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The School of Allied Health Sciences’ Department of Respiratory Care Celebrates National Respiratory Care Week


While watching the Boise city skyline as the sun set, Boise State respiratory care alumni, faculty, staff and friends filled the Boise State Stueckle Sky Center Skyline Room with laughter and cheer on Oct. 27 for the second Respiratory Care Alumni and Friends Celebration. The event culminated the School of Allied Health Sciences’ Department of Respiratory Care’s celebration of National Respiratory Care Week.

Lutana Haan, chair of the Department of Respiratory Care, gave an update on the department’s success and growth. Due in part to the department’s longstanding bachelor’s program, Idaho is third in the nation in the number of baccalaureate prepared respiratory care practitioners.

“Our growth is driven by our online Degree Advancement Program, taking associate degree graduates from community colleges around the nation to the bachelor’s level,” explained Haan. “The program is now in its tenth year and with more than 270 students enrolled this fall, we are the nation’s largest online program in Respiratory Care. To further drive the profession forward, we are embarking on the creation of a Master of Respiratory Care. Recently approved by the Idaho State Board of Education, we plan to begin with our first cohort of master’s students in Fall 2018.”

An important part of the celebration each year is to honor practitioners, educators and friends of Respiratory Care for their excellent contributions to the field. The Dr. David Merrick Excellence in Respiratory Care Award was created in 2016 as an honor to Merrick who is a friend of the department and was the first medical director for the department with his tenure spanning 30 years.

Jeff Anderson, director of clinical education for the Department of Respiratory Care, then announced the second recipient, Lisa Crowley (Respiratory Care, 1988). Anderson shared his recollections of Lisa.

“Lisa Crowley was a new student in my first class at Boise State University in the fall of 1986,” said Anderson. “After graduation she was hired at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center and eventually became a core therapist in the intensive care unit. Her role further developed as she worked with the intensive care physicians to craft therapist driven protocols that allow therapists to make decisions about patient care rather than to simply perform tasks. Working in this type of environment increases job satisfaction and further develops critical thinking skills. Lisa was also in charge of orienting new ICU Respiratory Care staff, and helped them build upon the skills and knowledge that they gained in the Boise State program.”