On Nov. 9, Sara Parker was named Neonatal Pediatrics Practitioner of the Year at the 2019 American Association for Respiratory Care International Convention. Respiratory therapists with the Neonatal/Pediatric specialty credential have demonstrated their knowledge and expertise with very low birthweight infants and medically fragile children in need of specialized ventilatory services. Parker was selected by her neonatal/pediatrics specialty colleagues across the United States for this distinguished recognition. 

“There are impressive respiratory therapists everywhere, and to be selected for this recognition definitely makes me proud,” said Parker.

She has been pursuing this career since high school, writing in her yearbook that in ten years, she would be “working in a neonatal intensive care unit as a respiratory therapist.” Parker worked as a critical care transport therapist, and now serves as an assistant clinical professor at the School of Health Professions. She is excited about having the opportunity to teach and train the next generation of neonatal and pediatric respiratory therapists. 

“Truthfully, I am passionate about all forms of respiratory critical care, but babies are my favorite. I tell my students that the smaller my patient is, the happier I am,” Parker said.