In its first year participating in a national award program recognizing respiratory therapy excellence, the hospital had no trouble identifying a fitting inaugural winner.
Mahoning Valley’s Christine Loomis earned Akron Children’s Hospital’s first PHIL Award, the only nationally recognized award for respiratory therapists, which was presented earlier this month. She was chosen through a process involving peer and patient nominations.
The PHIL (Pulmonary Health and Illnesses of the Lungs) Award was co-founded by Sharman Lamka after her husband, Phil, passed away due to complications from an Interstitial Lung Disease. Lamka specifically wanted to recognize respiratory therapists who are “committed to the belief that every breath matters.”
Loomis is one of these respiratory therapists.
“Chris is one of the best people to work with,” said Bonnie Powell, manager of respiratory services, RRT. “She is always an advocate for her patients and brings a positive energy wherever she goes.”
Loomis was both surprised and honored to be recognized.
“I truly feel that I work with some of the best respiratory therapists, so receiving this from my peers is incredible,” Loomis said. “When you truly love what you do, it’s really easy to come to work each and every day.”
Loomis has been with Akron Children’s since 2001. Although she primarily works in the Mahoning Valley, her patient care does not end there.
“Chris has taught pediatric life support at St. Damien Children’s Hospital in Haiti several times,” Powell said. “She even collects supplies and brings them with her on her trips. She really goes above and beyond when it comes to helping others.”
Loomis’ husband and 2 children were let in on the surprise and got to be part of the event.
“Everyone that knows me knows how incredibly important my family is to me,” Loomis said. “It made the moment even more special to have them with me.”