AARC Election 2010



Karen J. Stewart, MSc, RRT, FAARC

Associate Administrator of Neuro, Trauma and Emergency Services
Charleston Area Medical Center
Charleston, WV
AARC member since 1973

AARC Activities:
Member of the AARC Board of Directors 1999-2004. Elected Vice President of External Affairs 2006, Elected Vice President of Internal Affairs 2006, Elected Secretary-Treasurer 2009. Chair of the Management Section (1700+members) 1992–1997 and 1999–2004. Chair of the Patient Safety and Professional Practice Committee. Multiple other committees.

Affiliate Activities:
PAC Representative 2005. President WVSRC 1991–1993. Vice President 1990. Board Member 1983–1989. Licensure Committee.

Related Organizations:
Chair of the West Virginia Board of Respiratory Care (licensing agency for WV, appointed by 3 different governors). 1993–2008 Secretary-Treasurer West Virginia Board of Respiratory Care. 1995 Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute Subcommittee on Managing Medical Device Hazards and Recalls.

RRT, FAARC 1997. Marshall University M.Sc, Health Care Administration 1994. St. Joseph’s College B.S., Health Care Administration.

Managing Respiratory Care: Where Is the Science? Respir Care. 2008 July;53(7):903–907. Review. PMID: 18593492 [PubMed—indexed for MEDLINE] Promoting professionalism and reducing staff turnover in respiratory care. Respir Care. 2005 Aug;50(8):1029–30. No abstract available. PMID: 16225705 [PubMed—indexed for MEDLINE] Respiratory care in the computer age. Respir Care. 2004 Apr;49(4):361–4; discussion 364-6. Review. PMID: 15030609 [PubMed—indexed for MEDLINE].

What is your vision of the AARC in 2015?
By 2015, national legislation will be in place that both recognizes the respiratory therapist by reimbursing for the care that is delivered and recognizing the respiratory therapist as a professional. At the same time the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare recognizes the respiratory therapist, the general public will have a better understanding of the contributions made by respiratory therapists in the delivery of health care. By 2015 we would hope that the education for respiratory therapists meets the demands and needs of the employers and is a competency-based education system. Respiratory therapists will be working in more areas for delivering care. Common will be the use of respiratory therapists as case managers and in physician offices. It will be common for the respiratory therapist to deliver professional services in the home such as patient assessments and professional services to patients in the home. In order to meet these accomplishments we need more respiratory therapists to be members of the AARC so the voice of this community can be heard.

What have you done in the last 5 years to promote the profession in your community?
In my community I have lead the Licensure Board for the last 13 years with a focus on protecting both the public and the profession. I have assisted in the development of legislation in West Virginia that enhances the practice of respiratory care and addresses resources for employers. I have continued to be an example for therapists in my hospital and my community. I have continued to be a resource to anyone who asks for assistance. I have continued to serve the AARC as an officer, and I have provided lectures and written material as requested.