SCSRC Annual Conference Review 2022

September 9, 2022 marked the close of another very successful SCSRC annual conference; this proved to be a recording setting year for the state society with over 180 attendees, including therapists from states such as Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia and, of course, all over South Carolina, students from five of the state’s seven technical colleges, speakers from all over the nation and a total of 52 vendors represented.

Len Geiger from Jacksonville, Florida presented a lecture about his experiences with having Alpha1 Antitrypsin deficiency and where that took on a road to a double lung transplant. Many in the audience were moved to tears and have asked to have him come to all of our conferences.

Jim Damron gave a lecture about Prescribing Suicide, which proved to be thought provoking; he was also a favorite among those in attendance.

These are only two of the highly rated lectures that were presented at the conference.

The Brief Tobacco Intervention training program that has been a project/partnership with SC DHEC for the past two years was also rolled out; this training program offers one hour of CRCE free to AARC/SCSRC members and is $10 for non-AARC members. Ms. Katy Wynne, with the SC DHEC Tobacco Quitline, presented a lecture on “Evidence That Supports Clinical Intervention with Patients Who Smoke or Vape” as a part of this roll out.

The RT students had their own half day break out sessions where they spent time with representatives from different vendor companies, including Vapotherm, Carolina Diagnostics Solutions, Sentec, to name a few, and Duke University Medical Center. This was held in the Dunes Ballroom of the Hilton hotel, with amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean surrounding them.

The celebration dinner, with a Halloween theme, was held on Wednesday evening, with the costume contest winners being announced the following day; congratulations to all on your creativity!

The exhibit hall was well attended; the Program Committee heard over and over from the exhibitors in attendance that our exhibit hall is the best in the region!

The annual business meeting was conducted on Wednesday afternoon, where the results of the election were announced; congratulations to all and we look forward to working with you in the new year of 2023. Mr. Wayne Barfield, one of delegates to the AARC’s House of Delegates, was the recipient of the 2022 President’s Award. Mr. Mike Bianchi, the SCSRC’s webmaster, was the recipient of the 2022 Palmetto Award, in recognition of the many years of commitment and value he has brought to the SCSRC by managing and maintaining the website, often donating time to the care and maintenance of the website.

The 2022 Department of the Year award was given to Prisma Health Hillcrest Hospital Respiratory Care Department – Congratulations!

The 2022 Leadership Practitioner of the Year award recipient was Kelcy Scott, RRT-NPS, from the Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital at the Medical University of South Carolina.

The 2022 Region of the Year was the Midlands Region – congratulations to directors Terrica Rice and Amanda Coffey!

All in all, it was a very successful conference; plans are already underway for the 52nd Annual Conference scheduled for September 2023! We hope to see you there!

SCSRC 2022 Early Professional Student Scholarships

The SCSRC Scholarship Committee is pleased to award the 2022 Early Professional Student Scholarships to the following students:

Bristow Kinsey, Spartanburg Community College, Title of Submission: “Interstitial Lung Disease”

Victoria Murphy, Spartanburg Community College, Title of Submission: “A Closer Look at Lung Cancer”

Madison Strickland, Trident Technical College, Title of Submission: “Our Patients Deserve Better”

Amaro Sunga, Piedmont Technical College, Title of Submission: “Myasthenia Gravis”

Diana Thome, Spartanburg Community College, Title of Submission: “What is Bronchiectasis and What Changed In Its Prognosis with Covid-19”

Gabrielle Vickery, Piedmont Technical College, Title of Submission: “Rare Respiratory Diseases: Pulmonary Sarcoidosis”

Congratulations for your work on this and the best of wishes as you continue your education!

SCSRC Respiratory Care Summit 2022

What a Great Day to be an RT!

