Budget Short Falls, Healthcare Reform, Economic Turmoil, Trillion Dollar Deficits!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • July 6, 2010
  • Tim Starling

Tim Starling, Division Director, Bilingual Therapies

Tim Starling is currently the Division Director of Bilingual Therapies. Tim received his introduction to healthcare in 2000 as a recruiter who placed neurological, orthopedic, and general surgeons in some of the country’s leading hospital systems. He later joined Soliant Health where he pioneered the schools division that places speech, physical, and occupational therapist in school districts across the country. In August of 2006, Tim had the opportunity to join Bilingual Therapies where he continues to assist the team in being the profession’s leading source for bilingual speech-language pathology services in the country.

Did I get your attention yet?

For the past two or three years, the US economy has really been on a roller coaster that has seen more shrills than thrills. The job market has been bleak, schools are cutting jobs and mandating furlough days, and our leaders in Washington can’t get on the same page. So what does it mean for us? Here comes the answer that you have been waiting for: WE JUST DON’T KNOW! That is the honest truth when it comes to our job of providing much needed services to our clients in schools, hospitals, clinics, and other medical facilities across the country. Our clients, which are both the healthcare providers and the facilities they work in, are all operating in very unique markets right now. Let’s look at our nation’s school districts and see what is truly happening. 

Federal and local governments are tasked with running their services while decreasing their operating budgets. With fewer people working and private business not doing so well, it means that tax revenues are down. This forces leaders to make budget cuts, which drives them to become very creative in how they conduct business. In our sector of education, we are seeing extreme measures to keep jobs and provide the quality of services that everyone has grown accustomed to in education. In parts of California, they are decreasing the number of days that children attend school, thus decreasing the cost of maintaining facilities. In parts of Georgia, they are asking educators to take several furlough days. In parts of Illinois, they are dramatically increasing class sizes. In parts of Texas, they are using a surplus of stimulus dollars that are still left over from the infusion by our federal government. In parts of Virginia, they have levied new taxes to keep the public schools running without any major cuts or disruptions to current staff. At our nation’s capital, there is a potential bill that will provide another 10 – 20 billion dollars in federal aid to save the jobs of educators across the country.

So here is the good news! You are good at your job! Students, Parents, Principals, Directors, Administrators, and Employers all recognize that what you do is very unique and special. You have a gift that influences so many lives. Your profession is one of the most admired careers in the workforce. Therefore, when I say you are good at your job, I really mean that you are valued and it is understood that your services are not easily duplicated.

As a business leader at my workplace and in my community, I am frequently asked how someone can find a job or keep a job during these difficult times. My standard response is “be more valuable today than you were yesterday.” If you become extremely valuable to a team, to a school district, to an employer, and to the individuals we serve; then it makes it very difficult for an employer to eliminate that position. As a person who is a hiring authority, I look at what each individual brings to the team and how much value he or she creates. By the way, I practice this same mindset on myself in hopes that my boss sees my value. There are some rare situations where value is not the ultimate factor. Sometimes politics and poor decision making comes into play and good people become the casualties of these decisions. For example, a committee may make cuts without seeing the true value or impact or a purchasing group may make a recommendation understanding what really goes on in the trenches. Regardless of the situation, you are good at your job! Good people with good skills will always have the upper hand in situations like these.

Healthcare is not recession proof, but it is definitely more insulated than most professions.

Thank you for all the wonderful work you do every day. What you do really makes a difference in people’s lives!

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