Dr. William F. Miller Leaves a Legacy
William F. Miller, MD, passed away on April 29, 2015 at the age of 95. Dr. Miller was very involved with the AARC and profession in its early days, and was a major contributor to and trustee of the American Respiratory Care Foundation (ARCF).
“Dr. Miller was a founding member of the ARCF and held emeritus status as a trustee,” said Michael Amato, chair of the Foundation. “His contributions there were innumerable and the Foundation and all it does today are because of his leadership.”
“Bill was one of the giants in respiratory care who had profound impact on generations of RTs, nurses, physicians, and physical therapists. His vision for higher education of RTs was typical of his foresight,” said Sam Giordano, former AARC Executive Director and now a trustee of the ARCF.
As a physician in Dallas, he was at the forefront of the respiratory therapy profession in this country. He formed one of the first schools of respiratory therapy with 3 students in 1963. “He was very supportive of people interested in caring for those with pulmonary disease and needing respiratory therapy,” said Ray Masferrer, a former colleague of Dr. Miller at Parkland Hospital and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas.
Masferrer adds, “He was the most influential physician of his time among respiratory therapists and worldwide was known among physicians. His influence was felt in our profession to the roots of making the AARC, the journal RESPIRATORY CARE, BOMA, NBRC, JRCRTE, and our profession what they are today. As early as 1963 he was mentoring college graduates into the art and science of respiratory care, and not just to understand the technology of the time, but also the physiology.”
Dr. Miller chaired the Board of Medical Advisors from 1966–1968 and served as a senior examiner for the NBRC. He was also involved in the early days of Respiratory Care, serving as a medical advisor to this publication as it was getting off the ground.
After his role as professor of internal medicine and head of the Pulmonary Division at Southwestern Medical School, Dr. Miller formed one of the first cardiopulmonary services in the country at Methodist Hospital in Dallas and he recruited Dr. Donald Egan to join him there in his work. Later he became a professor of medicine at Southwestern Medical School.
He was a recipient of the Jimmy A. Young Medal in 1979 and was also an honorary member of the AARC. He served as a trustee for the ARCF for many years into the early 2000s. The William F. Miller Post-Graduate Education Recognition Award is named in his honor and established through his endowment.
You can read more about Dr. Miller and his legacy in this July 1989 article from AARC Times.
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