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umc named hospital of the year for its respiratory care

Lafayette - University Medical Center in Lafayette has been named the 2009 Hospital of the Year for Respiratory Care for hospitals with less than 200 beds by the Louisiana Society for Respiratory Care (LSRC).

The LSRC recognized University Medical Center for having highly qualified respiratory therapists (RTs) who possess high levels of competence and professionalism.  UMC RTs work closely with the physicians to extend great care through accurate diagnosis and effective, individualized treatment.   UMC RTs, physicians, and nurses work together as a team to bring outstanding care to the patients’ bedside for a safe and quick recovery.   This team is committed to improving the respiratory status of all patients, one breath at a time.

"The UMC respiratory therapy department is one of the premier departments at  UMC,” said Larry Dorsey, UMC hospital administrator. “UMC receiving the honor of Hospital of the Year reaffirms the high regard we have for our respiratory care staff.”Dr. Fadi Malek is the UMC respiratory therapy medical director.

As active members in professional organizations, such as the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC), all RTs at UMC participate in advanced skill and knowledge development.

Adhering to AARC guidelines, all UMC respiratory therapists in the facility hold certified respiratory therapist (CRT) or registered respiratory therapist (RRT) credentials or are legally recognized by the state as competent to provide respiratory care services.  UMC respiratory therapists are also available twenty-four hours of the day.  At UMC, any other personnel qualified to perform specific respiratory procedures and the amount of supervision required for personnel to carry out specific procedures must be designated in writing, and a doctor of medicine or osteopathy is designated as UMC medical director of respiratory care services.           

The quick response and critical thinking of RTs lead to countless survivals.  Whether health care requires complete ventilatory support, education, or maintenance, the clinicians at UMC are always ready to make breathing easier or even to completely breathe for their patients.

“The UMC Respiratory Therapy Department continually ensures that it provides high-quality therapeutic and diagnostic respiratory services in a timely and cost-effective manner,” said Peggy Pennison, RRT, RPFT, UMC cardiopulmonary manager.   “We provide comprehensive respiratory care to patients of all ages and to both inpatient and outpatient populations.”

The UMC Respiratory Therapy Department also recently earned Quality Respiratory Care Recognition (QRCR) from the AARC.  The QRCR designation ensures quality respiratory care in a hospital and helps patients and families make informed decisions about the quality of the respiratory care services available at the institution of their choice. 

About 700 hospitals in the United States, or approximately 15 percent, have received the QRCR designation, which places UMC among the elite for respiratory care in the nation, reflecting the high level of respiratory expertise at UMC.

Respiratory therapists are specially trained health care professionals who work under physician’s orders to provide a wide range of breathing treatments and other services to patients with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis, lung cancer, AIDS, and other lung or lung-related conditions.  They care for premature infants and are key members of lifesaving rapid response teams in medical emergencies.

The LSRC advocates for the care of patients with respiratory illness.   Nearly everyone in America is familiar with some of these respiratory conditions.  With COPD being the fourth leading cause of death in America, the LSRC wants to recognize those that improve respiratory health.  While these conditions seem somewhat common, the diagnosis and treatment can become very complicated and require a great deal of expertise and professionalism to achieve the best outcomes.

UMC Hospital of the Year for Repiratory Care

On hand for honoring UMC as LSRC Hospital of the Year were Shantelle Graves, LSRC vice-president, left to right; Glenn Craig, UMC assistant administrator; Peggy Pennison, UMC cardiopulmonary manager; Ashley Dulle, LSRC president; and Melissa Castille, RT supervisor.