The AARC lost a tireless volunteer earlier this week with the passing of Bill Lamb, BS, RRT, FAARC.
“Bill’s dedication as a volunteer and advocate for our patients and profession has left an indelible mark on me,” says AARC President Frank Salvatore, MBA, RRT, FAARC. “I, as well as many others, have truly been touched by this man’s life.”
A wide-ranging career
Bill Lamb joined the profession of respiratory care back in 1979 when he enrolled in the respiratory therapy program at Saint Louis Community College at Forest Park in Missouri. He graduated with his AAS degree in 1981 and went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in business and management from National Louis University in Illinois in 1994.
Lamb’s long career in the profession spanned many areas. He served as administrative director of respiratory care, pulmonology, and The Asthma Center for Children at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis, MO, during the mid-’80s-mid-’90s, then segued into the industry side of respiratory care.
Over the years he worked for a number of well-known respiratory care manufacturers, serving in capacities ranging from ventilator sales rep to clinical implementation specialist. At the time of his death he was the national clinical manager for Ohio Medical Corporation.
Giving back through professional service
A member of the AARC since 1982, Lamb was actively involved in a wide array of Association initiatives, serving both the Missouri Society for Respiratory Care and the national organization. But perhaps he will be best remembered for his work with the AARC House of Delegates (HOD), where he served for many years as a delegate and as speaker of the house in 2011.
In honor of his many accomplishments the HOD established the Bill Lamb Award in 2014 to recognize those who go above and beyond for the profession. The first award was bestowed posthumously on Jerry Bridgers, CRT, at AARC Congress 2014 in Las Vegas.
Lamb was elected to the AARC Board of Directors in 2013 and was serving as a director at large when he passed away on Tuesday.
Leading by example
Those who knew him say Bill Lamb was passionate about making sure patients had access to respiratory therapists and spent many years working on state and national initiatives focused on that area. And he was known far and wide for mentoring new leaders in the profession.
AARC Associate Executive Director of Education Shawna Strickland, PhD, RRT-NPS, RRT-ACCS, AE-C, FAARC, considers herself to be one of the many who benefited from his guidance. During her term as Missouri delegate in 2011, she says Lamb took her under his wing and made sure she had what she needed to succeed.
“Bill was an amazing friend, colleague, and mentor. He left his influence on the profession in critical care, pediatrics, research, patient safety, advocacy, and professionalism,” she says. “He led by example, and through his mentoring activities, prepared a new generation of AARC volunteer leadership.”