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"This is the BEST conference!" - Attendees Rave about the 37th Annual NWAHEC Respiratory Care Conference

Mar 14, 2023 7:00:00 AM / by Brooke Kochanski

The third year of hosting the conference virtually attracted over 100 attendees representing a diverse crowd from all over NC and beyond.


The conference was held via virtual/live webinar on February 15-16, 2023 with the largest number of attendees since we went virtual with 118 participants across the two days. The virtual platform continues to attract a diverse crowd with representation from 44 North Carolina Counties and three states. 

New Name - Same Great Conference

In the 37th year of hosting this conference the committee decided to change the name to The 37th Annual Northwest AHEC Respiratory Care Conference, formerly Annual High Country Conference. The purpose of the Annual Northwest AHEC Respiratory Care Conference is to provide a larger perspective on patient care concerns through continuing education sessions that are representative of all levels of expertise in the field.

Topics for the 2023 conference included: HFJV; emergency preparedness; pediatric ECMO; pulmonary rehab for long COVID; nuerodiagnostics and sleep medicine; barriers to obtaining respiratory durable medical equipment for post-acute care; repercussions and liabilities of substance use in the workplace; diagnostic and surgical interventions for lung cancer; ARDS in the post-COVID era; current status of degree advancement for respiratory care and tipledemic – RSV, influenza and COVID-19.


What did 2023 attendees have to say?

“This is the BEST conference! I always enjoy all the speakers. I really enjoyed that it was virtual again this year! It was very entertaining and enjoyable. Will definitely attend again next year.”

“Thank you for the opportunity, not only to earn my required credits but wonderful content that we as practitioners can take with us and use in the field to improve patient care and outcomes!”

“This was a great conference and all speakers were excellent, the topics were pertinent and informative! I like the virtual platform simply because I work nights and it allows me to participate."

“Thank you all for your time and dedication with this conference. I like this conference more than any other conference I have attended; you make it feel personal and I can tell everyone involved truly cares. The speakers seem passionate about their topics.”


2023 Conference Objectives:

  • Provide up-to-date, patient-centered and evidence-based practices in respiratory care.
  • Explain the importance of respiratory therapists in improving patient outcomes and quality of life.
  • Discuss new treatments and advancements associated with respiratory care.


Special thanks to our planning committee members who worked to make this conference a success!

Phillip Christmas, RRT
Director, Respiratory Care
Kindred Hospital Greensboro
Committee Member Since 2012

Nikonya (Nikki) Godwin, BSRT, RRT, RCP
Department Head, Respiratory Therapy Program
Catawba Valley Community College
Committee Member Since 2021

Maria Hiller, RCP, RRT
Cardiopulmonary Department
Appalachian Regional Healthcare System
Committee Member Since 2011

Laurie E. Hunt MS, RRT, RCP
Retired 7/2017
Committee Member Since 1994

Kim Metzler, BSRT, RRT, RCP
Respiratory Therapist
Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist – Lexington Medical Center
Committee Member Since 2011

Marissa Monteith, MSHCA, BSRC, RRT
Respiratory Supervisor
Angel Medical Center
Committee Member Since 2022

Jimmy Phillips, RRT-NPS, RCP
System Director of Cardiopulmonary, Neurodiagnostic and Sleep Services
Appalachian Regional Healthcare System
Committee Member Since 1995




Also...Special thanks to our Northwest AHEC staff!

Lindsey MacLean, MPH, CHES®
Coordinator of Allied and Public Health
Continuing Education at Northwest AHEC

Respiratory Care Conference
Coordinator Since 2017

Gail Pawlik, BA
Program Assistant at Northwest AHEC

Respiratory Care Conference

Lead Program Assistant Since 2017


Save the date for the 38th Annual Northwest AHEC Respiratory Care Conference next year in February 2024!



Tags: COVID-19, respiratory care, conference, continuing education

Brooke Kochanski

Written by Brooke Kochanski

Marketing & Communications Specialist at Northwest AHEC

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