2015 Connections


Dave Burnett, PhD, RRT, AE-C, between Travis Martin and Emily Horstmeyer, visited the Rotunda at the State Capitol in Topeka for Undergraduate Research Day on February 11, 2015.  Emily and Travis are two University of Kansas Respiratory Care Bachelors of Science students.  They presented their research on the Prevalence of Exercise Induced Bronchoconstriction in a poster presentation. 

According to Travis, “This research day has been a great learning experience and an opportunity to see what other students from around Kansas are studying and researching”.

2014 Connections

The KRCS provided a DRIVE4COPD booth at the Marysville Kansas Big Blue River Days and Auto Festival on Saturday June 7, 2014.

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Very Nice Article in the Summer Edition of the KU Medical Center Kansas Connections
Magazine. It features the Breathe Better Program of Community Memorial Healthcare, Inc
in Marysville Kansas and their respiratory care Department.

Click Here to read about the program

to read the whole magazine click on the picture below

The KRCS had a booth at this years ALA Fight for Air Climb. The event was held at Cessna Stadium on the WSU campus in Wichita.

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2013 Connections
  • St. Francis
    Health - Topeka
  • Journeys & Destinations
  • Citizens Medical
    Center - Colby
  • Leadership
  • Marysville
    Blue River Days

Mark Brady took this picture on Saturday the 23rd of February at an event called Day of Dance sponsored by St Francis Health Center in Topeka.  Day of Dance is a part of Spirit of Women and is a combined health fair and healthy living event.  Mark states, "there were approximately 500 attending the event, with dozens of vendors." In the three hours of the fair they performed 93 screening spirometries. Pictured with Regina Huff (left to right), a therapist from St. Francis, are two Washburn University 1st year students (Andrea Gould and Kevin Young).


“Pay it Forward”

Promoting the profession and “paying it forward” to the next generation of therapists is the goal of KRCS Board of Director members, Karen Schell, RRT from Emporia and Charity Clark, RRT from Wichita. They spent March 27th doing just that for the second year in a row at Eudora, Kansas.


“Journeys and Destinations” a career day for High School students in NE Kansas, sponsored by KU, hosted about 200 students representing 10 schools. A wide variety of health related careers (12) to consider upon graduation with one being Respiratory Therapy were present.  Over 100 students during five 30 minute sessions had an opportunity to learn about the field of Respiratory Care. Charity and Karen aired the “Breath and Life” video from the AARC and gave specific information on how to become a therapist and professional while sharing their experiences through school and the profession. Students ranged from freshmen to seniors and were guided on proper preparation for a life-long learning career in the field of Respiratory Care.


You can be part of the movement, pay it forward in your hospital, hometown school, or community. Just ask Karen and Charity, they will help you get started in moving the next generation to a rewarding career.

You can contact Karen at or Charity at

"We may be small, but we do big things!"  

This is the motto of the Cardiopulmonary Department of Citizens Medical Center in Colby, Kansas. There have always been Respiratory therapist in the Colby hospitals; first at the Thomas County Hospital, which later became CMCI, but they have come a long way in the last 10 years. Nancy Mitchell RRT/NPS, the department director, says it all came together because of being at the right place at the right time and having the support of the providers and administration but her staff will say it is because she is constantly looking for new sources of revenue and progressive ways to evolve beyond the stereotypical small town respiratory department.

The Medical Director of the Respiratory Department at CMC I is Dr. Darren Matchell, a former respiratory therapist, who understands the importance of a strong, patient-care focused, progressive Respiratory Therapy Department for the success of any hospital, especially one in rural America during this time of health care uncertainty and upheaval. Dr. Matchell speaks highly of the department saying it is the best RT department in Northwest, Kansas by far and the pulmonary patients get much better care because it is so progressive. Dr. Matchell, along with other providers, work closely with each therapist trusting the process of a solely therapist driven protocol based department. 

CMCI has three full time therapist and four PRN therapist and are hiring another full time therapist in May-making the department fully staffed. They staff the department 7 days a week and are available 24 hours a day; either in-house or on-call.  Respiratory Therapy at CMCI is entirely protocol driven, maximizing the assessment and critical thinking abilities and talents of the staff as well as easing the burden on the providers.  They provide a plethora of services to include a wide range of floor therapy from aerosol therapy, heliox therapy, hyperinflation therapy, real-time arterial blood gases testing/analysis, non-invasive ventilation as well as having adult and neonate ventilation capabilities; to have these capabilities in Rural Kansas is not only unique but fortunate. CMCI’s cardiopulmonary department also provides many outpatients testing to include: EEG testing, complete pulmonary function testing, nuclear cardiac stress testing, holter and event monitoring, a cardiac rehabilitation program and in June will be starting pulmonary rehabilitation and the most recent successful addition to the Respiratory Therapy repertoire at CMCI is our outpatient bronchiolitis clinic (OBC). OBC is where parents and guardians of children with RSV can bring them to be seen by the CMC Respiratory Department for assessment and treatment. Last year, when the service began, eight patients were referred to the OBC; this year we had 10 referrals in the first few weeks and as of this date have over 50 totals.

Many may think these numbers and all these things are small but for Colby and Thomas County it is huge. Just think, Colby is a town of approximately 5400 people, the county has just less than 8000 so for a department to be so progressive and cutting edge speaks volumes of the respect the hospital administration and providers have for the field of Respiratory Therapy and the Respiratory therapist at CMCI.
While they may be a small department, the Respiratory therapist at Citizen's Medical Center in Colby, Kansas continue to be on the cutting edge of respiratory care and will continue to push for better patient care and bigger things for the hospital and for their patients.  

