to work each day?
Understanding the service that my members provide and the real impact that they have on peoples’ lives motivates me. My members trust and depend on me to understand and represent our profession, and the significance of that is humbling, to say the least. This year marks my 12th here, and I still love it. My days are never boring.
COVID-19 has created unique challenges across all industries, but particularly for long-term care providers. What has been the key to navigating the crisis successfully and safely?
We have an amazing team. I try to keep the bigger picture in mind and communicate frequently with my members. Communication goes both ways and expands far beyond traditional office hours. We spend a lot of time hearing from members about their issues and working closely with state and federal officials.
Who has been the biggest influence on your life and career?
Tell us the best piece of career or life advice you have received.
No task is beneath you.
What is the best moment of your career so far?
I would have to say being named to my current position by my board, years ago. It wasn’t something I sought out. I was the youngest in the country at the time (I’ve aged since then!) and felt like my hard work paid off.
How do you like to destress after a difficult day/week?
Anything with my daughter, Emily - cooking with her, weekend trips, and shopping. I love big family dinners. Spending time with my friends never gets old; I miss enjoying live music with them.
What advice do you have for keeping a team focused and motivated in challenging times?
Listen to them. Be loyal. Give them autonomy and make yourself available when they need help.