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Respiratory Care faculty speak at annual conference

Two members of the faculty from the Respiratory Care program spoke at the annual Idaho Society for Respiratory Care Conference in Boise in September. The Idaho Society for Respiratory Care is an affiliate of the American Association for Respiratory Care and works to educate and advocate for respiratory care practitioners in Idaho.

Jessica Foreman-Starks
Jessica Foreman-Starks, clinical assistant professor, Respiratory Care

Jessica Foreman-Starks, clinical assistant professor for the Respiratory Care Degree Advancement program, presented a talk on the history and process of organ transplantation entitled “The Gift of Life: Exploring the World of Donor Organ Procurement and Transplantation.” Organ procurement coordination is a highly-rewarding but often overlooked specialty of respiratory care, yet, according to Foreman-Starks, the unique expertise of respiratory care practitioners makes them especially qualified to excel in this role. Respiratory therapists can use their deep understanding of the heart-lung system to most appropriately ventilate brain dead donors until organ recovery can take place, thus improving rates of successful transplantation of donor lungs as well as other organs. Through talks like these, Foreman-Starks hopes to increase awareness of organ procurement coordination as a potential opportunity for respiratory therapists looking to branch out from traditional acute care.

Foreman-Starks is an alum of all three of the Boise State respiratory care programs: she earned her associate’s degree in respiratory care in May 2011, completed her bachelor’s degree through the degree advancement program seven months later in December 2011, and earned her master’s of science in respiratory care in 2020. She has worked in a variety of clinical settings including NICU, chronic disease management, patient education and organ transplant coordination before joining the faculty of the Boise State respiratory care degree advancement program full time in 2022.

Joe Coyle, clinical professor for the Masters of Science in Respiratory Care program, presented a talk entitled “Key Respiratory Concerns in the Management of the Child with Congenital Heart Disease.”

Joe Coyle
Joseph P. Coyle, clinical professor, Respiratory Care

Coyle spoke on management of oxygenation and mechanical ventilation in patients with certain forms of congenital heart disease in which management is critical. For example, infants with this condition being prepared for transport can present at any time for care in Idaho and need special attention. Coyle drew on his considerable experience taking care of children with congenital heart disease in his practice in North Carolina and volunteer work in Romania.

Coyle is board certified anesthesiologist and critical care physician and a graduate of Hahnemann Medical College. Coyle was a clinical associate professor at University of North Carolina at Charlotte for nine years, where he helped found and direct the online bachelor of science in respiratory therapy and the master of science in respiratory care programs. Coyle joined Boise State in the summer 2017 as a faculty member, was interim department chair from 2019 – 2020 and was then promoted to clinical professor in 2020. He has been teaching with the masters program for the past three years.

Boise State has three respiratory care programs: On Campus Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care Program, Registered Respiratory Therapy-Bachelor of Science Degree Advancement Online Program and Master of Science in Respiratory Care.