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Awards and Recognition

Apex Recognition Award Information

The AARC Apex Recognition Award is a recognition program for respiratory care departments in acute care hospitals, long-term care facilities, home medical equipment (HME) companies, educational programs, and dedicated transport teams.

AARC developed the Apex Recognition Award to recognize the significant contribution of respiratory therapists and highlight best practices in respiratory care that are aligned with evidence-based medicine. This program will also help consumers choose healthcare facilities that enhance patient safety and outcomes by providing access to respiratory therapists delivering high-quality evidence-based care.

The application period for the 2024–2025 Apex award has closed. The 2025–2026 application cycle will reopen May 1, 2024. Applications will be accepted until June 15. The documentation period will end Aug. 15. Apex recipients will be announced on Oct. 1.

Benefits of Recognition

Earning the Apex Recognition Award distinguishes your facility by demonstrating that it has a commitment to excellence in professional development, evidence-based care, patient safety, and quality improvement. An Apex designation showcases the value of respiratory therapists to your organization and community.

Categories of Recognition

There are currently five categories for recognition: acute care hospitalslong-term care facilitieshome medical equipment (HME) companieseducational programs, and dedicated transport teams. Detailed explanations of the standards and a list of required documentation for each category are provided in the “Standards and Documentation” files below. Please be aware that the requirements have been updated from the previous Standards and Documentation. Read the requirements closely before initiating your application. A complete submission will require that you provide documented evidence for the individual criteria. If the stated requirements cannot be met, the Apex award cannot be granted. 

At the Fall Board Meeting in November 2023, new Apex categories were approved and will be introduced in the next application cycle. These new categories are not yet listed in the files below.

Application Process

  1. Submit your online application with a $250 application fee using the respective “Apply Online” link for your organization category.
  2. Once your payment has been processed you will be contacted within 2 business days with further instructions. If you do not receive an email within 2 business days, please email Lisa Weisenberger .
  3. One or more members of the AARC Apex Committee with experience in your category of recognition will review your application.
  4. The reviewer(s) submit recommendation to the committee. If further documentation is required, the applicant will be contacted by the committee.
  5. Upon achieving the Apex designation, your organization and leadership team are notified with a congratulatory announcement, and presented with a plaque, lapel pins, a PR toolkit and permission to use the AARC Apex Recognition Award logo on your website, social media and other communications.

Apex Recognition Award Deadlines and Details

The application period for the 2024–2025 Apex award has closed. The 2025–2026 application cycle will reopen in 2024. Please be aware that the application requirements have been updated from the previous Standards and Documentation. Read the requirements closely before initiating your application. A complete submission will require that you provide documented evidence for the individual criteria. If the stated requirements cannot be met, the Apex award cannot be granted.

If you have questions about the recognition process or award, please submit the Apex assistance form and a member of the Apex Committee will contact you.