Glenn & Troy

Troy Gooch, KRCS President Elect and Glenn Tamman, Treasurer Elect attended the Leadership workshop in Dallas, Texas on April 13, 14, and 15. The AARC and local affiliates fund the workshop to develop leadership within each state society. Each affiliate has the opportunity to send key members of the board to promote leadership growth and provide information to assist in growing the organization and membership.

The workshop started with a reception with the attendees and representatives from the AARC BOD where time was spent networking and getting to know each other. On Sunday, the President of the AARC welcomed the group followed by various presentations from the AARC office and board ranging from fiduciary responsibilities, governmental affairs both state and local, membership drive, preparing legislative day at state capitals, web page, educational opportunities, and subjects ranging from affiliate best practices to strategic planning. The following Monday, the group toured the AARC office and followed up with questions and answers before flying out in the afternoon.  The KRCS has sent representatives to the workshop since its inception and has benefited from the information. Thank you Troy and Glenn for attending and bringing back important information to the KRCS community!

Big Blue River Days Marysville, Kansas

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2012 Connections
  • Newman Regional Health
  • WW II
    Honor Flight
  • Washburn
  • Community Memorial
    Healthcare - Marysville
  • Gove County
    Medical Center

On the front porch of the Kansas Flint Hills we found a vibrant and dynamic group of Respiratory Therapists. The Cardiopulmonary team plays a vital role in the healing vision of Newman Regional Health located in Emporia Kansas. Per the hospital website,, this 53 bed governmental entity operates on a not-for-profit basis and serves 7 area counties. Uniquely, Newman Regional Health is a county hospital; however, it is not financially supported by Lyon County. The hospital is completely supported by generous donations and payment for services. In fact this health system is named for a local business man; Mr. George Newman, who donated $50,000 in 1922 to assist in the build of the original hospital. Today Newman Regional Health remains a local hospital; owned by the people of Lyon County and governed by a Board of Trustees made up of community leaders. They are supported by a strong and very active auxiliary that helps fuel the passion to serve.

DeptResp Care

With a strong presence of community and generosity, it is no surprise that the Cardiopulmonary Department takes pride in serving this area of Kansas both within the hospital walls and out in the neighborhoods. The department consists of 12 staff members: 10 Respiratory Therapists and 2 Registered Nurses. The Cardiopulmonary department works together to serve in cardiac rehab, acute care, rehabilitation and the sleep center. The teamwork we witnessed is phenomenal. The different areas work together and help each other meet the patients' needs. The team self schedules and works on their own to low work as necessary to assure they are adhering to the Core Value, Stewardship, and meeting set targets. Their flexibility to help out in any area of the department truly exhibits commitment and dedication to the overall mission. When visiting with some of the therapists the common theme of why they remained dedicated over many years was the sense of family across all disciplines. Members of the team shared that they are respected as an equal on the patient care team and through that felt other members of the team were receptive to suggestions. The Cardiopulmonary department prides itself with use of many different protocols and order sets per the Respiratory Therapist. This allows the therapists to have autonomy and assure what is the best treatment for the patient. Working well with other departments makes it easy to be patient care focused.

Judy, Karen, & SharonPowered by Pink
Judy McCoy, RRT, Karen Schell, Director, & Sharon Williams, Supervisor

Excellence is the standard in the Cardiopulmonary department which coincides with Newman Regional Health's commitment to "continuous improvement in everything we do with exceeding customer expectations as our goal" as stated in their Core Value of Quality. All Cardiopulmonary staff maintain multiple certifications and believes education is important. Every therapist at Newman Regional Health holds the BLS, ACLS, PALS, NRP and STABLE certifications and some therapists are also Hazmat trained. The team diligently works to assure multiple accreditations for different areas. In fact they proudly became the first department in Kansas to hold the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR) accreditation. Way to lead, Newman Regional Health!!!!


The Cardiopulmonary department's drive to excel, teamed with their commitment to serve, produces a dynamic combination for this community. In addition to the acute care provided in the hospital, the therapists flex to provide outstanding outpatient services as well. Active in the Cardiac Rehab classroom, therapists help lead exercise and education classes for 50-70 patients each day. They provide a place for networking, education and social time for this patient population, too. Respiratory Therapists at Newman Health provide multiple services for outpatients including event monitoring/Halter monitoring, complete PFTs, EEGs, outpatient respiratory therapy treatments and sleep diagnostics through an American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) accredited Sleep Lab.

JudySleep Room
Judy Dieker, RRT

A common compassion for the community and those they serve is echoed throughout the department and supported by the hospital. Recently, therapists from Newman Health were able to purchase 2,000 bags and shirts, with hospital funding, to use in company screenings for COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). They started with a local company, Hills Pet Foods, at a health fair and expanded from there. They have also set a goal to screen 80% of the staff at the hospital.
The department's staff provides in-services for nursing and education at the community college on a regular basis. They also provide community education on disease screening and prevention. Sharon Williams, Cardiopulmonary supervisor, can attest to the community education provided by the department personally. She sought education after her son was diagnosed with asthma, and from that experience, was successfully recruited to become a Respiratory Therapist herself.
This group of amazing therapists in Emporia can identify in many ways how they have touched many lives over the years, but at the same time share how many of their patients have touched their lives, too. They have goals to make a difference here in Kansas and across the world. They actively support missions abroad in Ghana as well as those they serve in Emporia. The amount of compassion this group of Respiratory Therapists offers every day to so many people is truly amazing!!

Newman COPD BagGhana Gifts

Pat Munzer, Delegate and Karen Schell HOD Speaker from the Kansas Affiliate participated in an Honor Flight of World War II Veterans Friday Sept. 7th and Saturday, Sept. 8th in Washington D.C.

