President’s Message 2015

Rob Bryan RRT, AA, EMCA-A
RTSO President

Hello and welcome to another wonderful issue of the RTSO Airwaves. A special thank you the editorial board of Shawna MacDonald and Elisabeth Biers for all their hard work and dedication in putting the Fall 2015 edition together.

I would like to the take this opportunity to express my sincere thank you to Kyle Davies for his leadership, energy and incredible effort as President of the RTSO 2014-2015. I would also like to congratulate Kyle and his Board for a very successful year. Some of this past year’s highlights include:

  • Launching of our social media programs on Facebook©, Twitter© and LinkedIn©
  • A tremendously successful professional advocacy campaign with our strategic partners at the Ontario Lung Association focusing on integrating RRTs into primary health care teams in the community and establishing a pay scale at par with other RHP service providers
  • Extension of the RTSO Abbvie Anaesthesia Assistant Bursary Program for another three years
  • The RTSO Summer Golf Tournament, raising funds for the RTSO Research Committee
  • Co-Hosting a successful educational event with the Ottawa area LHIN RT Leaders during RT week
  • Participation at the Emergency Management Branch of the MOHLTC Ontario’s summit on Preparedness and Response for Infectious Disease Threats
  • A new initiative that will restructure and enhance our web services and informatics systems to bring new membership services for continued learning; and
  • Our membership grew by over 100 new members!

I would also like to acknowledge and thank the 2014-2015 RTSO Board and committee members for all their hard work, volunteer hours and commitment to the practice of Respiratory Therapy in Ontario. The 2014-2015 RTSO Board members include the executive committee of President, Kyle Davies; President-Elect Rob Bryan; Treasurer, Mike Kiem ; Board of Directors: Les Marsden (Leadership Committee Chair), Tina Shum (Student Affairs), Ginny Myles (Special Interest Group (SIG) – Community Respiratory Therapy), Shawna MacDonald (Editor of Airwaves) and our committee chairs Nancy Garvey and Brooke Read (Co-Charis of the RTSO Research Committee), Sara Han (Co-Chair of the Community RT SIG) and Sylvie Bourbonnais (Co-Chair of the RTSO Leadership Committee).

As the incoming President of the RTSO it is my honour to introduce the new RTSO Board that will be serving the professional body of Respiratory Therapists in Ontario for 2015-2016:

President                                                                         Rob Bryan

Past President                                                                Kyle Davies

President-Elect                                                               Les Marsden

Treasurer                                                                         Mike Kiem

Director at Large, Community SIG Co-Chair            Ginny Myles

Director at Large, RTSO Airwaves                              Shawna MacDonald

Director                                                                            Steve Bourassa

Director                                                                             Robyn Kluges

Community SIG Co-Chair                                             Sara Han

Co-Chairs RTSO Research Committee                     Nancy Garvey, Brooke Read

Chair of the RTSO Leadership Committee               Sylvie Bourbonnais

I am very excited about the year ahead, both for the RTSO and the RRTs in Ontario. This Board has great energy and a very aggressive mandate to create new programs that will add to our professional growth and assert our roles throughout the healthcare system. The RTSO is committed and motivated to develop programs that will enhance access to RRTs and aid patients and their families that require expert respiratory care both in the hospital and in the community setting.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention all the hard work and effort of our front office team of Stephen Laramee, Business Manager for the RTSO and Elisabeth Biers, Operation Manager for the RTSO. This tireless duo ensures our association is able to serve our members and help us build and run our value-added programs for the RRTs in Ontario. Without them we wouldn’t be able to administrate key membership programs such as: PL and I insurance, membership registration, RTSO Airwaves, Social Media, education events and technical workshops, and day to day communication with our external stakeholders such as the MOHLTC, OLA, CRTO, CSRT as well as our vendor community. They also ensure that our association is conducted in accordance with legislative mandates for non-profit organizations, including financial affairs and all Board of Directors and subcommittee operations. It is an incredible amount of time and effort, and on behalf of the RTSO I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you.

The RTSO Board of Directors, Executive Committee, and our Special Interest Groups and working committees would like to extend their congratulations to our association award winners and bursary program recipients. Congratulations to Mary Bayliss as the 2014-2015 Gord Hyland Award winner, and to Tom Piraino as the recipient of this year’s President’s Award. Both Mary and Tom have greatly contributed to the practice of Respiratory Therapy in Ontario in their own unique ways. We are very fortunate to have such high caliber professionals in our field, guiding us and sharing their experiences in a way that will have a lasting impact on our practice and our profession. You both are top shelf and thank you for all that you have done for the RRTs in Ontario. Congratulations are also in order for the recipients of our Abbvie Awards: Anaesthesia Assistant Award winners Caleb Cheng, RRT from Toronto Sunnybrook Hospital attending the AA program at the Michener Institute of Applied Health Science; and Terri Lalonde, RRT from Ottawa-Cornwall Queensway Carleton Hospitals attending the Algonquin College AA program.

On a personal note I would like to thank Nancy Garvey and the RTSO Board for nominating me for the Pinnacle Award. I love what we do as therapists; I believe we have a unique body of knowledge, skills and abilities that allows us to serve our patients with great expertise and passion. I know there are many people walking this Earth as a direct result of the care and interventions delivered by RRTs every day. My volunteerism with the ORCS and the RTSO is my way of giving back to a profession that has given me an opportunity to help and care for others as a health care professional, earn a living for my family and afford me the lifestyle that I have today. I am very humbled by the nomination and it is a true honour to be the recipient – thank you all!

If you are interested in volunteering with the RTSO as a committee member, in a special interest group, or as part of the board of directors please contact the RTSO at or email at or simply call 647-729-2717.

I hope you enjoy the Fall 2015 edition of the RTSO Airwaves and I look forward to future communications with you about our programs and services for the 2015-2016 year.