The SCSRC hosted a Respiratory Care Summit on August 12 at Newberry College to bring together clinical and industry leaders, educators, and other stakeholders to assess the state of the Respiratory Care profession in South Carolina. While the day was filled with responses from an engaged audience, we did not have the time we needed to discuss everything that was on our original agenda. However, several critical connections and valuable suggestions were made at the summit. During this meeting we discussed:

  • A large majority of the attendees shared staffing concerns within the industry and what their facilities are doing to recruit and retain Respiratory Therapists.
  • A representative from MUSC shared several creative tactics they are using to retain and recruit new staff members and assist with recruiting new RC students for the Trident Technical College’s Respiratory Care Program.
  • SCSRC delegates and representatives from the AARC shared that everyone needs to encourage staff to pursue higher education.
  • There is a great need to recruit more students into the profession
    • A group from the SCSRC is meeting with the SC Hospital Association and the SC Department of Commerce on August 23, 2022 to discuss a potential partnership to create a campaign to recruit students into the Respiratory Care programs in the state. Amanda Clark, owner of Carolina Diagnostics provided some valuable leads on potential contacts which resulted in the start of valuable conversations and this first meeting.
    • Wayne Barfield, SCSRC Delegate shared some statistics from the CoARC website relating to our 7 associate degree Respiratory Care programs in this state. In total, the maximum number of students that all 7 programs are allowed to enroll are 161 students each year. Looking at 2018-2020, the 7 programs together could have accepted 483 students. In 2018-2020 the total number of students enrolled in these 7 respiratory care programs were only 338. Only 246 of those 338 students graduated from a respiratory care program. So the 7-respiratory care programs only graduated about 50% of their maximum.
  • How the SCSRC can better serve the state:
    • Assist with recruitment of future respiratory therapists through collaboration with educational programs in this state. Ask retirees to assist with visiting high schools and hospital career fairs to recruit.
    • Timely follow-up and response to offers for assistance and requests to volunteer on committees that are written on annual conference evaluation sheets
    • Increase educational and networking events and opportunities ALL OVER THE STATE.
    • Get the RT Navigators, Educators, Asthma Educators, and Telemedicine Providers involved in SCSRC Committees and target educational and networking events for this population
    • Visit RT departments to promote SCSRC and AARC membership and events
    • Pursue non-traditional ways to recruit members, students, and SCRSC leadership
      Support RRT as entry-level for licensure or employment
    • Share success stories about Respiratory Therapists in our state and share all the many things our license allows us to provide
    • Share positive outcomes when RTs are doing advance practice procedures in the state – (i.e. intubations, placing arterial lines and central lines, performing bronchs, working on ECMO teams, etc..)
    • More in-person communication and meetings
    • More communication defining SCSRC, who we are, what we do, and how others can get involved
    • Educate and discuss with industry leaders on what RT departments are reimbursed for versus what we really do
    • More virtual CEU opportunities
  • How can industry leaders and Respiratory Care Practitioners support the SCSRC/AARC:
    • Advocate for the SCSRC
    • Help with lobbying events
    • Encourage staff and students to get involved in SCSRC
    • Use personal social media to help recruit students in RC programs
    • Encourage staff to pursue BSRT
    • Help with supporting funding and ordering a state car license tag for Respiratory Therapists only
    • Volunteer to host SCSRC BOD meetings and provide a meeting venue so we will be able to hold the meetings in different areas of the state
    • Take the time to explore the different committees and needs of the SCSRC to give of time and talents
    • Develop a mentorship program
    • Collaborate with educators, LLR, SCSRC, and other managers to discuss what skills and therapies student employees can/should be performing to set a state standard. Share the process of employing students.
    • Require AARC membership
    • Support private insurance for LTAC’s
  • LLR:
    • There is a large influx of applications for state licenses from contractors and therapists relocating to South Carolina
    • There is a need for a timely turn-around for licenses
    • Is our current structure working?
    • What do we need to do to push the APRT forward in this state?
    • RRT as entry-level for licensure or employment
  • CMS
    • How can we increase of scope billable services?
    • How can we increase reimbursements from CMS for Respiratory Therapists providing services and therapies?
    • How can we change the opinion or image of Respiratory Therapists in the eyes of CMS and governmental officials?
  • One topic we were not able to give appropriate attention and discuss: RC scope and practice expansion

Downloadable version of this article: SCSRC Respiratory Care Summit 2022 (PDF)