The pair met World War II Vets from Dallas through the Dallas Fort Worth Honor Flight at American Airlines on Friday morning in D.C. Along with 40 vets and their guardians the two teamed up with the medical team to provide care to those patients while visiting the War memorials and Arlington Cemetery. Many of the Veterans were unable to walk, were on oxygen, and had special medical needs. John Hiser RRT from Texas is part of the Honor Flight and made an appeal at the Summer HOD meeting for needed volunteers so Pat and Karen took him up on it. They flew into Washington and were able to assist with the Vets, help load them up on tour buses and in touring the monuments while providing supportive care.

The experience was overwhelming and was filled with emotions, memories, and special connections with those individuals that have served our country. Pat and Karen enjoyed the weekend and loved being part of the honor given to our World War II Veterans. If you are interested in participating in the future, please feel free to contact either Pat or Karen. They highly recommend the experience!

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Students serve to save lives

Six students in the Washburn University Respiratory Therapy program and the program director recently traveled to Manhattan, KS to help the Anthony Bates Foundation provide free heart screenings.

Anthony Bates was a Kansas State football player who died in 2000 at age 20, after a routine morning practice. It was discovered after his death that he had an enlarged heart. His condition, Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, may have been detectible with a screening and could have been treated.

"It was a really good cause," said Desiree Heinemann, one of the Washburn students who volunteered at the screening event. "I really feel all universities should do something like this."

After Anthony's death, his mother, Sharon Bates, started a foundation in her son's memory with the goal of stopping preventable hypertrophic cardiomyopathy deaths by providing free heart screenings to athletes.
According to the foundation, athletes with undetected heart conditions such as HCM are at risk because exertion during exercise and the transition in the cool-down phase can cause sudden cardiac arrest.

On Sept. 16, the Washburn students helped provide electrocardiograms, or EKGs, to about 300 students of Kansas State University. The students were members of the football team, cheerleading squad and marching band. The Washburn students involved were Renae Hagemann, Haylee Nguyen, Melanie Calkins, Ashley Smith, Donni Yoder and Desiree Heinemann.

Washburn Group
Rusty Taylor, director of the respiratory therapy program in the School of Applied Studies said his students volunteer their skills in a variety of ways, performing asthma screening, pulmonary function screening, raising awareness of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, known as COPD, and as in this recent case, performing heart screenings.
Heinemann, a junior from Olathe, Kan., said she appreciated the chance to put what she is studying in to practice through service "Most people with heart problems don't even realize they have one until they are in critical condition or it is too late.""It was a really good learning experience," she said. "We're doing something good. We're studying to serve."

Community Memorial Healthcare (CMH) is located in Marysville, Kansas. Marysville is a community of about 3,500 located 50 minutes north of Manhattan.  CMH is a twenty-five bed, not-for profit critical access hospital. In March of 2011, CMH opened the doors to a new $17.3 million state-of-the-art hospital facility. Emphasis in the new 50,000 square foot hospital facility is placed on patient care areas to allow CMH staff to better serve the needs of patients and families, with vast improvements made in accessibility, enhanced services, and patient privacy. Community Memorial Healthcare offers a wide range of services, including prevention, diagnosis, inpatient and outpatient treatment, rehabilitation, transitional care, home health, wellness and education. CMH also operates four rural health clinics.

Community Memorial Healthcare is staffed with three full-time, one PRN Respiratory Therapists and one Sleep Technician. Cheryl Skinner, BA, RRT, serves as the Director of CardioPulmonary Services at CMH. Other respiratory therapy staff include: Phillip Caswell, CRT; Danielle Dalinghaus, CRT; Jamie Tiemeyer BS, CRT; and Roxanne Woodside, CRT, RPSGT.

 For Respiratory Care Week, staff celebrated on Monday with a jelly bean (sputum) guessing contest and received a surprise jackpot of candy provided from the former Director of CardioPulmonary Services, Nancy Fennell, RRT.

In-service/luncheons were held on Tuesday and Thursday. Jerry Coleman, RRT and Trish Roudybush, representatives of Community Medical Equipment presented an in-service over CPAP/BiPAP machines used in many homes of Marysville residents. (A little side note, Jerry Coleman introduced the field of Respiratory Therapy to Karen Schell)

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Wednesday, the Respiratory Therapists provided an open house to hospital staff and visitors. The therapists manned different stations to promote the field of Respiratory Therapy, COPD awareness, smoking cessation and education about different respiratory diseases. Hospital staff and visitors were able to use different colors of frosting to frost lung cookies with different types of respiratory diseases. Pink was for healthy lungs, Red was for Asthma, Blue for COPD, Green was Cystic Fibrosis, Yellow was Pneumonia, Tuberculosis was Pink with a glob of white frosting in the upper lobe of the lung, Atalectasis was pink with sprinkles in the lower lung lobes and a pneumothorax was represented by the color pink with a smashed lower lobe of the lung. The hospital staff and visitors loved the “smoked” pig lung that was on display.

Casual for a cause was held on Friday with the proceeds going the Marshall County Food Pantry. A staff member from Radiology had the winning guess of jelly beans with 1426; the actual number of jelly beans was 1429! WOW!  

Community Memorial Healthcare Respiratory Therapists would like to thank the KRCS for the use of the Speaker Kit/Promotional Suitcase.

By Nancy Mitchell


Quinter Kansas is a small rural town in Northwest Kansas.  It is located about 55 miles from the Kansas/Colorado border, just off I-70.  US Route 40 passes just south of the city.  The last census showed a population of 960.  Like many rural towns in Northwest Kansas, Quinter still has a hospital;  Gove County Medical Center is a critical access hospital, but what makes it unique is that it has a relatively new department-Respiratory.

Gove County Respiratory Care department has been open since October 2007.
Marlyce Campbell, who is the director of the department, was the driving force who made this possible.  Around 2003, she was approached by some employees of Gove County Medical Center, along with some patients, and asked if she would be interested in bringing her expertise to Quinter.  Marlyce had been a manager for many years and starting up a new department was in her repertoire.  She finally conceded after a personal change in her life.  As Marlyce puts it “in a weak moment”, she decided to take on this challenge.

