RCSW Establishes New Award to Recognize Outstanding Professional Service

The Robert A. Bonner Award for Outstanding Professional Service award was established by the Respiratory Care Society of Washington to recognize outstanding contribution to the profession and practice of respiratory care in Washington State. Announced at the 2012 annual business meeting held at the 39th State conference in Spokane, this will be an yearly award recognizing Washington State respiratory care practitioners who have made considerable contributions to the RC field. Awardees will be announced during the annual business meetings and a plaque containing all the names of the recipients will be displayed during the conference.

The inaugural recipient is also the individual for whom the award was named: Robert Bonner, Med RRT. Mr. Bonner received a BS from California Lutheran College in Healthcare Education. After a brief period as a school teacher, Mr. Bonner relocated to Washington State. Shortly after, he began working as an equipment assistant at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. After completing training at Highline Community College Bob began working as a respiratory therapist at Harborview in the mid-seventies.

In the early 1980’s, Bob began teaching respiratory care at Highline Community College. He became the Director of Clinical Education and later Program Director. He also maintained a long time relationship with Harborview, which resulted in several research collaborations.

Bob became involved in the RCSW when former director of respiratory care, Trish Hunter recruited him to the group. He quickly began to help run the annual state conference. Over the years with Bob’s help and mentorship the Pacific Northwest Regional Respiratory Care Conference and Scientific assembly has become one of the largest respiratory care conferences in the Northwest. Bob has held many elected positions in the RCSW. He has been a guiding force for the profession of respiratory care in Washington State for many years. His perennial presence on the RCSW board has allowed him to mentor many of the newer members, as anyone who has ever attended a board of director meeting can attest to.