As the year 2000 comes to an end, take a moment to reflect on the important role you have played as respiratory therapists and the gratification you receive from your job. While it is easy to focus on cutbacks and downsizing, try instead to think of all the lives you have touched and the smiles you have put on patients’ faces through the years.

Mary Dekeon, RRT, is an RT who has definitely brought joy to her patients. For the past 10 years, she has dedicated her time and energy to Trail’s Edge Camp for ventilator-dependent children. She started the camp after a mother expressed her need for a 1-week break from caring for her ventilator-dependent child. After 8 months of searching for an appropriate site, obtaining funding, and recruiting volunteers, the camp was successfully established. Not only does this camp provide a great time for the children and a break for the parents, but a deep-seated satisfaction for the volunteers as well.

At the recent AARC meeting in Cincinnati, Dekeon, who is also a member of RT Magazine’s Editorial Advisory Board, was presented with a check for $1,000 on behalf of Trail’s Edge Camp from Thermo Respiratory Group. Her pioneering work has paid off with the creation of a place for ventilator-dependent children to enjoy the normal experience of summer camp. For more information on this story, see page 10.

Further inspiration in this issue comes from John Wolfe, RRT, who writes on the importance of educating patients, parents, and physicians about asthma. Noting that 17 million people suffer from asthma, he expresses the vital importance of creating the most effective program for each patient, which usually includes 10% medication and 90% education. He goes on to discuss 11 ways to educate patients about their condition, including topics like what tools are necessary to provide asthma education at the bedside, how to assist an asthma support group, and how to start a comprehensive asthma education program. With these tools, you can get involved in your community and hospital.

So, as the busy holiday season comes to a close and the dawn of a new millennium approaches, explore the possibilities of creating an educational and innovative working environment in and outside the hospital. And don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back for putting the care in respiratory care.

Happy New Year!
Paige Smith

To the readers
and advertisers

you a healthy
and prosperous 2001.

    Tony Ramos