In the Media

In the Media

Building Awareness Coast to Coast

Many thanks to those in the media who have joined us in spotlighting the lifesaving power of respiratory therapy. Check out the media coverage below and join us in spreading the news that the world needs more respiratory therapists.

Source: WMTV15 News,
April 1, 2024

UW Health introduces first respiratory therapy apprenticeship program

A first of its kind was introduced at UW Health – a respiratory therapy program dedicated to providing access and opportunities for non-traditional students. UW Health says they are the first in the nation to introduce an apprenticeship for respiratory therapy, and their goal is to address the growing need they see in respiratory health care.

Source: Polk Newsroom,
August 23, 2023

Polk State Respiratory Care celebrates another stellar year

Program Director Shana Kent-Smith calls Polk State College’s Respiratory Care Program one of the College’s best-kept secrets, but it is getting plenty of attention nationally and statewide. The Respiratory Care Program is coming off what some might call a banner year. Last month, the program was presented with the Distinguished Registered Respiratory Therapist Credentialing Success Award for the ninth consecutive year.

Source: The Sentinel-Record,
July 28, 2023

NPC respiratory care program secures grant

National Park College recently received a grant from the Roy and Christine Sturgis Charitable and Educational Trust, allowing the college to buy a new ventilator for the respiratory care program. The $36,580 grant was used to purchase a Puritan Bennett 980 Ventilator to train students in the respiratory care program, according to a news release from NPC.

Source: The Transylvania Times,
June 29, 2023

Respiratory therapy program coming to BRCC’s Transylvania Campus

Officials from Blue Ridge Community College and Southwestern Community College announced last week they are launching the Western North Carolina Respiratory Care Consortium, which expands access to respiratory therapy education in the region. Blue Ridge’s Transylvania County Campus will serve as a satellite location for Southwestern Community College’s respiratory therapy program which aims to address the nationwide shortage of healthcare workers.

Source: This Week in Worcester,
June 21, 202

QCC Respiratory Therapist Program Wins National Award

Quinsigamond Community College (QCC) has been recognized as the first respiratory care program in Massachusetts to receive the prestigious President’s Award for Excellence in Credentialing Success from the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). CoARC is responsible for accrediting Entry into Professional Practice respiratory care programs across the United States.

Source: WCAX,

May 24, 2023

New partnership aims to boost number of respiratory therapists

A new partnership aims to recruit more respiratory therapists in a field deemed essential but often overlooked. Students have been able to get trained as respiratory therapists in Vermont for years, but now a new partnership between Vermont State University and the UVM Health Network is trying to match more people to the profession.

Source: Polk State College,

May 4, 2023

Single mom motivated by her son to complete Polk State Respiratory degree

Aleyah Watkins was back in class just 10 days after giving birth to her son. She was a manager at Chuck E. Cheese when motherhood inspired her to seek higher education and a rewarding career. Her 2-year-old son will watch her walk the graduation stage on May 4 during Polk State’s 128th commencement as she receives her Associate in Science in Respiratory Care degree.

Source: mHealth Intelligence,

May 1, 2023

PA Health System Launches Respiratory Therapy Services in Virtual ICUs

Beginning on May 1, Penn State Health will provide respiratory therapy services as part of virtual intensive care unit (ICU) services within two of its medical centers to improve communication between care team members and provide patients with higher-quality care.

Source: 90.5 WESA,

April 5, 2023

To build strong pipes, respiratory therapy patients at AHN pick up the harmonica

A musician needs full lungs to play the harmonica. That makes the pocket-size instrument just what the doctor ordered for respiratory therapy patients at Allegheny Health Network’s West Penn hospital.

Source: Healthy Headlines,

January 31, 2023

After COVID nearly killed her, freshman switched career plans to study respiratory therapy

All walks of life fascinate Kalyn Groncki. So she felt right at home when she enrolled at University of North Carolina Wilmington in 2020 to study biology. But a couple of months into her freshman year, a near-fatal case of COVID-19 also gave her what she now calls a new sense of purpose.

Source: The Daily Advocate,

March 16, 2023

WHC Pulmonary Rehab celebrates 10th anniversary

Wayne HealthCare’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation Center celebrated its 10-year anniversary this week. Initiated by Linda Fridley, CRT, in February 2013, the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program quickly grew into the invaluable patient support system it is today. Physicians, respiratory therapists, and the medical director collaborate to develop individualized treatment plans focused on improving the quality of life and activity levels for patients with pulmonary problems such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Source: South Dakota State University,

August 25, 2022

SDSU to lead $1.545 million BREATHE-SD project, partner with area hospitals

The project aims to increase workforce awareness and provide educational opportunities through recruitment, training and job placement for respiratory therapists in rural South Dakota communities. Dr. Sharrel Pinto, department head of Allied and Population Health at SDSU, is director of BREATHE-SD — “Bringing Resources, Education, Awareness, Training, Holistic care, and Empowerment to South Dakota.”

Source: WVU School of Medicine,

February 13, 2023

WVU School of Medicine plans to launch new respiratory therapy program

Respiratory therapists are in high demand, and the West Virginia University School of Medicine is planning to launch a new respiratory therapy bachelor’s degree program in an effort to not only give students career options but also support and grow critical respiratory services throughout West Virginia and beyond.

Source: Forbes Health,

January 26, 2023

Breathwork: What Is It And How Does It Work?

Breathwork is a broad term that encompasses various exercises involving the breath that “facilitate physical, mental and emotional healing,” according to Mandy DeVries, a registered respiratory therapist based in South Carolina and director of education at the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC). Breathwork can encompass anything from simply being conscious and mindful about your breath to purposefully influencing it through specific steps.

Source: Fox43,

January 27, 2023

Pa. hospitals facing 30% staffing shortages

A recent study by the Hospital and Health System Association of Pennsylvania says three out of 10 positions remained vacant at the end of last year. The positions include registered nurses, medical assistants, respiratory therapists, and nurse practitioners.

Source: RT Magazine,

October 24, 2022

The Respiratory Therapist Shortage: Why Healthcare Must Invest in RTs

Healthcare organizations, industry associations, RT schools and even industry partners (eg, respiratory equipment manufacturers and service providers) must come together and act now to invest in the field of respiratory care and those working in the profession.

Source: LancasterOnline (LNP),
March 13, 2022

A Respiratory Therapist Tells of this Pandemic’s ‘Hard Days’ and His Hope for Better Ones

“I am emerging from the pandemic a different person than I was just two years ago. Before COVID-19, I am not sure many people knew what a respiratory therapist does. Put simply, we treat people who have problems with their lungs and breathing, using therapies or devices to do so. Because COVID-19 is a virus that causes severe inflammation of the lungs, respiratory therapists were on the front lines during the pandemic

Source: Ottawa Citizen,
March 11, 2022

Unsung health-care heroes in Ottawa getting more recognition

They have long been the unsung heroes of health care, but the pandemic has thrust respiratory therapists into an unfamiliar spotlight. At the beginning of the pandemic, Patel was part of a team coming up with plans to manage patients whose conditions might deteriorate quickly and require intervention to help them breathe.

March 25, 2022

UT respiratory therapist brings caring element during frightening times

Kerri Jordan has been one of the unsung heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic. The respiratory therapist at UT Medical Center has helped countless survivors suffering lung damage get their quality of life back. The hospital recently put the spotlight on Jordan and her team.

Source: The Loop UI Health Care, University of Iowa,
Jan. 5, 2022

40 years of critical care: One respiratory therapist’s experience in the MICU

From an early age, Lynn Mellecker knew she wanted to be a respiratory therapist and knew where she wanted to work: University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics. This stems, in part, from the care her older brother received here for spina bifida. “After I graduated high school, I said to myself, ‘Oh, I need to go work there,’” Mellecker, senior respiratory therapist in the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU), says.

Image from news story titled, "Number of respiratory therapy students on the rise to help fight COVID-19"

Source: ABC Action News/WFTS Tampa Bay, FL,
Nov. 8, 2021

Number of respiratory therapy students on the rise to help fight COVID-19

The need for respiratory therapists has increased 23 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. “It is definitely possible to go directly from high school into this program and continue if you have the drive and work ethic to do it,” said Clarence Weaver, a student of Concorde Career Institute’s respiratory therapy program.

Source: WXIA-TV, Atlanta, GA, September 27, 2021

‘Looking at a mirror reflection’ | Respiratory therapist at CHOA was once a patient

Fredrick Menard knows what it’s like to be a patient at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Nearly thirty years later, he’s caring for patients like himself.

Source: M Health Fairview, October 25, 2021

Respiratory therapist saves lives two miles above the earth

Performing life-saving procedures in a helicopter or scrubbing in for complex heart surgeries? It’s all in a day’s work for Respiratory Therapist Cindy Hacker, RRT, NPS, who helps critically ill people keep breathing.

Source: WTVD-TV, Raleigh, N.C., October 28, 2021

Raleigh man credits Duke respiratory therapists for saving him from COVID-19

This week celebrates respiratory therapists and the care they provide their patients. A Raleigh man said it’s because of a respiratory therapist team that he survived COVID-19 and said honoring them for one week is just not enough.

Respiratory therapist on treating COVID patients and the shortage of respiratory care practitioners

Source: ABC11 News, Raleigh, N.C., Sept. 19, 2021

Local respiratory therapist describes ‘heartbreaking’ job as North Carolina faces shortage

“A lot of people don’t know who we are and what we do. … We work on the front lines. We work on the ventilators, all the oxygen equipment, all the breathing equipment. We are in high demand,” said Brandii Smithson, respiratory therapist. That demand is putting a strain on her patient load as her and her team members triage people at the hospital.

Source: KMBC-TV, Kansas City, MO, January 29, 2021

Respiratory therapist at KU health system given Super Bowl tickets

Michelle Rotrock, RRT, RRT-ACCS, has been on the front lines fighting COVID-19 since the very beginning of the pandemic.

