AARC Mourns the Loss of 1989 President Paul Mathews

 Published: May 25, 2017

By: Fernanda Teixeira


Paul Mathews

The AARC was saddened to learn of the death of Paul Mathews, PhD, RRT, FCCM, FCCP, FAARC. Dr. Mathews passed away on May 25 after a long illness.

A member of the AARC since 1966, Paul Mathews earned his certificate in inhalation therapy from Yale New Haven Medical Center in New Haven, CT, where his advisor was none other than the world renowned Donald F. Egan, MD. He went on to earn both AS and BS degrees from Quinnipiac College in Hamden, CT, a master’s degree from the University of Hartford in Hartford, CT, and a PhD and EdS from the University of Missouri in Kansas City.

Over his long career he served many organizations in many capacities, from staff therapist at Yale-New Haven Medical Center to respiratory care manager at Providence Hospital in Holyoke, MA, to associate professor at the University of Kansas.

From August of 1987 to January of 2010 he also worked as an instructor, coordinator, co-program director, and consultant for Project Hope in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Dr. Mathews was an active member of the AARC whose service culminated in 1989 with his presidency. Landmark issues covered during his year at the helm of our organization included opening a dialogue with the World Health Organization, welcoming the Mexican Society for Respiratory Care as a new international affiliate, increasing NBRC entry level exam scores by 15-20%, and declaring that the development of clinical practice guidelines would become a top Association goal in the years to come.

The co-author of three textbooks, including Foundations of Respiratory Care, a text familiar to many from their RT educational programs, Dr. Mathews published 200 articles in various national medical, nursing, and allied health journals during his long career, and authored chapters in ten books. He served on seven editorial boards and lectured at meetings across the country and around the world.

A member of numerous organizations in addition to the AARC, Dr. Mathews received Life Membership in the Association in 1990 and was named a Fellow of the AARC, the American College of Critical Care Medicine, and the American College of Chest Physicians. He won the A. Gerald Shapiro MD Award in 1990.

The internationalization of respiratory care continued to be one of Dr. Mathews’ passions throughout his career and he worked tirelessly with colleagues here in this country and abroad to ensure a free and open exchange of ideas on how to best care for people with lung conditions. In addition to Costa Rica, nations that benefited from his service include The Philippines, Colombia, Vietnam, Singapore, and the People’s Republic of China.

In this country, he served as a consultant/reviewer for the Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Public Health Service, and the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Paul Mathews will be sorely missed by all who knew him and all who benefited from the leadership he provided to the AARC.

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