AARC Election 2019 — Pattie Polakow

Pattie Polakow


Pattie Polakow, BS, RRT

Bozeman Deaconess Healthcare
Respiratory Therapy Manager
Member Since: 2002

AARC Activities:

  • Member, Best Practices Committee, 2011-2013
  • Member, Federal Affairs Committee, 2009-2010

HOD Activities:

  • Delegate, Montana Society for Respiratory Care, 2009-2013
  • Member, Best Practices Committee, 2011-2013
  • Member, Federal Affairs Committee, 2009-2010

Affiliate Activities:

  • President, Montana Society for Respiratory Care, 2015, 2005
  • Board of Directors, Montana Society for Respiratory Care, 2002
  • Montana PACT Federal Affairs Representative, 2004-present
  • Chair, Program Committee, 2004-present
  • Member, Elections Committee, 2002-present
  • Member, Orientation Committee, 2002-present
  • Member, Public Relations Committee, 2002-present

Related Organizations:

  • Certified Basic Life Support Instructor-Trainer, American Heart Association, 2002-2008
  • Board of Directors, United Way Missoula Campaign, 2006-2008
  • Board of Directors, Missoula Chapter American Heart Association, 2002-2004


  • BS, Montana State University, Billings, 2008
  • Registered Respiratory Therapist, 2002
  • Certified Respiratory Therapist, 1996
  • AS, University of Montana College of Technology, 1996

Elections Committee Questions:

What AARC or Chartered Affiliate offices/positions have you held where you feel you made a significant contribution to our profession? What is the contribution and how will you apply it to your new position, if elected?

For over fifteen years I have held all elected board positions on the Montana State Respiratory Care board. In 2016 I was elected to serve as Director-at-Large for the AARC. My years of dedication have taught me knowledge and understanding of roles and responsibilities, bylaws and governance and instilled a deep passion for the profession. Each of these positions have taught and guided me to understand the big picture and consideration for all participants.

What experience would you bring to the AARC to accomplish the goals set out by President Walsh?

President Walsh has effectively defined his goals of quality, safety and value for his term in office. Over the last sixteen plus years I have held managerial positions within the inpatient hospital setting while staying clinically competent. My leadership experience has instilled in me a plan, do, act and check mindset. As clinicians we are committed to safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient and equitable care. Patients are becoming more informed consumers with regards to their health care, and it is essential that Respiratory Therapists are involved in that interdisciplinary care planning team. We are the Cardiopulmonary experts and our active involvement to care will ensure quality, safety and value.

What ideas do you have to attract non-members to join the AARC?

It is critical to tell our story to everyone who asks the question… “What is the AARC and what does membership do for me?” Current AARC members need to engage their professional network; sharing their experiences and promoting the AARC. The AARC is doing tremendous work on behalf of each Respiratory Therapist, our profession and our patients! Sharing our story will help the non-AARC member understand why membership to the AARC is a benefit to them, the Respiratory Therapist. We the membership, need to stay active, stay aware and stay the course! After all, each of us IS the AARC!

Role-Specific Questions:

How would you, as a member of the AARC Executive Committee, work to move the profession forward based on the work done by our current and previous presidents?

As a member of the AARC Board of Directors, I believe I bring a unique perspective to the board. I am active in patient care, diagnostic services, leadership and am in the trenches with my team daily. Professional development, professional advancement and reimbursement of the Respiratory Therapist are really at the forefront of our profession. The AARC and the AARC BOD is dedicated to ensuring that their efforts are geared to the ongoing resolution of these issues through advocacy, continuing education offerings and for collaborative efforts with all stakeholders of the profession. It has been encouraging to see firsthand the board lead with integrity, passion and care. It is my sincere hope that I can continue to be a part of the AARC BOD and contribute for the greater good of the profession.

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