Respiratory Care Week – October 25 - 31
It took almost 40 years for Respiratory Care Week to become a vehicle to raise awareness about respiratory illnesses and why we need trained respiratory therapists in the healthcare industry. In 1943, Dr. Edwin Levine established a no-frills inhalation program at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago. This program provided on-the-job-training for respiratory therapists to assist post-surgical patients with their respiratory needs. By 1973, the organizations involved in this work became today’s American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC).
Driven by the AARC, President Ronald Reagan issued a proclamation declaring the last full week in October as National Respiratory Therapy Week. The proclamation on September 15, 1983 spells out why this week is so important. “Chronic lung diseases constitute an important health problem in the United States. They afflict nearly 18 million Americans and cause nearly 70,000 deaths each year, many of which are the direct result of cigarette smoking.”
Respiratory Care Week not only shines a spotlight on efforts to reduce disabling lung conditions like asthma and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) but the week is devoted to panel discussions and special events to help raise public awareness about what they can do to reduce devastating lung conditions. Additionally, this week is designed to boost interest on the part of people who might want to become respiratory therapists or other health professionals working in the area of respiratory care. For more information about Respiratory Care Week, click here.
Merakey is grateful to the Respiratory Therapists who work at Merakey AVS locations in Pittsburgh and Patricia Hillman Miller Campus, and the important services they provide to individuals in our care.