She says to start up a department you have to be passionate about your profession, have dedication and determination to see it through.  It is not easy with limited resources to offer quality respiratory care at a reasonable cost.  Marlyce said, “being an AARC member has really paid off.”  She used AARC Connect to stay on track, help with coding, to see what others were doing in similar departments, and to help establish guidelines to follow.  She also used a network of managers to help build policies and for feedback.  Once the department was established, she also networked with NWKS Technical College.  GCMC became a site for clinical visits.  Marlyce was hoping to find the perfect therapist to begin working for her.

She said finding a qualified therapist has been the hardest task; asking someone to work in a rural area of less than 1000 people is difficult.  She stated when she finds a qualified therapist, finding housing is almost impossible.  She currently staffs her department with three fulltime therapists (two who live in Quinter), and 4 PRN employees.  Her staffing hours are 6am – 8pm, 7 days-per-week.  They do not take call after hours, but if there is an emergent call, she or the other therapist who lives in town will come in.  

Many therapists who work in larger facilities cannot imagine this type of practice; nursing does some of the late night procedures.  But this is the way small departments survive.  Some has to be better than none.  To be able to provide quality respiratory care to patients, to teach nurses and physicians the importance and skills Respiratory brings to a hospital, the RT must be an expert.  Statistics show hospitals that have respiratory therapist care for their patients have a decreased length of stay.  That fact has been proven at GCMC.

The GCMC respiratory department offers the following modalities of care:  Heliox therapy, overnight oximetry, aerosol therapy, oxygen therapy, bronchial hygiene, and bedside PFT’s.  They offer respiratory education to their patients and service the concentrators and portable oxygen devices in the long term care unit attached to the hospital.

Marlyce says this is the most challenging job of her career, due to location, lack of services in the town, and the culture of some of the physicians.  Some physicians do not understand that DuoNeb treatments four times per day are not the cure-all for everything.  But she is trying to educate.

When I asked Marlyce what her proudest moment at GCMC was, I expected her to say it was the day she got everything in place and gave her first procedure in her newly founded department.  I was surprised when she told me it was the gratitude of the community for a growing, viable respiratory department.  Community members feel they are getting better faster because their hospital has a respiratory department.  They appreciate what the field of respiratory brings to their hospital.

Before the department was started, pediatric populations were hospitalized for weeks at a time because of the lack of expertise.  Marlyce said she has received more memorials and accolades while working in her department in these last 75 months, than in her entire career.  She admits it was a hard journey, but she has had the help of some great therapists. 

I think what the Respiratory Department is doing in Quinter is amazing.  I applaud all Marlyce Campbell has accomplished.  She started a respiratory department, and developed a team of hard working dedicated therapists who are all AARC members.

I feel bad that I do not have pictures to share on the website.  Gove County Medical Center has a hospital policy that does not allow cameras or cell phones while on the premises.  I am sorry I could not take pictures of this amazing group of pioneers.  What a success story.

2011 Connections
  • Susan B. Allen
    Memorial Hospital
    El Dorado
  • William Newton
  • Newman University
    RC Program
  • KRCS 34th Annual
  • Via Christi
    Home Medical
  • KU Medical Center
    Kansas City
  • Hays Medical Center
  • Center for Health
    Improvement - Hays

January 2011 As a new Chapter President, my number one goal this year is to get to know who makes up Chapter 7.  So, KRCS volunteers and I have joined together to arrange visits to meet the Respiratory Therapists all across Chapter 7.

  Charity & Karen

To begin our tour across the 12 counties that make up Chapter 7 we visited therapists in El Dorado.  El Dorado is located in Butler County and which is the northeast corner of Chapter 7.  To begin our morning we met up with Steve Ades the Respiratory Care Director at Susan B. Allen Memorial Hospital.  Steve was more than willing to be our very first visit and did an exceptional job showing us around!!!  (I think he enjoyed the donuts we brought too!) 

Susan B Allen
Steve Ades, RRT and Louise, RRT

Susan B. Allen staffs 9 therapists and 5 DME employees, all who are active AARC members.  We also met Louise King who was finishing her night shift that morning.  She has been a member of the team for 35 years!  Steve also started out his career with Susan B. Allen at a young age.  He shared with us that he started in dietary at the age of 16 and then worked as an OJT in the very Respiratory Care department he leads today!  In addition, the Chief Operating Officer, David Shaw, who Steve reports to, is also a Respiratory Therapist and active AARC member.

DME Staff

The department provides many aspects of Respiratory Care to the Butler County area.  They provide many services to the 40-50 acute care beds at Susan B. Allen and serve on many emergency response teams including the Decontamination Team that had been activated the day before our visit.  As Steve joked, in the smaller hospitals they play a role in an array of areas and have just enough involvement to be dangerous!    In addition, they have a PF lab, sleep lab, out patient ECG, cardiac rehab, share responsibilities for the stress testing, and DME.

DME Department

We were welcomed by the DME group on the same morning.  Thank you Kim Nolan, Ginger Cronister and Geri Hamilton for the wonderful tour and hospitality!  We visited their facility that included a CPAP fitting room and they shared their practices to assist patients with compliance using the devices.  I have to say for myself and having little experience in home care these ladies taught me a lot about this side of the profession!  Their involvement with the AARC and the legislative changes are critical in this office.  They are wonderful advocates for their patients and the excellent rapport assists with the patient’s compliance in the home.  They speak of their clients as family and are proud to have original customers from when DME opened in 1998.

  Susan B Allen Logo

The trip to El Dorado was great and on behalf of Chapter 7 we want to thank Susan B. Allen for their hospitality!!! 

