Cullman Regional is proud to partner with The FACES Foundation to recognize dedicated and hardworking respiratory therapists. A respiratory therapist (RT) is a specialized healthcare practitioner trained to help people with lung diseases or disorders. They treat patients dealing with pulmonary distress due to complications from asthma, bronchitis, COPD, pneumonia, chest trauma, prematurity, lung cancer, and more. The PHIL Award was created to highlight the important and extraordinary work that respiratory therapists do every day to help their patients breathe easier.

The PHIL Award is given annually to a respiratory therapist who exemplifies professional excellence and compassion in the education and care of patients with pulmonary illness. Recipients are given a sculpture titled the Appreciation Sculpture created specifically for the FACES Foundation. The sculpture depicts a butterfly to represent the appreciation patients and their families have for respiratory therapists. Along with the sculpture, honorees receive recognition by the hospital and paid tuition to their state’s annual professional conference.

“I’m excited to bring the PHIL award to Cullman Regional. Our highly skilled respiratory therapists’ compassion and outstanding care for our patients is beyond measurable. The past 2 years have been difficult for all of us in healthcare. The respiratory therapists have been instrumental in the care of the sickest patients and it’s a joy to recognize them for their efforts,” said Michelle Gaffney, RRT, Director of Respiratory Care.

The FACES Foundation is a not-for-profit organization established and formed by Sharman Lamka and her late husband Phil Lamka. Phil Lamka, the award’s namesake, suffered from Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD). Sharman decided that she wanted to make her husband’s disease mean more than just losing him. They worked together to provide hope to patients and their families who are dealing with serious lung diseases, and acknowledge the valuable role the respiratory therapists play in the care of these patients with pulmonary illnesses.

Award recipients may be nominated by patients, family members, and other care givers. If you would like to nominate a respiratory therapist, you can submit an online nomination here. Paper nomination forms are also available in waiting areas around Cullman Regional.