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Helmholz Award Holds Special Meaning

Kathy Myers Moss, MEd, RRT-ACCS, was getting ready to work on her doctoral dissertation on the effect of entry-to-practice academic degree in respiratory care on credentialing examination outcomes when a friend suggested she take a look at the ARCF website to see if any of the Foundation grants might match her objectives. The NBRC/AMP H. Frederick Helmholz, Jr., MD, Educational Research Grant looked like a perfect fit and she applied in the spring of 2014.

“Anyone who has been a respiratory therapist for very long knows how quickly our tools and strategies can change, and the ARCF provides support for projects aimed at the creation of new knowledge,” says the associate clinical professor at the University of Missouri in Columbia.

The grant has played a significant role in helping her finish her project and she believes the results will add to the conversations currently underway about education and credentialing in the profession. “It is my hope that the findings of my research might be used to inform evidence-based discussions in support of future academic qualification-related policy development.”

Receiving the 2014 Helmholz grant last year in Las Vegas had special meaning for the educator too, since she had a chance to meet Dr. Helmholz on several occasions before he passed away in 2012. “When I learned that I had been selected to receive the Helmholtz funding, I immediately recalled my brief encounters with him, including the time he graciously signed my copy of his published poetry while he was staffing the NBRC booth at the AARC Congress in 1999,” she recalls. “I am truly honored to have my name associated with his by my receipt of this grant.” 

Moss credits the ARCF with helping therapists such as herself follow through with important investigations involving the profession and urges her fellow RTs to support that mission. “Respiratory therapist support of the ARCF assures that these funds will be available to sustain essential research for evidence-based change in the future.”

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