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Recognition: Not Necessary but Certainly Nice

Doing good work isn’t something people should do to seek recognition, says Tim Op’t Holt, EdD, RRT, AE-C, FAARC. But it sure is nice when a little of it comes your way.

“We do what we do, not for recognition, but for the health and well-being of our patients,” says the winner of the 2014 Mike West, MBA, RRT, Patient Education Award. “The recognition is “lagniappe” — it brings us something extra in feeling fulfilled in our careers.

Dr. Op’t Holt, who currently serves as a professor in the department of cardiorespiratory care at the University of South Alabama, was recognized for his long-standing commitment to Victory Health Partners in his hometown of Mobile. He first got involved with the clinic back in 2003 when they were looking for someone to assist uninsured patients with asthma and COPD. Now director of the clinic’s Breath of Life COPD and Asthma Education Program, he and his colleagues from the university treat five to nine patients a week.

Patient management and education — and smoking cessation, if needed — is provided in each case to help patients manage and control their conditions, and CPAP titration is available for those suspected of having obstructive sleep apnea. Dr. Op’t Holt often gets his students involved as well to give them a real world look at the uphill battle some patients face when seeking quality care for their respiratory problems.

The respiratory care educator says receiving the West award was a pleasant surprise, not only for himself, but for everyone involved. “It was an affirmation of how pleased we are to be recognized for our work there. We have helped hundreds of uninsured adults who would have had no other recourse to improve their respiratory status.”

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