Respiratory therapists everywhere have stood strong this year, showing the world the vital role RTs serve in patient health. The COVID-19 pandemic brought the respiratory therapy profession to the forefront unlike any other time before. The world owes a debt of gratitude to the dedicated RTs who have served on the front lines of the pandemic response every day.
We understand we’ve lost colleagues this year to COVID-19 as a direct result of their work with patients. To honor their sacrifice, the AARC Board of Directors created the COVID-19 RT Fund. This fund sends financial assistance to the surviving families of licensed respiratory therapists who died while caring for patients with COVID-19.
Ventec Life Systems recently donated $10,000 to the RT fund. Ventec’s mission is to “redefine respiratory care to improve patient outcomes and reduce caregiver challenges,” and we appreciate that they are sticking to their mission and care for not only the patient, but for the caregiver. Donations like this one allows the AARC to reach more loved ones and support them during this difficult and challenging season.
“We honor the tireless dedication of all respiratory therapists, especially during Respiratory Care Week,” Thomas Kallstrom, MBA, RRT, FAARC, AARC executive director said. “Throughout this pandemic, RTs have been on the front lines caring for others at their own risk. We appreciate Ventec Life Systems for their support of our COVID-19 RT Fund, which allows us to honor those who died while caring for our patients.
“Respiratory Care Week shines a light on the vital role Respiratory Therapists play, and the COVID-19 pandemic illustrates the bravery and commitment of RTs each and every day,” said Chris Kiple, Chief Executive Officer of Ventec Life Systems. “We are proud to honor the sacrifice of those who dedicated their lives to this profession and in doing so, saved countless lives.”
Through the COVID-19 RT Fund, the AARC grants $500 to the family of each licensed RT who contracted COVID-19 while working and then died from complications of the disease. Two commemorative blocks in the AARC Virtual Museum, one for the RT’s family and one for the RT’s employer, will also be donated.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported over 1,000 health care workers have now died as a result of caring for patients with COVID-19. Since the COVID-19 RT Fund was created the AARC, with the help from companies like Ventec Life Systems, has been able to assist 21 families of RTs who passed while working on the front lines.
“We are proud to support AARC and appreciate their efforts to recognize the heroic dedication of RTs in the face of this pandemic,” Kiple said. “From all of us at Ventec Life Systems, we are honored to support the bravery and dedication of Respiratory Therapists.”
If you become aware of a licensed respiratory therapist who contracted COVID-19 while working and then died from complications of the disease, email firstname.lastname@example.org.