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American Association for Respiratory Care

American Association for Respiratory Care Honors Specialty Practitioners of the Year

Media Alert: A member of your community is named in this release.

Dallas, TX (December 7, 2012) - The American Association for Respiratory Care, a 52,000-member national association for respiratory therapists, honored nine of their members with Specialty Practitioner of the Year awards at its recent International Respiratory Congress held in New Orleans, LA.

These therapists have excelled in the care and treatment of patients with lung disease in specific settings or specialties within respiratory care practice. The award recipients are:

Adult Acute Care Section:
Eric Kriner, BS, RRT—Elliott City, MD
Continuing Care & Rehabilitation Section:
Arianna Villa, BS, RRT—San Diego, CA
Diagnostics Section:
Mary Lackey, RRT, CPFT—Rockford, IL
Education Section
Douglas S. Gardenhire, EdD, RRT-NPS—Kennesaw, GA
Long-Term Care
Yolanda Petty, RRT—Mascot, TN
Management Section:
Bill Roberts, BA, RRT—Sioux Falls, SD
Neonatal/Pediatric Section
Ron DiBlasi, BSRT, RRT-NPS, FAARC—Snoqualmie, WA
Sleep Section
Karla Smith, BS, RRT, RPSGT—Bismarck, ND
Surface and Air Transport Section
Richard Mitchell, RRT-NPS—White River Junction, VT

These individuals distinguished themselves in their specialty area of practice among all others throughout the country. They were nominated for the honor by a peer and chosen by the chairman or a committee of their particular Specialty Section within the AARC.

Respiratory therapists are specialized health care providers who take care of people with lung conditions ranging from asthma to COPD. They work throughout the acute care hospital on the general floors, in the emergency department, and in the intensive care units, and are also increasingly working in sleep centers, physician offices, outpatient clinics, pulmonary rehabilitation programs, skilled nursing facilities, and in patients’ homes.


RRT stands for Registered Respiratory Therapist
RRT-NPS stands for Registered Respiratory Therapist-Neonatal Pediatric Specialist
RPFT stands for Registered Pulmonary Function Technologist
RPSGT stands for Registered Polysomnographic Technologist
CPFT stands for Certified Pulmonary Function Technologist

About the AARC

The American Association for Respiratory Care is a 52,000 member professional association of respiratory care professionals. The organization is dedicated to encouraging and promoting professional excellence, advancing the science of respiratory care, and serving as an advocate for patients, their families and the public.

Further information about the AARC and how to become a respiratory therapist are available at www.AARC.org

Contact: Sherry Milligan