Therapists Meet in Tampa for International Meeting
Respiratory therapists from
across the country and around the world will be meeting with the
American Association for Respiratory Care as they convene their
annual International Convention and Exhibition on Nov. 5-8 at the
Tampa Convention Center.
The AARC Congress, the largest
meeting for respiratory therapists in the world, begins with a Keynote
Address given by Grace Anne Dorney Koppel, who is a
COPD patient and spokesperson for the National Heart, Lung and Blood
Institute's Learn More Breathe Better campaign.
COPD is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, now the 3
rd leading cause of death in the U.S.
Koppel will share her own
journey with COPD from her diagnosis in 2001 when doctors told her
she might have only a few more years to live, through her determination
to learn more about the condition and how pulmonary rehabilitation
gave her a second lease on life.
In addition to her work with
the Learn More Breathe Better campaign, Koppel
funded the Grace Ann Dorney Pulmonary &Cardiac Rehabilitation
Center at St. Mary's Hospital in Leonardtown, MD, in early 2010.
The center is the first of what she and her husband, former ABC
Nightline anchor Ted Koppel, hope will be several around the country
aimed at bringing pulmonary rehabilitation to an underserved community.
While most of the convention
is devoted to programming for respiratory therapists, the attendees
at the meeting will reach out to the local public on the day before
with a lung screening and educational program on Friday, Nov. 4
at the Tampa MarriottWaterside. Members of the public are invited
to get a free screening for COPD, and also to hear presentations
to help them learn more about the disease and their lung health.
The free screening is open
from noon to 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 4. Complimentary valet parking
has been arranged at the Tampa Marriott.
The American Association
for Respiratory Care is a 52,000 member professional association
of respiratory therapists. The organization is dedicated to raising
awareness of lung health issues and providing information about
lung disease. The AARC is holding its 57 th AARC Congress in Tampa,