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Meet the 2014 RT Scholarship Winners

The PHS respiratory therapy scholarship is designed for students or recent graduates enrolled in respiratory therapy programs. There were two awards of $500 and one award of $1,000 given – we had many great applicants! Below, we’re pleased to introduce the three scholarship winners who we were able to meet this week at the North Regional Respiratory Care Conference. 

Aubrie Anderson – Winner of the $1000 Scholarship

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As the President of the Respiratory Care Club at the University of St. Catherine’s, Sputum Bowl participant, learning assistant for the Respiratory Therapy program, member of the Lambda Beta Honor Society, and a previous RT Assistant at Hennepin County Medical Center, Aubrie Anderson has had the opportunity to gain extensive knowledge in respiratory therapy. In her upcoming respiratory therapy internship at Children’s Hospital, she will undoubtedly expand that knowledge.

However, Aubrie’s passion for respiratory therapy goes back much further than her involvement in the St. Kate’s program. When her younger brother was hospitalized as an infant and intubated, she gained an appreciation for the team that helped him not only survive, but thrive. Today, her interest in pediatric care continues.
“When you are working with children they still have their whole lives ahead of them, and have health issues that they could not have prevented,” Aubrie says. “Pediatric patients are extremely vulnerable and need extremely competent, trustworthy therapists taking care of them.”

Aubrie appreciates how integral respiratory therapy is to the health care system, and expects that need to grow as the health care industry grows and changes. Through her dedication to the health care field and what she has taken from her respiratory therapy program so far, she looks forward to taking that knowledge and applying it to her work in pediatrics through upcoming opportunities.


Laura Pomeroy – Winner of $500 Scholarship

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Laura Pomeroy didn’t always know she wanted to be a respiratory therapist – but now that she’s working toward a career in this field, she knows it’s the right fit. After enrolling in a CNA course five years and going on to complete her first year of nursing school, Laura decided nursing was too broad of a career path. However, she did know that she would enjoy working in a heath care profession. After relocating to Rochester and discovering the RT program at the University of Minnesota – Rochester and Mayo School of Health Sciences, she submitted her application to the program soon after.

“Unlike other health care professions that involve only direct patient care, respiratory therapists also get to work with new and emerging technology to assist in the care of a patient. It is the combination of these skills that makes a respiratory therapist such a crucial member of the health care team,” says Laura.

Laura looks forward to a career that is more than just a job as well as making a difference in the lives of the patients she serves, and will have the opportunity to learn more about caring for pediatric and neonates this fall. She will also be working in a home health care setting this semester, as well as serving as junior vice president of the Respiratory Club at the Mayo School of Health Sciences.


Tatiana Zwart – Winner of $500 Scholarship

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Tatiana first became interested in a career in the medical field during her mom’s first brain surgery. After seeing how the medical staff worked with her family during this situation, she was inspired to do the same for others and is now fulfilling that vision through the Mayo School of Health Sciences (MSHS), where she’s studying respiratory care.

Tatiana had a chance to make a difference in patient care during her time at a local nursing home, where she recognized her ability to respond in emergencies, remain attentive, and stay calm in high-risk situations when she aided a resident experiencing stroke symptoms. She was introduced to respiratory therapy by a counselor at the college she was attending, and decided to pursue this career after seeing many traits in herself that respiratory therapists are required to have.

Today, Tatiana works to be active in the medical setting as often as possible to prepare for her career as a respiratory therapist. She has obtained her CNA and has worked in a nursing home for five years, is an active member of the Mayo School of Health Sciences respiratory care club, and hopes to obtain an internship this summer to further her education.

Congratulations to all the winners! We can’t wait to see where all of these outstanding future RTs go with their careers.

Originally published: April 18, 2014