CVTC Instructors Donald Raymond and Theresa Meinen each knew that the other was getting a major award at the recent Wisconsin Society for Respiratory Care’s Northern Regional Respiratory Care Conference.
Their own awards, however, came as surprises to them.
Raymond was honored with the Wisconsin Respiratory Therapist of the Year Award. Meinen received the conference’s Joint Executive Committee Chairman’s Award.
“I think it was pretty much by design that they honored us at the same time,” said Meinen. Raymond was happy they did it that way. “I would have been uncomfortable receiving an award if she wasn’t recognized as well,” he said.
Raymond and Meinen have been integral parts of CVTC’s Respiratory Therapy program since its earliest days. Raymond left an 18-year career at the Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago to come to CVTC to develop the Respiratory Therapy program in 2004. Meinen joined him a year later. The program has grown to become one recognized for excellence.
“Our program is substantially above the national averages in all categories,” Raymond said, referring to the accreditation review.
Raymond launched his career with a technical college education through Mid-State Technical College in Marshfield. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in education. When he moved to the Chippewa Valley to join CVTC, he began working for the Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire and remains with it today.
Raymond’s state Therapist of the Year Award recognizes his work in the field, his contributions in education and his support of the Wisconsin Society for Respiratory Care.
Meinen was recognized for her outstanding contributions to making the annual conference run smoothly. The Northern Regional Respiratory Care Conference is a joint Minnesota-Wisconsin conference for professionals, educators and students in the field. The states alternate hosting the conference, and Meinen is heavily involved in the planning.
“We combine together to put on a better conference. It’s a large conference. This year we had about 450 attendees, respiratory therapists and students,” Meinen said. “My primary mission this year was speaker chair.”
Her Joint Executive Committee Chairman’s Award reflects her work on the conference.
The conference begins with a joint awards banquet, with professionals from each state presented with awards. Meinen noted that she was used as a source of information for Raymond’s award, and he was used as a source for hers, without either of them knowing.
Meinen has been a respiratory therapist since 1995 and also works at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire.