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The AARC Summit Award

NCSRC Summit Award Narrative – 2009

North Carolina respiratory therapists have been diligently working throughout the state to promote the profession of respiratory therapy, increase public awareness of respiratory related diseases as well as the profession and advocate for our patients through education, presentations, meetings, and legislative actions during the past year.

We are raising the bar in Respiratory Care NC, with the addition of the 1st Baccalaureate Degree Program in Respiratory Care at the University of North Carolina Charlotte (UNCC). The past year has seen it transition from an on-campus pilot program of 7 students, to an online distance learning program in August 2008 with two full-time faculty members and 38 students enrolled. On December 20, 2008, UNCC awarded its first ever baccalaureate degrees in respiratory therapy to three AARC members, and is expected to graduate 20 more in May of 2010. At Duke, Mike Gentile has helped to organize a Journal club that meets monthly to discuss current topics in Respiratory Care.

There has been a plethora of educational opportunities in NC for therapist this year. The 30th annual meeting of the North Carolina Society for Respiratory Care was hosted in Winston Salem on September 9st through September 12th. Guest speakers included Mike Gentile, Neil MacIntyre, Ira Cheifetz, and AARC Chief Operating Officer, Tom Kallstrom. NCSRC sponsored the two winning teams, a student team and a therapist team, from our sputum bowl to compete at the AARC international Congress Quiz Bowl Conference, where Pitt Community College Respiratory Therapy student team went on to win third place. Other educational opportunities included the 23rd annual High Country Conference in Boone, North Carolina which focused on student education, the AARC’s Asthma Educator Certification, the NC Asthma Alliance Asthma Summit, as well as the 8th annual Triad Cardiopulmonary Conference.

As you can see education takes a high priority in North Carolina. But one of the most rewarding is educating the public regarding respiratory matters. There are many Better Breathers Clubs and support groups for pulmonary patients in Forsyth, Gaston, and Lee Counties.

The Community Healthy Living Series (9/1/08-10/16/09 and Jan 22nd, 2009) was presented by Bill Croft including: “Mindful Eating: The Whole Food Plan: Learn the power of incorporating whole foods into your diet in fun and simple ways”, “Food Is Thy Medicine: Eating your way to health! Learn what foods that can work best for heart disease, COPD, and Diabetes”, “Dangerous Combinations! Food and Drugs May Not Always Mix”, “Breathing as a Bridge to Good health: Many cultures believe that the process of breathing is the essence of being”, and “Whole Body Approach to Managing Asthma & Allergies Learn how to take charge of your health by learning the five aspects of health”. They also participated in Wellness Adventure wellness fair that included breathing and stress assessment, BMI, body fat, sleep assessment, PFT’s, oxygen saturation, vital signs, blood sugar, real age assessment, and family history tool; and Moore Fit’s “Eat your Colors” event on Jan 27th, 2009 to improve community wellness in areas of health, fitness and nutrition.