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Contact: Sherry Milligan

The American Association for Respiratory Care

The American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) has served as the professional association for respiratory therapists (RTs) for more than 50 years. Since its inception, the purpose of the AARC has been to promote the art and science of respiratory care and related issues. In that regard, the Association supports its members' educational and informational needs thereby contributing to quality health care for the general public.

Tracking current events related to good respiratory health is an important function of the AARC. Association members rely heavily on interpretive information the AARC provides regarding new research findings, legislation and regulatory issues, and court rulings. The Association also sponsors research projects designed to encourage the advancement of the profession by revealing, for example, positive outcomes for respiratory patients cared for by RTs. And to help keep our members on track, the AARC looks to the future to determine the structure and function of health care in the coming decades. What the AARC sees very clearly is that quality respiratory care will be very much in demand as will be qualified professionals to deliver that care.

The AARC's ultimate goal is to ensure that the public health will remain the priority regardless of how the respiratory care and the health care professions change. Toward meeting that goal, the AARC focuses on matching respiratory care resources with respiratory care needs. That means the AARC will ensure that whatever resources are needed - information, people, equipment, or money - will be made available to fill the needs of patients whether they are cared for in hospitals, homes, or alternate care settings. By properly equipping RTs, the AARC contributes to the well-being of the public afflicted with respiratory problems.

The AARC can give expert advice and information on myriad respiratory health issues. The AARC can provide insights on any public issue related to respiratory health. These include issues like asthma, seasonal allergies, smoking/tobacco use, and sleep disorders as well as broader issues like managed care, Medicare programs, cost-effective preventive care, and disease management.

About the AARC:

  • 32,000 members nationwide and in three international affiliates.
  • Founded in 1947 in Chicago.
  • Network of 50 state organizations, called state societies, involves members in state and local activities.
  • Members include respiratory therapists, pulmonary laboratory technicians, nurses, physicians, home health providers, home medical equipment suppliers, industrial sales representatives, manufacturers of respiratory care equipment, and respiratory patients.
  • Sponsored by the American Thoracic Society, the American College of Chest Physicians, and the American Society of Anesthesiologists.
  • Board of Medical Advisors: A 16-member board of physician advisors represents the sponsoring organizations plus the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Allergy and Immunology, the National Association of Medical Directors of Respiratory Care, and the Society of Critical Care Medicine.
  • Board of Directors: Fifteen members, including six officers, meet four times yearly. The Board sets policy and makes business decisions for the Association.
  • The AARC employs a director of government affairs and a director of state government affairs in Washington, DC.
  • House of Delegates: A delegate and alternate delegate from each of the AARC's 50 chartered affiliates meet twice annually. This group serves as the voice of the membership to bring concerns to a national forum.
  • Executive Office: A 40-member staff in Dallas, Texas, maintains the business operations of the AARC and acts as a clearinghouse of information for the members.
  • The AARC co-sponsors and appoints representatives to the National Board for Respiratory Care, the body which administers nationally recognized credentialing examinations. The AARC also sponsors the American Respiratory Care Foundation, an organization that administers scholarship and grant programs. The Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care is also sponsored by the AARC.
  • Representatives are appointed from the AARC to other organizations that work on common issues. These include the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, the Coalition on Smoking or Health, the National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards, and the Commission on the Accreditation of Air Medical Services, among others.
  • Executive Director: Sam P. Giordano, MBA, RRT
  • E-mail: info@aarc.org
  • Web site: http://www.aarc.org