~ Charity

Our 2nd Chapter 7 visit brought us to William Newton Hospital (WNH) in Winfield, KS.  Winfield is a community of about 12,000 located 45 minutes south of Wichita in Cowley County.  WNH is a critical access, not-for-profit community general hospital licensed for 25 acute care and swing beds.  The hospital has been proactive in providing new services to the community.  In addition to acute care the hospital provides same-day surgery, skilled care unit, home care, cardiac rehab and many other diagnostic and therapeutic services.  They also operate four rural health clinics and occupational health programs for local businesses. 


I met up with the cardiopulmonary director, Ray German, for a tour of their facility.  Ray has been a Respiratory Therapist since 1981 when he began his career as an OJT.  In addition to Respiratory Care, Ray is a paramedic and has worked in both roles over the years.  To begin our tour, Ray introduced me to Tom Embers, Assistant Administrator for Clinical Services.  Tom is also a respiratory therapist.  This makes the 2nd department we have visited that has administrative support from a respiratory therapist.  Impressive!

Tom & Randy

Tom Ember, Assistant Administrator Clinical Services            Ray German, Director Cardiopulmonary Services

Out of the 300+ employees at WNH, 7 are respiratory therapists that provide care 24/7.  I was fortunate to meet a couple ladies working in the department the day of our tour.  Sharon Ballard was the therapist on staff for the hospital providing care to both the in patient and ER.  The Cardiopulmonary staff serves on the code blue team, the stroke team, and attends critical deliveries in the birthing center as well.  They draw and run their own ABGs and have decreased the time on labs from 4 hours to minutes using AVL machines in the department.  Their services in the acute care setting also include basic PFTs, i-vents for ventilation, sleep studies and complete care through Respiratory Care driven protocols.  These all encompassing assessment protocols have been used at WNH since 1978 and offer the therapist great autonomy to tailor the plan of care to each patient uniquely.  They have also proven to decrease the LOS greatly.  Yea!!


Sharon Ballard, Respiratory Therapist

I also had the pleasure of meeting Lori Snider who supervises the cardiac specific services provided in the department.  She is know as the “Queen of Hearts” by her co-workers and assists with the stress test, Holiter monitoring, EKGs and other cardiopulmonary therapeutic and diagnostic procedures.


Lori Snider, Cardiac Supervisor

I learned a lot from Ray and his team at WNH.  In addition to his responsibilities at WNH, Ray is the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for the South Central Region of Kansas.  He shared with me the work they are doing to develop plans for deploying a portable hospital and other actions the state is working on to be prepared for a crisis.  This is exciting to hear and Ray is using his multifaceted experience in the medical field to support Kansas in case of an emergency.  This project may just satisfy Rays love for the “making things” he misses from when he first started in Respiratory Care.  Over time the sophisticated equipment developed has taken this away and Ray joked with me for that reason when the MA-1 rolled out the door at WNH, he cried.  Times are changing and Respiratory Care in every community is keeping up the pace. 

Thank you Ray and the team at WNH for the wonderful hospitality!



In March of 2011, I had the honor to visit the Newman University Respiratory Care class of 2011.  These students are full of energy and have immense enthusiasm for their new career. The group is fun and demonstrates true dedication early in their career path.   In fact, we celebrated their commitment to the Respiratory Care profession as this class is 100% AARC members!!!  My time with the Newman University class of 2011 was invigorating and I was greatly impressed with their ambition to be the very best Respiratory Therapists they can be. 

2011 Class

The faculty shared with me the history that makes the Newman University program what it is today.  From 1969-1974, the Respiratory education programs in Wichita where hospital-based with some class time at a local university.  In 1974, hospital programs were eliminated and a local university admitted students directly into a Respiratory Therapy Program.

Through the invitation of Dr. Surendra Singh, the program’s advisory committee was invited to evaluate Kansas Newman College as a potential home for the program.  In 1996, Respiratory Care was welcomed by Kansas Newman College.  In July of 1998, the college changed their name to what we know now as Newman University (NU).  There were many colleges the committee reviewed for this program, but Kansas Newman in particular had great potential for a Bachelors degree.  In fact, last fall NU started a Bachelor of Science in Health Science degree path that allows students with an Associates degree in Respiratory Care and other health professions to complete and expand their education.  Within this program they receive expanded knowledge and experience in education, management and leadership, or a psychology sociology option. 

Newman Instructors

When meeting with faculty and students I found that Newman University takes great pride in assisting students with a strong foundation in all areas of respiratory care.  Their skills lab and education is not brand specific, but focused on the overall concepts.  For example, ventilation is taught as a concept and not tied to a specific ventilator.

Vent Lab



During my visit I met with the Program Director, Meg Trumpp. She recognized the community support for NU as exceptional.  She stated that many students are directed to a career as a Respiratory Therapist though a connection to an RT in the community.  In addition, part of the application process for the program is to arrange a hospital tour with a respiratory therapist in the community and see the daily life of that role. 

Ventilator Lab

Mrs. Trumpp shared with me that many hospitals across KRCS Chapter VII are instrumental in the clinical rotations provided to Newman University students.  Their clinical time is a 1:1 or 2:1 student to therapist ratio and they receive 624 hours of clinical time prior to graduation.  This time spent in the hospital and clinics is a hands-on teaching opportunity for each student and they arrive well prepared.  Clinical rotations for the students begin in the 2nd semester after they have a solid understanding of pathophysiology, the clinical manifestations and the treatment for each disease process.


Mrs. Trumpp also acknowledged the Respiratory Therapists located in the community setting for their continued support for the graduating students in the Respiratory Care profession and is grateful for the guidance that is offered throughout the students’ professional journey.

