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Respiratory Therapy receives elite Apex Recognition Award

May 20, 2021

Congratulations to our Respiratory Therapy programs, which received the Apex Recognition Award from the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC). Mizzou operates bachelor’s degree programs with an emphasis in respiratory therapy in Columbia and at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis. These two programs join only seven others among 436 accredited entry-level programs to earn this recognition in 2021.

“The Apex Recognition Awards recognize our promotion of high-quality education and evidence-based medicine,” said Kathy Moss, department chair of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences and professor of respiratory therapy in the School of Health Professions. “The award showcases the University of Missouri’s commitment to excellence in workforce preparation for respiratory therapists, who are among the top 10 professions with the highest employee vacancy in the state of Missouri.”

The pandemic increased awareness of the respiratory therapist profession — it also provided unique learning opportunities for students. Here’s what they had to say about the experience.

Andrea Flesher
Andrea Flesher

“Having clinicals in the middle of a pandemic was definitely interesting but well worth it. Given that COVID is a respiratory illness, the physicians ask [for] the respiratory therapist’s opinions a lot. I get to learn so much simply by hearing my professors talk with doctors about different routes of care or ventilator settings for the patient.”

Andrea Flesher, respiratory therapy student at Mercy Hospital, St. Louis

Jack Heerhold
Jack Heerhold

“The faculty have been intuitive and supportive of students’ needs during this unprecedented time. The APEX award exemplifies the hard work that our professors contribute to ensure that they are training outstanding future respiratory care practitioners. I am proud to attend a program that allows me to become the best student I can be.” 

Jack Heerhold, respiratory therapy student

Iyesatu Kamara-Bush
Iyesatu Kamara-Bush

“Being in the hospital for clinicals during the pandemic gave me a clear sense of purpose. Seeing how hard the respiratory therapists were working and how vital they were to fighting the pandemic motivated me to persevere so that I would be prepared to join their ranks.”

Iyesatu Kamara-Bush, BHS ’21, respiratory therapist at University Hospital

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Kathy Myers

Kathryn Myers

Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences Department Chair and Clinical Professor