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Respiratory therapist named as Specialty Practitioner of the Year

The American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) named David Shelledy, Ph.D., Education Section Specialty Practitioner of the Year at the recent AARC International Congress in San Antonio.

Dr. Shelledy is chair of respiratory care in the School of Allied Health Sciences at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA) and AARC president-elect. Since joining UTHSCSA's faculty in 1994 to start the respiratory care program, Dr. Shelledy has developed the one of the country's premier respiratory therapy programs.

"This award is a real honor because my peers selected me," Dr. Shelledy said. "Many of the people nominated are those I highly respect." He will begin his term as president at the AARC International Conference in October.

The U.S. Department of Labor projects 5,000 new respiratory therapists will be needed nationally this year, and it estimates a 42.6 percent increase in the number of respiratory therapists needed by 2008. The Health Science Center graduates about 16 to 18 new respiratory therapists each year.

Contacts: Aileen Salinas