Vent Lab

This program provides a wonderful foundation of knowledge to their students and facilitates amazing connections with working Respiratory Therapists.  This great recipe for success is outstanding and in 2010 Newman University students’ pass rate on the CRT and RRT Written exams was 100%!!!  This visit was inspiring and celebratory in many ways!!!

In the month of April, Respiratory Therapists in large numbers gathered in Wichita, KS for networking, expanding their knowledge and socialization. The 34th Annual Kansas Respiratory Care Society Education Seminar was invigorating and inspiring in so many ways!!!

The theme for this year’s state meeting was “RTs Go The Distance” and the marathon of educational opportunities encouraged therapists across Kansas to join the race in support of the Respiratory Care profession.

To kick off the events on Wednesday morning many participated in the traditional Golf Tournament at Hidden Lakes Golf Course in Derby, KS. This was a beautiful day to enjoy 18 holes and some great prizes.

On Wednesday evening Via Christi Health sponsored a reception for the students. This casual time allowed the students to meet many members of the KRCS board and education committee. In addition, recent working graduates attended to support and encourage the next generation of therapists. It was a wonderful time for the students from Seward County Community College, Newman University and Kansas City Kansas Community College to ask questions and meet mentors who provided an overview of the seminar and future for their careers.

Following the Student reception, we had many teams form to compete in the long lived tradition of the Sputum Bowl. As the teams competed for the title of the Kansas Sputum Bowl Champions, many gathered to watch and test their own knowledge as they enjoyed the Welcome Reception. Congratulations to the winners, Cynthia, Kirsten & Aleena pictured below from left to right with their cash prizes.

Thursday morning started off with a warm welcome from the KRCS President, Meg Trumpp. She shared changes within KRCS including reorganization, new core values and plans for the future.

Mrs. Trumpp also presented the Annual Hugh Mathewson award to a respiratory therapist who is actively involved and has contributed to the advancement of the profession. This year it was awarded to someone who has contributed so much to Respiratory Care education in the state of Kansas and has been of service to the profession on the state and national level – Dr. Pat Munzer.

Congratulations Dr. Pat Munzer!!!

It was great to be inspired by many therapists that have truly found their “sweet spot” in the profession of Respiratory Care. Dana Oakes, Author/Owner of Respiratory Books Inc. identified the valued role therapists play each day by recognizing a Respiratory Therapist as a Hero. Many therapists were thrilled to meet an author of a book that they reference daily.

The many phenomenal speakers on Thursday shared valuable knowledge that therapists will take back to the clinical setting. Topics included: Respiratory Monitoring in the ICU, RTs in the Trauma Room and Hemodynamic Monitoring. Attendees were encouraged to examine three generations of RTs currently in the workforce and how each one impacts the other. The audience participated in a process to help understand “when enough is enough” as Dr. Thomas Welk led them through the ethics of removing medical support. Thursday was filled with opportunities to grow and share new insight into challenges therapists face on a routine basis. It provided food for thought and great information to take back and share with co-workers.

Through the support and generosity of contributing vendors the seminar was a success. The sponsorships for breaks, speakers and fun at the conference were appreciated by those in attendance. It was a pleasure to get to know sales representatives and recruiters in the vendor hall. In addition, it was nice to relax, enjoy good food and prize drawings after a day filled with growth and knowledge.

The KRCS booth in the vendor hall allowed therapists from all over the state to sign up and join the Race for Respiratory Care. There were many opportunities to be a part of the new core strategies Advocate, Educate & Promote. Race numbers were handed out to those that volunteered and a cash prize was randomly drawn at the closing of the exhibit hall. However, the race is starting and volunteers are promoting the profession in great ways!! GO TEAM!!!

The party wasn’t over after the vendors show. The good old traditional dance and social gathering was brought back this year. The DJ filled the dance floor with Respiratory Therapists that can bust a move. Friends, old and new, danced the night away footloose and fancy free. RTs work hard, but on Thursday night it was confirmed they play hard too. J

Friday the finale truly captured how respiratory therapists compassionately serve others each day. The speakers began with examining the manifestation of HINI and reviewing a detailed case study. However, I believe the most rewarding part of this day was the opportunity to meet and hear the personal perspective from the patient himself. The opportunity to be given back the acknowledgement of a life saved was priceless!!!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2011 KRCS Education Seminar!!!

To kick off the summer, Via Christi’s Home Medical team of Respiratory Therapists shared with the Kansas Respiratory Care Society the many outstanding services they offer to patients all over the state. 

Visiting with the Wichita branch, we learned that this team of nine Respiratory Therapists covers approximately 60 miles surrounding the city of Wichita.  They travel as far north as McPherson, east to Eureka, west to Pratt and south to the Oklahoma border.  However, the patients cared for by Home Medical are all over the state.  There are multiple branches of Via Christi Home Medical providing services for much of Kansas. They have branches in Manhattan, Salina, Dodge City, Hays, Garden City and now a branch located within the newest Wichita Hospital, Via Christi Hospital on St. Teresa. 

The many teams are led by a group of amazing leadership who were welcoming and shared their passion for home health with me.  While touring the Wichita location, I quickly gathered that EVERYONE has great passion for those they serve and take pride in their organization.  In fact, when I walked up to the building the door automatically opened for me and a very friendly receptionist greeted me with a smile and eagerness to serve.  I was truly impressed that this culture was the norm. 

Jenni Beilman –  Manager     Becky Hall – Supervisor       Debbie Schuessler - Director

One of the key philosophies shared by staff is that the patient is the one who everyone serves.  They have a facility that has a skills lab room to assist families and patients visualize the complexity of setting up medical equipment in the home.  This allows home care givers and patients a clear understanding of space needed in the home, including the availability of plug-ins.  The highly knowledgeable and experienced RTs provide patients with education and training on their home equipment and ensure the patients feel comfortable with their devices to assure compliance. 

