Home > Blog > November 2015 > Pima Medical Institute’s Las Vegas Campus Wins National Respiratory Care Academic Championship

Pima Medical Institute’s Las Vegas Campus Wins National Respiratory Care Academic Championship

Posted: November 13, 2015 by Elizabeth Baker

TAMPA, Fla. (Nov. 13, 2015) – After three days of harrowing competition, Pima Medical Institute’s Las Vegas campus took the national Sputum Bowl championship title during the American Association for Respiratory Care’s annual congress in Tampa, Fla., on Nov. 9.

The team of four had to fight their way to the finals and faced a tough competitor during semi-finals—a team of students from the University of Minnesota Rochester’s Mayo Clinic respiratory therapy program. Pima Medical beat the Mayo Clinic team and then advanced to the finals, where they beat Florida home team Valencia College by eight points, 18-10. The team studied for months in advance with their instructors to prepare for the national title.

The competition is fast-paced, with each round lasting only about 10 minutes. It’s a Jeopardy-style challenge that requires students accurately identify respiratory problems based on questions or images. They prove their knowledge during several grueling sessions, answering questions that span the gamut, from mechanical breathing and lung diseases, to anatomy and physiology. 

Pima Medical Institute also sent three other state championship teams to Sputum Bowl this year—a first in the school’s history. Respiratory therapy students from the Mesa, Ariz., Albuquerque, N.M., and Denver campuses competed and made it through several rounds of competitive brackets before the only final champion remained on stage.

“The 2015 Las Vegas team represents top academic excellence,” said Pima Medical President and Chief Executive Officer, Fred Freedman. “All four of our teams competed with passion after months of preparation. We're proudly celebrating our sixth national championship win in 11 years.  Our students' accomplishments represent Pima Medical Institute's commitment to quality curriculum and graduates' professional success."
Pima Medical Institute Sputum Bowl 2015

The Las Vegas team consisted of four competitors—Alex Galvez, Kyle Pinholster, Michael Gonzalez and Kersten Haughton. Last year, three campuses from Pima Medical Institute—Denver, Las Vegas and Tucson, Ariz.—competed in the state championship, with Denver winning the national title. Pima Medical has won the competition six times, including 2015, 2014, 2013, 2008, 2006 and in 2005. In 2010, the Denver faculty won in the Practitioner Sputum Bowl championship.

In addition to winning Sputum Bowl, the Las Vegas team had another special opportunity—touring Tampa General Hospital—a 1018-bed hospital that’s rated number three for quality care in Florida. The team toured the critical care areas, including the neonatal intensive care unit, pediatrics, trauma and the burn unit.

“They presented themselves as professionals and the supervisor that took us on the tour told them to put his name on their applications, should they decide to apply there,” said Pima Medical Institute Las Vegas Respiratory Therapy Instructor, Jason Hall, MBA, RRT-AACS. “In addition, many of the hospital’s staff saw us compete at Sputum Bowl and were impressed with the skillset of our excellent students.”

The American Association for Respiratory Care’s (AARC) 2015 Congress features the latest in technology and breakthroughs in respiratory care. It is the largest of its kind in the world, bringing together leading respiratory therapists, physicians, managers, educators and students, and features more than 250 continuing education sessions, 150 speakers, 300 research topics, 200 exhibitors and several events, including the Sputum Bowl.

To learn more, visit the AARC online at www.aarc.org. To view a video of the winning Sputum Bowl teams, go to http://goo.gl/4rPuLw.

Pima Medial Institute offers the associate degree in respiratory therapy at eight campuses in Tucson and Mesa, Ariz., Las Vegas, Denver, Chula Vista, Calif., Albuquerque, N.M., Houston and Renton, Wash. It also offers a bachelor of science degree in respiratory therapy online. To learn more, visit www.pmi.edu/programs.

Media Contact                           
Elizabeth Baker
Public Relations and Communications Specialist

About Pima Medical Institute
Pima Medical Institute is a private, accredited school dedicated to provide students classroom studies paired with real-world training at medical facilities. Established in 1972, Pima Medical Institute helps students become career ready, focusing exclusively on health care professions, including medical, dental, veterinary and nursing fields. Curriculum includes certificate, associate degree and bachelor’s degree programs, ranging from nursing, medical assistant and radiology technician to veterinary assistant and dental hygienist.
Pima Medical Institute operates 16 campuses as well as an online division. The medical career college has a presence in eight western states with ground locations in Albuquerque, N.M.; Tucson, Phoenix and Mesa, Ariz.; Denver and Colorado Springs, Colo.; Seattle and Renton, Wash.; Las Vegas, N.V.; Houston and El Paso, Texas; Chula Vista, Calif.; and Dillon, Mont. For more information and a complete list of programs offered at each campus, visit pmi.edu or call 1-888-442-5998.

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