TR celebrates respiratory program’s 50th anniversary

TR student Amblessed Gilbert receives the John Hiser AARC President’s Scholarship at the anniversary event. Nina Banks/The Collegian
TR student Amblessed Gilbert receives the John Hiser AARC President’s
Scholarship at the anniversary event.
Nina Banks/The Collegian

campus editor

TR Campus hosted a 50th anniversary celebration for their respiratory program on Oct. 28. 

The respiratory care program began in 1972 on NE Campus when TCC was known as Tarrant County Junior College. The program moved to TR Campus 39 years later and has resided there since. Associate professor of respiratory Donald Holt reflected on the program’s history.

“We’ve come a long way,” Holt said. “It was all brand new and had all the great digs so we’ve really appreciated our time here and hope to continue on for years to come.”

Holt started his career in respiratory care at TCC, going on to graduate in the class of 1991. He is thankful for all the opportunities his education has provided.

“When I was out of high school, I was mostly interested in just playing ball. That was my main priority,” Holt said. “I was like ‘I want to do something in science’… so I kind of steered my way to medical and ended up in respiratory.”

Since its establishment, the program has received several awards and has graduated around 800 students. Event organizer Theresa Griego acknowledged the success of the program.

“It’s extremely important to recognize and celebrate the longevity of the program and to honor the legacy of 50 years of health care leadership within our community,” Griego said.

In addition to the celebration, the John Hiser AARC President’s Scholarship was awarded to TR student Amblessed Gilbert. According to TCC’s website, the scholarship is “based on leadership, scholastic ability, attitude, clinical performance and financial need.”

“I was really surprised that I was going to get it because I thought the president [of our class] was going to get it,” Gilbert said. “I was really hoping they would get it, but I was surprised to get this scholarship.”

Despite initially being nervous about joining the program, Gilbert felt fortunate to be able to celebrate the success of the program with his peers.

“Before I came into this program, I really had a doubt that I was going to like it,” Gilbert said. “But everyone here has been like a family to me and that is really something that stands out to me and everyone is super nice. You can tell everyone your problems. They can figure out how to help you.”

Holt is optimistic for the future of the program as well as the expectations he has set for his students.

“I want us to be experts at the bedside, make a difference at the bedside and also provide the leadership that I was talking about for the nation in respiratory care,” he said.