As the acuity of care in the home increases, highly talented therapists are essential to provide all ages with complex specialized respiratory equipment.  The respiratory therapists at Home Medical Services are very active in their assigned patients’ plans of care.  They develop care plans through protocols and continue to manage the patients according to these well established pathways.  The work put into providing a successful care plan is multifaceted and the RTs here have the passion to provide patients a smooth transition.  The multiple items each therapist must consider in regards to the home, care giver and portability (if the patient needs to travel for treatments, etc.) can be a juggling act that this staff has perfected. 

Some of the many services offered in these care plans are ventilators, BiPAPs, oxygen, trachs, apnea monitors and oximeters.  In May, they reached 100 ventilators they provide service to and celebrated by releasing 100 biodegradable balloons.  Yea!!

The organization is one of compassionate care and reaches out to provide financial hardship care for patients who cannot afford it.   In addition to impressive customer service and skilled staff, Home Medical Services offers convenience to those served.  It is one stop shopping as this company offers home health services, DME (durable medical equipment) and a pharmacy.


It only made sense to learn that Home Medical Services along with its sister company, Mt. Carmel Medical Equipment, are the only two companies to hold the Quality Respiratory Care Recognition awarded by the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC)!!!  This award recognizes home care providers that promote patient safety by providing access to respiratory therapist to deliver patient care. 

Way to go Home Medical Services for providing outstanding Respiratory Care across Kansas!!!!

In June, members of the Kansas Respiratory Care Society (KRCS) had the opportunity to visit the Respiratory Department at KU Medical Center in Kansas City.   Dan Conyers, the manager, gave us a tour of the facility and shared some best practices in providing care.  It was very fascinating to see how a Respiratory Care department of such a large hospital maintains quality care!  The respiratory therapists there play a vital role at the patients’ bedside and are depended on by the doctors and nurses to give their recommendations for care plans.

The TourKU Logo


KU Medical Center has 3 main campuses and utilizes 523 patient beds.  It is always 95-100% full.  The Respiratory Department has 105 FTE’s who work mainly 12 hour shifts.  We found out that Dan has been employed at KU since 1976, where he started out as a student.  As a member of the KUMED team 34 years, Dan has more years of service at this facility than any other employee in the Respiratory Department!    The department takes pride in the fact that they still perform all respiratory procedures including incentive spirometry.   As a large teaching hospital, they do share ABGs with the medical students.  Once drawn, ABGs are tubed to lab for resulting, except in the ICUs where the samples are ran through an I-Stat machine.  To keep up with the demand of cleaning/checking out equipment, the respiratory department employs 6 equipment techs.  The only time one is not available is from 0430-0600.


iStat Sign


It is impressive how technology drives the KU Medical Center and assures patient safety!  The charting system they utilize is “Epic” and the entire patient chart is completely electronic.  Along with that, data is automatically downloaded from the ventilators instead of being hand written on a flow sheet.  KUMED is focused on patient safety as you can read in the slogan that displays across the log in screen of Epic: “One Patient.  One Record.  One Goal.  Safe, High Quality Care.”  What a great mind set to have! 

One Patient


Dan also showed us the Clendening Library that can be visited within the Medical Center.  The library has diverse displays throughout the year.  During our visit, the “History of Medicine” Museum was on display.  Talk about fascinating!  We really enjoyed looking at the different equipment that are now antiques such as an old ECG machine and x-ray machine.  My how things have changed over the years!

KU LibraryExhibt


old medical stuffLibrary


One of the last things we did was visit the KU Respiratory Care Education Department.  It was great to see how their school is set up and where the students attend class each day.  This part of the tour brought back memories for Charity, as she is a graduate of KU.  Of course we had to take a look at her graduating class picture!


Charity's RT Class


I would like to say thank you to Dan Conyers for taking time out of his busy day to show us around and give us a glimpse of the day to day operations of KU Medical Center and especially the Respiratory Care department.  We had a fantastic time!  It gave me a chance to step outside my little corner of the world and see what other respiratory therapists are doing to make a difference in their patients’ lives.

Stacie Fox, KRCS Secretary

The city of Hays, Kansas hosted the 25th Annual Kansas Respiratory Care Western Kansas Seminar in September of 2011.  Traveling to Hays was a wonderful experience and our tour of this unique rural community began at Hays Medical Center.


We received a wonderful guided tour given by Stan Munsch who has served as a respiratory therapist in Hays, Kansas for the past 37 years.  We were also accompanied by Lynette, a therapist for the past 34 years.   They both began their careers at Hadley Hospital in Hays, KS.  This hospital merged with another religious affiliated facility, St. Anthony’s Hospital, in 1991 to form Hays Medical Center.  This 222–bed facility is a private, not-for-profit hospital which provides the only tertiary level hospital services in the region.

In addition to Stan, we had the pleasure of meeting some wonderful members of the Respiratory Care team at Hays Med.  As director of the Cardiopulmonary Services Department, Stan leads a group of 24 staff members including PRN therapists.  The daily staff includes 4 day shift therapists, 4 night shift therapists, one diagnostic therapist, a manager and a director.

Left to right:  Jason Livesay, Stan Munsch, Katherine Teller, Connie Linam, Randy Gideon, Linda Lukens and Lynette Pfannenstiel

Hays Med confidently states on their website, ,that the hospital’s “single core purpose:” is "To Help People Be Healthy," and their overriding goal is: "To Be the Best Tertiary Care Center in Rural America."   The Respiratory Therapy department fits in perfectly with the vision of this organization.  The department is centrally located in the hospital and provides care to every area of the facility.  They have a Pulmonary Function Lab offering diagnostic testing.  It is located right off the front entrance which provides ease and convenience to the patients they serve.  Connie, a very passionate therapist, has served in Hays for 27 years and is committed to PF testing.  She shared how Respiratory Therapy has been a great occupation for her and she is encourages the new therapists who choose this career path.

