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Shelledy leads national respiratory care association

San Antonio (Feb. 12, 2003) — David C. Shelledy, Ph.D., chairman of the department of respiratory care at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA), recently began his term as president of the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC). Since joining UTHSCSA's faculty in 1994, Dr. Shelledy has developed one of the country's premier respiratory therapy programs.

"The need for respiratory care provided by respiratory therapists is not going away. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the need for 36,000 new respiratory therapists by 2010, in large part due to the aging of the population and increases in pulmonary disorders," Dr. Shelledy said.

As many Americans are facing a future of pulmonary disorders, respiratory care has become a critical component of health care. "About 15 million Americans have asthma and 16 million have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and there are about 4.8 million cases of pneumonia each year," Dr. Shelledy said. "Because of the projected increase in these conditions, along with an increased COPD risk in the elderly and the more than 50 million Americans who smoke, the demand for respiratory care is expected to increase — perhaps dramatically."

For more than 50 years, the AARC has led the respiratory care profession in science, education and research. Its more than 31,000 members around the world are committed to providing exemplary respiratory care and improving lung health worldwide.

Contact: Aileen Salinas