The 41st Respiratory Care Class graduated from Crafton Hills College on December 19th. Due to the power outage at the college, the ceremony was held at the Yucaipa Performing Arts Center. Over 300 attendees packed the venue to support the thirty-two graduates on stage.

Dean of Career Education and Human Development Dan Word welcomed the crowd. He congratulated the students who are now able to provide care for the thousands of people who suffer from breathing problems.

Medical Director Dr. Roger Seheult applauded the Crafton Hills College program for being the most decorated Sputum Bowl champions in the country, adding that our graduates are part of an esteemed group and well respected in the field. The Sputum Bowl is a knowledge competition for respiratory care students.

Program Director Michael Sheahan explained the difficulty of content and requirements for the program. He said that a usual course load for a full-time student would be 12-15 units but that students in this program take up to 29.5 units per semester.  He thanked the students for their dedication and acknowledged their skills as they move into the field. “You are no longer students; you are now colleagues and friends,” Sheahan said.

Class speaker, Andrew Sanders, who was chosen by his classmates to provide a message on their behalf, explained that most people take breathing for granted. “We don’t think about breathing until we can’t,” said Sanders. He encouraged his class to be useful, compassionate, and nurture your patients.

The ceremony concluded with special awards given for the Lambda Beta Society to Michelle Fletes, Laura Kinkey, Jesus McDowell, and Peter Dabbour. Certificates were presented to Anthony Pratt (for Outstanding Clinical Performance) and to Laura Kinkey (for Outstanding Academic Performance).