AARC Election 2024 — Teena Culhane


Teena Culhane

Director of Clinical Education
Henry Ford College
Member Since: 2006

AARC Activities:

  • Active Member

House of Delegates Activities:

  • Delegate for Michigan since 2015 (completing final term)
  • Recipient of the Delegate-of-the-Year Award in 2020
  • Delegate Assistance Committee Co-Chair (since 2018); member since 2016
  • Resolutions Committee member 2019-2021
  • Appointed by the HOD Speaker as the Co-Chair for the ad-hoc Affiliate Pandemic Impact committee 2020-2021

Affiliate Activities:

  • MSRC Member since 1996
  • MSRC Past President 2012/13
  • MSRC Past President 2012/13
  • MSRC President’s Award recipient in 2010, 2012, 2016, 2018
  • State Affiliate Recipient of the AARC Summit Award in 2012 (committee Chair for gathering and submitting the application)
  • Professional Practice committee member-current
  • Past Pulmonary Rehab Section Chair
  • Past Professional Development Chair
  • Current Legislative Co-Chair (since 2010)
  • Current PACT member (since 2008)
  • Annual Fall Conference Program Chair (since 2008)

Related Organizations:

  • American Lung Association (ALA) Local Leadership Board (LLB) member since 2014
  • ALA Lung Force Walk Committee member since 2014 (Detroit Walk)
  • ALA Fight for Air Climb Committee member since 2014 (Detroit)
  • COPD Foundation State Captain since 2010


  • Bachelor of Human Kinetics; Honors Movement Science, Windsor, Ontario, Canada 1995
  • RRT, Henry Ford Community College, Dearborn, MI 1998
  • Master of Science-Community Health (eligible), Detroit, MI expected graduation date December 2024

Elections Committee Questions:

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the profession of respiratory care, and what do you recommend the ARC do to address it?

In Michigan, the number of expected graduates among all 10 Associate Level Programs for this Spring is approximately 130-140. One of the largest hospital systems in Southeast Michigan employs 100-120 RT’s at 3 / 8 of their campuses and on average have 20+ open positions. One of my greatest concerns for the future profession is sustainability and the ability to fill these gaps. With the pandemic increasing the visibility of our profession, I would’ve hoped that there would be more interest and that potential students would be knocking down our doors to enroll in the program. This is such an amazing profession, however, we lose many ‘Health Career’ students to the Nursing program and I struggle to understand why. I would love to see a targeted marketing initiative (such as a toolkit) that truly highlights our profession to students who are considering a career in health care while they are still in high school, or who are attending health career classes at the post-secondary level.

Healthcare is changing more rapidly than ever. What ideas do you have to help today’s respiratory therapist meet these changes?

Although the AARConnect is a helpful tool for networking at the local level within our affiliate, I feel that we need an elevated platform that would allow us to better promote a sense of community and support within our affiliates across the country. For example, with healthcare processes and practices changing almost daily, how great would it be if a member in Michigan could send a ‘poll’ about a particular practice to the entire RT community? Or to be able to share a best practice video with those across the country? Another great feature would for affiliates to use such a platform to engage their members in Advocacy initiatives. In today’s online community, we are no longer bound by geographical limitations providing us with so many more opportunities to stay active within our organization despite busy schedules and to interact with and support each other.

Role-Specific Questions:

Your role as Director-at Large is to represent the general AARC membership. If given the opportunity to represent, how would you use your skills and experience to advance and advocate for the respiratory care profession?

I feel as though the experiences that I have had within my affiliate (MSRC) to represent our profession at the state level have provided me with a solid foundation to represent our profession at the national level. I have had many opportunities to represent RT’s and patients in Michigan by advocating for legislation aimed not only at advancing our profession but also to improve patient care. More than 20 years ago, I was fortunate to have been part of the legislative efforts to pass a National Pulmonary Rehabilitation Medicare Bill and through the 500+ letters sent for our Pulmonary Rehab patients and their family members, have seen first had the results of true grassroots efforts. I have been an AARC PACT member since 2008 and as Legislative Co-Chair within my affiliate, have been instrumental in ensuring our membership is aware of any legislation affecting our profession and our patients and provide a Legislative update at every House meeting and during our bi-annual Conferences. Our Legislative committee is very active and works closely with our lobbyist-in fact, we are very close to introducing legislation to revise our licensure bill which would include provisions to require RRT as the minimum credential needed for licensure and to include a CE component as our Bill currently does not require CE. I would like to thank the MSRC for the many opportunities and experiences I have had to represent our state membership and patients and am confident that these experiences will be instrumental in my ability to effectively represent the AARC membership as Director-at-Large.

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