Patricia “Trish” Blakely passed away on September 9th, 2013. Trish’s untimely passing was a surprise to everyone who knew her. Trish was responsible for helping to advance the field of Respiratory Care to the professional level that we all enjoy today, and she was passionate towards everything that she pursued. Although Trish may have “ruffled some feathers” along the way, she was never selfish and always had the therapists and her profession’s best interest in mind. Now a little about her personal side and a few of her career accomplishments…….
Trish spent her life caring for others. She received her associate degree in and earned her national registration as a Registered Respiratory Therapist in 1975. She completed her BA degree at Central Wesleyan College. Trish began her career at Baptist Hospital as a respiratory therapist and was later promoted to Assistant Director for Respiratory Care. She also worked at Richland Memorial Hospital in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Trish expanded her career into home care where she was the Southeast Division Clinical Manager for Apria Healthcare.
Trish was a gifted respiratory therapist and very active in many state and national organizations for respiratory care. Among her accomplishments, she was recognized as the Delegate of the Year by the American Association for Respiratory Care in 1996 and subsequently served as President of the South Carolina Society for Respiratory Care in 1998. She was elected to the American Association for Respiratory Care Board of Directors in 2002 and was appointed by the South Carolina Department for Labor, Licensing and Regulation to serve as the Chairman of the Respiratory Care Licensing Committee from 1998-2002 and again in 2006-2010. She was honored to become a Fellow of the American Association for Respiratory Care in 2010, and received one of her highest professional accomplishments when she was recognized with the 2013 Thomas L. Petty, MD Invacare Award for Excellence in Home Care. Trish was admired and respected by all her colleagues and was a mentor to hundreds of respiratory therapists, nurses and physicians in the span of her 40 year career.
Trish was born in Philadelphia, PA, the daughter of Paul Henry Kauffman and the late Lucy Glancy Kauffman.
Besides her husband Blake, and her father Paul, Trish is survived by her daughter, Jennifer Rose Blakely of Columbia, SC; brother, Paul “Kip” Kauffman, Jr. (Diane) of Elgin, SC and sister, Grace Snell (Eric) of Lexington, SC.
In order to properly recognize Trish’s significant contribution to the profession of respiratory care, the SCSRC Board of Directors has renamed the Practitioner of the Year Award to: The Patricia “Trish” Blakely Professional Excellence Award.