Saturday Gazette

AARC advocates for patients

Respiratory Patient Advocacy Summit

The second annual Respiratory Patient Advocacy Summit took place last night in the Grand Hyatt, giving people with chronic respiratory conditions the opportunity to voice their concerns and hear about new developments from experts gathered here for AARC Congress 2016 this week.

The program featured a talk on asthma delivered by Asthma and Allergy Network CEO Tonya Winders, herself the mother of children with the disease. Father/daughter RRTs Mark and Kimberly Mangus followed with their personal journey through not one but two double lung transplants Kimberly received as a result of her life-long battle with cystic fibrosis.

A moderated roundtable featuring RTs specializing in specific areas of practice took on the issues of CF/COPD telehealth, COPD case management, and pulmonary rehab, with COPD patient Bill Clark joining in to provide the patient’s perspective on community support.

Country & western star Billy Dawson was on hand to entertain the crowd as a special guest of the COPD Foundation.

The Summit was sponsored by Platinum Sponsors Sunovion, Boehringer Ingelheim, and Novartis Pharmaceutical; Silver Sponsors Gilead, Mylan, and Vertex; and Contributing Sponsors Chiesi and the COPD Foundation.

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ARCF fundraiser draws record crowds

Billy Dawson performs at the ARCF fundraiser

Nearly 400 people came together in a one-of-a-kind venue right here in the convention center on Friday night to support the American Respiratory Care Foundation (ARCF).

The Texas-inspired Grotto proved to be the perfect place for supporters to gather for a fabulous meal and brief program honoring ARCF donors and highlighting ARCF activities. Everyone at the event also received a raffle ticket that put them in the running for one of three grand prizes.

  • Claire Aloan MSEd RRT-NPS FAARC went home with a fabulous Marriot Vacation Package.
  • Lenny Nyangwara MS RRT received a voucher for a suite at AARC Congress 2017 in Indianapolis, IN.
  • Amanda Richter MHA RRT-NPS RRT-ACCS RPFT won not one but two pairs of customized cowboy boots.
  • Theresa Sikac MS received a “Made in San Antonio” basket donated by Visit San Antonio.

Additional raffle tickets were also sold for a guitar signed by none other than country & western star Billy Dawson, who not only participated in the entertainment for the evening, but also shared a personal story of how respiratory therapists impacted his family. Susie MacIntyre was the lucky winner of the autographed guitar.

The fundraiser was sponsored by Vapotherm.

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Top performers honored in Awards Ceremony

Congress attendees gather outside the Lila Cockrell Theatre for the awards ceremony

The AARC, NBRC, and CoARC handed out a host of awards to standout professionals in respiratory care during this morning’s awards ceremony. Please join us in congratulating them on their well-deserved honors.

  • Jimmy A. Young Medal: John D. Hiser, MEd, RRT, FAARC
  • NBRC/AMP William W. Burgin Jr. MD and Robert M. Lawrence MD Education Recognition Award: Nkiruka M. Achionye
  • William F. Miller MD Postgraduate Education Recognition Award: Kevin P. Collins, MS, RRT, RPFT, AE-C
  • NBRC/AMP Gareth B. Gish MS RRT Memorial Postgraduate Education Recognition Award: Tabatha M. Dragonberry, MEd, RRT-NPS, AE-C, ACCS, CPFT, C-NPT
  • Morton B. Duggan, Jr., Memorial Education Recognition Award: Kelli E. Sloan
  • Jimmy A. Young Memorial Education Recognition Award: Bethany S. Kosary
  • Charles W. Serby COPD Research Fellowship: Alan H. Greene, RRT
  • Monaghan/Trudell Fellowship for Aerosol Technique Development: Gregory Burns, RRT
  • Philips Respironics Fellowship in Mechanical Ventilation: Gerald Moody, BSRC, RRT-NPS
  • Philips Respironics Fellowship in Non-Invasive Respiratory Care: Shelia Ball, BSRT, RRT, NPS, RC
  • CareFusion Fellowship for Neonatal and Pediatric Therapists: Kathryn E. Clark, BS, RRT-NPS
  • Forrest M. Bird Lifetime Scientific Achievement Award: Marin H. Kollef, MD
  • Dr. Charles H. Hudson Award for Cardiopulmonary Public Health: John R. Garrison, MPA
  • Thomas L. Petty MD Invacare Award for Excellence in Home Respiratory Care: Nicholas J. Macmillan, BGS, RRT, FAARC
  • Mike West MBA RRT Patient Education Achievement Award: Krystal Craddock, RRT-NPS, CCM
  • Jeri Eiserman RRT Professional Education Research Fellowship: Robert T. Dailey, MHA, RRT
  • Mallinckrodt Best Paper Award by Best First Author: David M. Burnett, PhD, RRT, AE-C
  • Draeger Literary Award: Mollie Gowan, PharmaD
  • Albert H. Andrews Jr. MD Memorial Award: Memorial Award: Carl A. Kaplan, MD, FCCC
  • Dr. Ralph L. Kendall Outstanding Site Visitor Award: Tom Baxter, EdD, RRT
  • Héctor León Garza MD Achievement Award for Excellence in International Respiratory Care: Alberto Juan Lopez Bascope, MD
  • International Fellows: Jingen Xia, MS, RRT; Julita V. Toledo, RMT, RTRP, MPA; Marina Labor, MD, PhD
  • Specialty Practitioners of the Year: Adult Acute Care, Ron Pasewald, BS, RRT, RRT-ACCS; Continuing Care/Rehabilitation, Debbie Koehl, MS, RRT-NPS, FAARC; Diagnostics, Ralph W. Stumbo Jr.,  RRT, CPFT; Education, David L. Vines, MHS, RRT, FAARC, FCCP; Long Term Care, Kelly D. Cummings, RRT; Management, Julie Jackson, BAS, RRT-ACCS; Neonatal-Pediatrics, John T. Gallagher, MPH, RRT-NPS, FAARC; Sleep, Jessica M. Schweller, MS, RRT, RN, CNP; Surface & Air Transport, Jon C. Inkrott, RRT-ACCS
  • Zenith Awards: Aerogen, CareFusion, Draeger, Fisher & Paykel, Monaghan Medical, Philips Respironics
  • Honorary Membership: Bruce K. Rubin, MD, MEngr, MBA, FAARC
  • Life Memberships: Colleen L. Schabacker, BA, RRT, FAARC and George W. Gaebler, MSEd, RRT, FAARC
  • AARC Fellows: Mohammed Al Ahmari, PhD, RRT, CTTS, FAARC; R. Kevin Fischer, BS, RRT; Gene Gantt, RRT; Russell Eli Graham, BSRC, RRT, CPFT; Albert J. Heuer, PhD, MBA, RRT, RPFT; Fred Hill, MA, RRT-NPS; Christy Kane, PhD, RRT-NPS; Chuck Menders, RRT-ACCS, AE-C; Matthew J. O’Brien,  MS, RRT, RPFT; Diane R. Oldfather, MHEd, RRT, FAARC; David M. Wheeler, MEd, RRT-NPS; Kari Woodruff, BSRC, RRT-NPS

