Marian Benjamin

Marian Benjamin

This month we present our first annual Best in Respiratory Care nominees. Here are a few examples of their accomplishments.

James L. Gooch, RRT-NPS, MHS, of the UAMS All for Kids Pediatric Clinic in Texarkana, Ark, is a 16-year volunteer for CHAMP Camp, based in Indianapolis. The camp serves children ages 6 and older who have tracheostomies and/or require respiratory assistance. Many of them have unique physical challenges, including quadriplegia.

Veronica Burke, CRT, and Denise Holt, CRT, of St Joseph Healthcare in Bangor, Maine, manage The Better Breathers Club in their area. Many of the members are on oxygen 24/7 and have trouble getting around, and still Veronica and Denise have taken them on a boat ride on a local lake and on a carriage ride through Acadia National Park.

Teresa Batten, RRT-NPS, and Paul Keene, RRT, AE-C, of WakeMed in Raleigh, NC, on their own time, instructed and certified an entire fire department in Basic Life Support.

Garner Faulkner II, RRT, BA, BS, manager of respiratory care at the University of California San Diego Medical Center, has recently participated to raise money for the American Lung Association Fight for Air Climb and helps to build houses for Habitat for Humanity. In addition to his 50 to 60 hours at UCSD, he teaches classes in the respiratory therapy department at Grossmont College in El Cajon.

These are but a few examples of what RTs are doing to give back to their communities. But, to a person, they all give back to their departments and advance the profession of respiratory therapist, also.

Mary Skowronski, RRT, director of clinical education at Cuyahoga Community College in Parma, Ohio, for instance, has initiated the student interviews and assessment of standardized patients (community members who act as patients via a script). She has her students’ actions recorded on CD and then evaluates their interactions with the “patients.” She has established preclinical workshops with human patient simulators and various workstations.

Tabitha Singleton, RRT, of Stevens Henager College in Salt Lake City, committed herself to “reviving” the respiratory therapy program at SHC for the past 2 years. She has been the program director, curriculum developer, faculty trainer, and instructor. Because of her dedication and efforts, the program was awarded continuing education accreditation in April 2010.

Nominees have won multiple awards for professional excellence, been published in numerous professional journals, developed and implemented educational programs in their facilities, and presented at their state and national societies and associations. This is truly an outstanding group of professionals, and I wish I had space to include the accomplishments of every one of them. Respiratory therapists should be proud to be a part of this stellar group.
—Marian Benjamin