PF lab

The Respiratory Care staff exhibited great enthusiasm for their career and employment with Hays Med.  With the cumulative number of years committed to this organization and the loyalty of the staff we met, it is not a surprise Modern Healthcare magazine has named Hays Med as one of the country's Best Places to Work in healthcare in the nation for the fourth straight year. 
There are many areas that Hays Med is recognized for currently.  In fact, our tour took us to an innovative healthcare program located right here in Western Kansas, the DeBakey Heart Insituite.  This outstanding heart program, serving a population with twice the national average for heart disease, was founded by a world renowned heart surgeon, Dr. Michael DeBakey.  We learned that Dr. DeBakey invented the roller pump, which became a vital component of the heart-lung machine and assisted in the beginning the practice of open-heart surgery.  This is now an extremely common procedure performed on patients who Respiratory Therapists care for daily.  In addition, he invented the left ventricular assist device, the mobile army surgical hospital (MASH), and the concept of lining a bypass pump and its connections with Dacron velour, later applied to arterial grafts. Dr. DeBakey also developed more than 70 surgical instruments and performed the first successful carotid endarterectomy.

Debakey bookcase
Heart Institute

This is all impressive, but did you know the Respiratory Care department at Hays Med also has a significant pioneer who has led the way for our profession?  Stan Munsch broke new ground for Respiratory Care in Western Kansas.  Visiting with him ignited in us a pride for the Kansas Respiratory Care Society.  Learning about the history of this society over the past 25+ years was inspiring.  Stan shared with us many copies of the Wheatstone Bridge magazine publication that he initiated.  This was the official KRCS newsletter and was distributed to provide communication and promote networking with therapists across the state.

WheatstoneWheatstone inside

Over time Stan has initiated many new beginnings in KRCS history.  In fact, 25 years ago, Stan launched the Western Kansas Seminar that many still attend yearly.  He has been active in the KRCS for over a quarter of a century and has been an inspiration to many.  We appreciate the time Stan and the staff at Hays Med took to enlighten us about the past, as well as, their excitement to impact the future of Respiratory Care.

1st WKS1st WKS registration

In addition to our HaysMed hospital tour, we had the pleasure to visit the Sleep and Neurodiagnostic Institute at The Center for Health Improvement, an amazingly innovative facility within this organization. I believe the Center for Health Improvement is leading the way for the health care industry by focusing on the overall health of their community. In fact, they are Kansas's only Accredited Medical Fitness Facility.


Their idea “To help people get well sooner and stay well longer”, as stated on their website, brings acute care together with daily living in the community and surrounding areas. The Center for Health Improvement has a mission to make Hays the healthiest rural community in America. They plan to do this by joining customary medical care with prevention, education and physical fitness.

We were invited to visit the center by Respiratory Therapist and director of the Sleep and Neurodiagnostic Institute, Suzanne Bollig. It was very impressive to find sleep and neurodiagnostic services housed in this community based wellness institute. Many RT departments across America include Sleep Diagnostics as part of the Respiratory Care department, either hosted in a clinic or acute hospital setting. In fact Suzanne shared that the cardiopulmonary department is where sleep services began here in Hays, KS. Although the placement of these services in the Center for Health Improvement was out of the norm and a big change for her from the acute care respiratory culture, Suzanne shared that the transition has been wonderful.


As many of us live busy lifestyles, we forget just how important good sleep is for our overall health and wellness. However, the staff at the Sleep Institute in the Center for Health Improvement were happy to share how they assist in educating this community. Many members of the staff started out in either a traditional role as a nurse or respiratory therapist. Bryan, who was grateful for the donuts J, serves in a multifaceted role in the center. With a nursing background, Bryan assists patients with scheduling, processes the studies during the daytime, and provides assistance to patients who will be or are using PAP therapy for the treatment of sleep apnea. In addition, Bryan also provides many outreach education programs including teaching sleep awareness sections of psychology classes for high school students.


We also had the opportunity to meet Kerri, a certified respiratory therapist, who also assists with the outpatient and inpatient services including neurodiagnostic studies, EEGs, Pulmonary rehab and patient education. Including the 2 sleep technologists at night, this department has a total staff of 5 with an AASM accredited 4 bed sleep lab. With 26 critical access hospitals feeding into the Hays Med System, there is a large referral base for sleep studies and the lab stays booked for about 4-6 weeks out.


However, the lab is not the only area where sleep medicine is making a difference in the lives of this community and outlining areas. The Center for Health Improvement allows this group to be involved in disease management programs for groups. For example, they work with the “Healing in Motion” cancer recovery program providing educational materials and audio recordings for patients to use during exercise sessions and to help in understanding the importance of sleep along with the fatigue and sleep disturbances typically found in recovering cancer patients. They also participate in the 12-week Lifestyle Weight Management program providing informational materials and lectures on the interaction of poor sleep, weight gain, and even the development of obstructive sleep apnea to individuals working to improve their lifestyle and lose weight. There are opportunities to work with sports medicine and to educate athletes on how sleep habits can affect reaction time. There are afterschool programs at the center which promote exercise and healthy snacks for kids. The aquatic center has both an Olympic size pool and therapy pool for patient rehab. The fitness center is state of the art and both the community and hospital employees benefit from these services. The center even has a community library where all health related books are FREE!


The opportunities the Sleep Institute employees get to be a part of are never-ending. Together with many other departments they are working to build a healthier community. Thank you to The Center for Health Improvement for leading the way!!!



Mission Statement

The Kansas Respiratory Care Society is formed to: Educate, advocate, and promote the profession and practice of Respiratory Care