The following will be recognized in a separate awards ceremony to take place during the Annual Business Meeting tomorrow morning. Congratulations to:

  • Outstanding Affiliate Contributor: Sheri Tooley, BSRT, RRT-NPS, FAARC
  • Jerry Bridgers Delegate of the Year: Teresa Joiner Miller, MEd, RRT, CPFT
  • Bill Lamb Award for Community Service: Anthony Everidge, BA, RRT-NPS
  • Summit Award: Texas Society for Respiratory Care

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Zenith Awards recognize top companies in respiratory care




Fisher & Paykel

Monaghan Medical

Philips Respironics

Our 2016 Zenith Awards went to: Aerogen, CareFusion, Draeger, Fisher & Paykel, Monaghan Medical, Philips Respironics.

All of these companies were selected based on the quality of their products, accessibility of their sales staff, responsiveness, service record, truth in advertising, and support of the respiratory care profession.

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Welcome 2016 class of FAARCs

2016 Fellows of the American Association for Respiratory Care

Twelve outstanding members of the AARC were honored as “Fellows of the American Association for Respiratory Care” during this morning’s Awards Ceremony —

  • Mohammed Al Ahmari, PhD, RRT, CTTS, FAARC
  • R. Kevin Fischer, BS, RRT
  • Gene Gantt, RRT
  • Russell Eli Graham, BSRC, RRT, CPFT
  • Albert J. Heuer, PhD, MBA, RRT, RPFT
  • Fred Hill, MA, RRT-NPS
  • Christy Kane, PhD, RRT-NPS
  • Chuck Menders, RRT-ACCS, AE-C
  • Matthew J. O’Brien,  MS, RRT, RPFT
  • Diane R. Oldfather, MHEd, RRT, FAARC
  • David M. Wheeler, MEd, RRT-NPS
  • Kari Woodruff, BSRC, RRT-NPS

All of these members have excelled in their respective areas of the profession, and we thank them for the value they have added to our field.

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John Hiser receives Jimmy A. Young Medal

Sam Giordano (left) presents the Jimmy A. Young Medal to John Hiser

Like many RTs in his generation, John Hiser, MEd, RRT, CPFT, FAARC, didn’t grow up thinking he wanted to be an RT. He didn’t even know the profession existed.

After high school he tried college for a couple of semesters, majoring in business, but quickly decided it just wasn’t for him. Serving his country sounded like a much better option and he joined the Navy. His journey towards respiratory care began when he reported to the processing center and a recruiter suggested he might like to be a Navy corpsman.

