Professor John Rutkowski, director of the respiratory therapy program at County College of Morris (CCM), and Professor Michele DaSilva, director of clinical education for the program, were both recognized with awards at the annual New Jersey Society for Respiratory Care (NJSRC) Annual Shore Conference in October.
Rutkowski was named the 2013 recipient of the A. Gerald Shapiro Award. The award recognizes an individual of national prominence whose excellence and achievements have promoted respiratory care.
Rutkowski, of Hopatcong, has a long history in both respiratory therapy and education. Before joining the CCM faculty in 2012, he held teaching positions at Hudson County Community College, Montclair State University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He also served as a co-investigator for a grant project focused on the development of an artificial mechanical ventilation simulator and has been involved in clinical research with pulmonary and critical care physicians. In addition, he played a key role in changing school policy in New Jersey so students with asthma can carry their own medications to use when needed.
A strong believer in the power of community and professional service, he volunteers with the Pediatric and Adult Asthma Coalition in New Jersey and the American Lung Association. He also has provided testimony at Environmental Protection Agency hearings on clean air legislation.
DaSilva, who also joined the CCM faculty in 2012, was recognized with the President’s Award for outstanding and dedicated service to the NJSRC. DaSilva served as the NJSRC secretary from 2011 to 2013 and currently serves as its education chair.
A resident of Stanhope, she has more than 20 years of experience in healthcare education and respiratory therapy. Before arriving at CCM, she served as cardio-pulmonary education coordinator at Hackettstown Regional Medical Center, director of clinical education at Sussex County Community College, and respiratory care practitioner at Morristown Memorial Hospital. She has been a respiratory care practitioner since 1990.
The recognitions were presented during the keynote assembly at the NJSRC annual conference, held this year at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, October 16 – 18. The conference informs members of new and innovative updates on various aspects of respiratory care.
This is not the first time NJSRC has recognized CCM respiratory faculty for excellence. In 2000, Professor Dianne Adams, respiratory therapy coordinator at CCM, received the NJSRC President’s Award.