Respiratory Care Summit Photos

SCSRC Board of Directors Report

Good evening,

The SCSRC Executive Committee and Board of Directors met on Friday morning, April 22nd, 2022 via Zoom. Some highlights from this board meeting are noted below:

Report from President Tracy Cook:

Even though I am fairly new to this profession I find it hard to believe that the AARC is celebrating 75-years. I am proud to say that the program committee and many regional directors are working, planning, and strategizing to present quality educational and networking events. If your region has not had an event in the last year, I strongly encourage you to please plan an event. To gather support, you can start with a networking event such as a Dutch-treat dinner. Just get started…. You will be surprised if you set a date, find a venue and advertise the speakers and vendors will respond and fill your agenda. If you feel you do not have the skills and contacts, please, please reach out to me as I am here to help and guide. I also really want to encourage and challenge everyone to think of ways to increase membership in your area. We need to think of all the things we accomplished and did in 2021 and send that information to Wayne Barfield before May 1, 2022 so we can submit our Summit Award Application.

SCSRC goals are:

  • Advocacy: My challenge this quarter is that we all advocate and speak up to support our scope of practice. Hill Day is coming in May and we need to write those letters, send those emails, and make the phone calls in support of legislature that supports us and/or our patients. Never be afraid to write your senators or congress.
  • Communication/Marketing: Please, post to the SCSRC community on AARConnect. I would love for committee members and regional directors to share a little about themselves utilizing AARConnect posts. Please use that forum to share information or to respond to each other.
  • Education/Professional Development: Encourage others to seek educational opportunities and specialty credentials. AARC has several programs to assist members who are seeking specialty credentials.
  • Events/Meetings: Each region needs to sponsor a minimal of (1) educational and/or membership event in 2022.
  • Membership: We still need to focus on increasing our statewide membership. Less than 20% of the RCP licensed in SC are members of the SCSRC. We need to be deliberate in our encouragement of others to support the SCSRC.
  • Revenue and Finance: I am so thankful for our Treasurer and Committee members who are thoughtful in how they spend our money. I appreciate the committees being good financial stewards which allows SCSRC to continue to have a sound financial foundation.

Read more

Loss of a South Carolina RT Icon

Ann Gilchrist Whitmire, a longtime SC respiratory therapist, passed away on Saturday, March 12, 2022 at the age of 88. Ann worked for many years as an RT at Providence Hospital, and also worked at Blue Choice Health Plan until her retirement in September 2017.

Ann was president of the SCSRC in 1986, which was the year the SC legislature passed the Title Protection Act for Respiratory Care Practitioners, which later became what we know now as our RCP licensure act. Ann played a pivotal role in the process of getting the original bill written and passed.

She was the recipient of the SCSRC Practitioner of the Year award as well.

Services for Ann will be held on Saturday, April 2nd, 2022, at 11 am, at The Church of the Good Shepherd (Episcopal), 1512 Blanding Street, Columbia, SC 29201. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service in the Church Parish Hall. Dunbar Funeral Home is assisting the family, Devine Street Chapel, is assisting the family.

On a personal note, Ann was the first therapist that I rounded with on my very first day in clinic as a fourth quarter RT student at Midlands Tech; she was amazing to work with, a day I will never forget and will always be grateful for….

Exciting News from the SCSRC Executive Committee and Board of Directors!

In keeping with guidance from the AARC, the SCSRC Executive Committee and Board of Directors has unanimously decided to update the name of the “Entry Level Student Scholarship” that is awarded annually to associate degree seeking students to be “Early Professional Student Scholarship”. This is a new, fresh name for the scholarship and is in line with the AARC’s “Early Professional Membership” level that is available to students prior to graduation.

The Early Professional Student Scholarship application is now available on the SCSRC website; if you are a student that would like to apply, please carefully read and follow all instructions contained in the application.

The members of the Scholarship Committee include: Allan Dunphy, MEd, RRT-NPS, RRT-CPFT, RCP; Amanda Coffey, BS, RRT; Selma Watson, BA, RRT, CPFT. If you have any questions, please reach out to scholarships@scsrc.org. We look forward to reviewing the applications and awarding these four scholarships!!