“I didn’t have a clue as to what that was,” says Hiser, and the recruiter was hardly a fountain of information, saying little more than a Navy corpsman worked in Navy hospitals. But he did tell the young man that if he opted for that choice, the recruiter could guarantee him a corps school and the rank of E3 — three steps up from the bottom of the hierarchy for enlisted personnel — right out of boot camp. That was enough to sell Hiser on the opportunity. He signed on the dotted line and was soon off to school. Next stop: the Naval Air Station Hospital in Jacksonville, FL, and a formal introduction to the profession.

“I had been working on an orthopedic ward for a few months when Lieutenant Commander Katie Bartee, the lead nurse for the hospital, came up to me one day and asked me what I thought about becoming an inhalation therapist,” he recalls now. “I asked her if they weren’t the ones that put the tubes down people’s throats.” She said they were indeed, and he said he didn’t think he could do that. But the next day he was receiving an in-service on how to deliver an IPPB treatment, and despite his initial misgivings, before he knew it he was an inhalation therapist.

When he got out of the service, he furthered his education in respiratory care by attending the program at Tarrant County College (TCC), graduating in 1975. Other than the year he spent working on the clinical side of respiratory care right after graduation, he’s been there ever since. Today he’s program director at the school and his colleagues believe he’s played a major role in its success.

“Under John’s leadership TCC has developed an outstanding educational program for respiratory care students,” says TCC RT medical director Woody Kageler, MD, MBA. “He is the ideal role model for young respiratory care practitioners and it is my privilege to work with him and to call him my friend.”

Hiser has taken that mindset to the AARC as well, where he’s served in many capacities, including as president in 2005. He took the lead in AARC international affairs in 2007, when he was appointed chair of the Association’s International Committee, a position he has held ever since.

He is especially proud of the ongoing International Fellowship Program, which has been in operation since 1990. “Thanks to the generosity of several sponsors, the AARC/ARCF have hosted 160 fellows from 65 countries. That has been a wonderful experience for our profession and every time I think about it I can’t believe how lucky I have been to be a small part of it.”

Read more about John Hiser and his contributions to respiratory care and the AARC in your September issue of AARC Times.

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Once in a lifetime Nashville experience!

Congress-goers are getting the chance to purchase raffle tickets for a “Once in a Lifetime Nashville Recording and Songwriting Package” being co-sponsored by Billy Dawson and the AARC to raise funds for the American Respiratory Care Foundation (ARCF).

But you don’t have to be at the meeting, or even be an AARC member or respiratory therapist, to get in the running for this fabulous prize. Anyone who wants to support the research and scholarship activities carried out by the ARCF can purchase a ticket online. Tickets are $25 each and the winner will be drawn on October 28 at the AARC Executive Office in Irving, TX. You do not have to be present to win!

The package includes –

  • Free airfare and a two night stay for two at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville.
  • A songwriting session with Billy, with the song of Billy’s choice to be recorded and taken home by the winner.
  • A 30 minute private concert giving by Billy during the trip.
  • And more!

Purchase your tickets today and encourage your friends, family, and coworkers to do the same!

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We did it!

A GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ official (left) congratulates AARC Executive Director Tom Kallstrom

Anyone who walked into the Opening Ceremonies near the middle of the program this morning probably did a double-take, as thousands of respiratory therapists and other health care professionals were seen blowing on blue and white pinwheels as if their lives depended on it.

What was going on? A world record attempt for the most people blowing pinwheels simultaneously, that’s what! Officials from GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ were on hand to document the achievement, which of course, symbolizes the act of breathing.

Many thanks to the COPD Foundation for donating the pinwheels for the event.

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JR Martinez rocks the keynote with stories of perseverance

J.R. Martinez inspires crowd

Attendees at today’s keynote address rose to their feet to welcome Iraqi war vet J.R. Martinez to the stage and thank him for his service to our country.

The Dancing with the Stars Mirror Ball trophy winner thanked the audience, then turned the tables and asked them to remain standing because he knew there were many other vets in the room who also deserved their appreciation.

Martinez went on to relate his experiences in Iraq, where the Humvee he was riding in back in April of 2003 hit a roadside bomb, leaving him with severe burns and smoke inhalation. He spent the next 34 months in recovery at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, where he said he received the treatment that would help him regain his health and his life.

He shared some stories about his time playing a wounded vet on the daytime soap opera All My Children as well before circling back to an emphasis on health and wellness and the role clinicians like respiratory therapists play in the lives of their patients. He thanked therapists for what they did for him, and he urged them to invite challenge into their lives and their careers.

“Next time you go into a patient’s room, talk with them and earn their trust. Just remember, you’re saving lives every single day,” he told the audience. “You make a difference every day in your patients’ lives.”

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Attendees get up close and personal with respiratory technology

AARC Congress 2016 Exhibit Hall

The Exhibit Hall at AARC Congress 2016 is proving to be the place to see, hear, touch, and sometimes even try out the latest in respiratory care technology. All the leading companies in the industry are there, and the Hall is quickly getting packed with attendees who are learning more about new equipment and products they can put to work in their facilities in 2017. Special deals are part of the mix too, helping some attendees cover the cost of their trip to San Antonio!

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