Source: WLS-TV, Chicago, IL, November 24, 2020

Respiratory therapists struggle to keep up with COVID-19 demands

Hospitals are seeing a shortage of Respiratory Therapists.

Source: The Washington Post, October 19, 2020

This hospital worker’s ability to adapt has attracted the attention of an NFL quarterback

Savannah Stuard is a respiratory therapist who works with covid-19 patients at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans. She is used to people doing a double take when they see her providing bedside care, because Stuard was born without a left lower arm and hand.

Source: HealthLeaders Media, August 5, 2020

Coronavirus: Providing Respiratory Therapy on Frontline of the Pandemic

A respiratory therapist who traveled to New York City during The Big Apple’s coronavirus patient surge shares her story.

Source: Chicago Tribune, Chicago, IL, August 4, 2020

One of the biggest hurdles for COVID-19 patients is breathing. Respiratory therapists help make it happen, but the field is dwindling.

Often unsung in the COVID-19 crisis, respiratory therapists focus on helping people breathe — job duties include managing ventilation and artificial airways and assessing breathing challenges — and that means they play a large role in the treatment of coronavirus patients.

Source: WPVI-TV, Philadelphia, PA, July 21, 2020

Hometown Hero: South Jersey Respiratory Therapist Beats COVID-19

A Cape May, New Jersey respiratory therapist is set to go back to work after a bout with the coronavirus.

Source: News, July 6, 2020

Respiratory Therapists Lend Special Expertise to Keep COVID Patients Breathing Easier

When COVID-19 arrived — imperiling the sickest patients’ ability to breathe — the role of the respiratory therapist took on a new urgency.

Source: The Vent Room Podcast, May 31, 2020

The Vent Room Podcast: The Role of the NBRC

Listen as Dr. Tabatha Dragonberry and NBRC CEO Lori Tinkler discuss the role of the NBRC, the Credential Maintenance Program, and the More RTs campaign.

Respiratory Therapists on a Zoom call with GMA's T.J. Holmes and Gal Gadot/Wonder Woman

Source: Good Morning America, May 27, 2020

Gal Gadot surprises a superhero group of front-line heroes

This inspiring video from Good Morning America celebrates the heroic work of respiratory therapists and all front-line healthcare professionals. Watch as Wonder Woman herself pops in to sing their praises – “You are the real heroes…I salute you!”

Source: News, May 22, 2020

Front-Line Pandemic Work Raises Interest in Respiratory Therapy Careers

Up eight percent from the same time last year, Rush University’s College of Health Sciences has seen greater interest in the Respiratory Care master’s degree program.

Source: Rocket-Miner, May 18, 2020

Behind every ventilator is a respiratory therapist

Respiratory therapists nationwide are in the thick of the outbreak, managing ventilators and assisting with intubation. Increased demand for therapists during the pandemic has highlighted a shortage that has persisted for years. The shortage exists in part due to a low awareness of the profession.

Respiratory therapist shares experience from front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic

Source: WTKR News 3, Coastal VA & Northeast NC, May 12, 2020

Virginia Beach respiratory therapist shares experience from front lines of the pandemic in NYC

Darla Grese, a respiratory therapist from Norfolk, Va., left her family and job to take on the COVID-19 crisis in New York City during its peak of new cases. Five weeks later, she says she will never be the same because of the experience.

Healthcare professional looking at lung images. Media Source: MedPageToday

Source: MedPage Today, May 4, 2020

Respiratory Therapists Play Critical Role in COVID-19 Pandemic
Respiratory therapists in the country’s hot spots are responding to unprecedented challenges from COVID-19:  “Everyone here, they’re all stricken by this virus and they’re fighting for their life.”

Source: Providence Journal, May 2, 2020

‘We’re not used to seeing patients so sick’
The care they provide, the emotions they feel, their concerns for their safety and for the families they go home to — this is life on the front lines for respiratory therapists treating coronavirus patients in intensive care units.

Source: News, May 1, 2020

Second Year Respiratory Care Master’s Students Gain Valuable Real-Time Experience

At Rush University Medical Center, a group of respiratory care 2nd-year master’s students are gaining valuable real-time experience working side-by-side with respiratory therapists.

Healthcare professionals giving in-patient hospital care . Media Source: WUSA-9

Source: WUSA-9, Washington, D.C., May 1, 2020

Unsung heroes of COVID-19: respiratory therapists
As they work tirelessly to give the breath of life to critically ill patients, respiratory therapists are exhausted from their long hours and increased demand, but they wouldn’t have it any other way.

Lori Tinkler of NBRC being interviewed by KSHB-41 News

Source: KSHB-41, Kansas City, Mo., April 30, 2020

Respiratory therapists: ‘Unsung heroes’ in the fight against COVID-19 

At patients’ bedside to manage ventilation systems and breathing tubes, respiratory therapists are a vital part of critical care teams:  “We are the ones that help keep you breathing.”