In 2006, Peter Murphy Lewis was a professor of International Relations at the University of Chile as well as a political analyst for CNN. Today, he is the marketing director for Experience Care, a long term care software vendor, as well as the host of LTC Heroes, a podcast that highlights the contributions of leaders in the industry. So what was behind this personal transformation? Lewis shared his story with Melissa Brown, the COO of Gravity Health, on LTC Heroes.
Embracing Our Differences
Lewis describes himself as someone who has always been interested in people, a trait that is extremely helpful in long term care. “I grew up in Kansas and went to a boarding school in Missouri with a bunch of international students,” said Lewis. “These international students were my best friends. I attribute high school to why I’m interested in people who are different from me. And I don’t just mean from different religions or languages, but also from a different demographic.”
This interest in people and different cultures led Lewis to Chile, where he began an unforgettable entrepreneurial adventure. “I went down to South America and completed my masters and Ph.D. in Chile,” he said. “From there, I jumped into entrepreneurship, where I started a travel company. And then I became a TV host.”
Lewis was the host of a reality show, Aqui Te Las Traigo Peter, that followed him around Latin America and saw him take part in dangerous stunts but also new cultural experiences. At the same time, he was a political analyst for CNN. He provided insight into American foreign policy as well as relations between the People’s Republic of China and Latin America. He would soon abandon these projects and find a new career in long term care.
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The Long Term Care Calling
In 2019, on account of civil unrest in Chile, Lewis returned to the U.S. and, shortly after, was presented with a job offer from a long term care software vendor, Experience Care. He jumped at the opportunity, knowing he could use his interpersonal skills to help the cause of another underrepresented demographic, one with which he had a particularly strong connection.
As a child, Lewis helped care for his grandmother, who was struggling with dementia, and assisted in her move into a nursing home. This gave him a newfound perspective on long term care. “It’s from that experience where I really developed a passion and appreciation for CNAs, nurses, and long term care,” he said.
Telling Long Term Care Stories
Upon starting at Experience Care, Lewis decided to approach marketing a bit differently. Instead of simply trying to promote long term care EHR, he wanted to use his platform as an opportunity to amplify the voices of long-term care leaders and influencers and ask them about the most current and pressing issues the industry faces. He successfully did this in creating the LTC Heroes podcast.
Then, in September 2021, Lewis began highlighting the stories of CNAs, LPNs, dietary aids, activity directors, MDS nurses, and RNs as well. The web series Short Stories from the Frontline Workers in LTC celebrates these unsung heroes of long term care. It also encourages others in the industry to nominate other front-line workers who are worthy of praise.
The final step in Lewis’ transformation was becoming a CNA, which would allow him to speak about the industry from a place of knowledge and understanding. In December of 2021, he trained to become a CNA and ended up gaining certification for the state of Kansas. He has shared his experiences in talks and live streams with others in long term care.
On account of his unique background as a political analyst turned marketing director turned CNA, Lewis is now a hot commodity. He has been invited to speak and interview leaders at several long term care conventions across the country. In these settings, he shares marketing strategies as well as guidelines for highlighting stories at facilities. But most importantly, he continues to listen and learn from people with different backgrounds from him.