The AARC was saddened to learn of the death of Robert H. Miller, RRT, who passed away at age 85 earlier this year after a 15-year battle with Parkinson’s disease.
Miller served as AARC president in 1969 and is widely recognized for efforts he made in the area of respiratory care school accreditation that ultimately led to the creation of the Joint Review Committee for Inhalation Therapy Education, the precursor to today’s Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care.
He was active in the National Board for Respiratory Therapy (NBRT) – now known as the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) – between 1972 and 1977 and became the first respiratory therapist president of the NBRT in 1975, serving in that capacity for two years. The NBRC’s Robert H. Miller, RRT Award is presented annually by the NBRC to a respiratory therapist or pulmonary function technologist demonstrating outstanding service to the profession and/or the credentialing system.
Miller started his professional life as an operating room technician and was one of the first clinicians selected to be trained in the operation of the open heart surgery bypass machine at Massachusetts General Hospital. He entered the respiratory care profession during its infancy and rose up the ranks to manage the department at Maine Medical Center. After leaving Maine Medical Center, he worked in respiratory home care for 15 years, caring for patients in Maine and New Hampshire. He was especially known for creating unique systems to provide oxygen to patients.
Outside of respiratory care, Miller enjoyed gospel singing and was an avid outdoorsman. He was featured on the cover of the 2005 Maine State Fishing Laws booklet, proudly preparing to release a trophy salmon back into the water.