As one of the nation’s largest and top respiratory therapy programs, the Cleveland Clinic Respiratory Therapy Section provides superb clinical care for adult, pediatric and neonatal patients, advances the science and profession of respiratory care, and promotes education of patients and medical professionals. Our Respiratory Institute therapists provide care at Cleveland Clinic main campus, regional hospitals and free-standing emergency departments across the enterprise.
Our respiratory therapists provide mechanical ventilation and other respiratory support measures for some of the most critically ill patients in the United States. Unique to the Cleveland Clinic, we also offer Respiratory Therapy Consult Services, which use clinical guidelines established by the American Association for Respiratory Care to optimize delivery of respiratory care services for patients.
The Respiratory Therapy Section provides 24-hour coverage for patients at these Cleveland Clinic locations:
If you are treated at Cleveland Clinic main campus you may be treated at any of these facilities: G, H, J, M buildings.
Treatment is also available in the Emergency Departments of these locations:
In addition to traditional therapy, we also provide the following advanced practices:
- Arterial line insertion
- Bronchoscopy assistance
- Mechanical ventilator management and weaning
- High-frequency oscillation
- Nitric oxide administration
- Noninvasive Positive Pressure Ventilation (NPPV)
Cleveland Clinic Respiratory Therapy section has more than 550 full-time and part-time respiratory therapists in addition to respiratory therapy supervisors and clinical specialists listed below.
- Umur Hatipoglu, MD, Enterprise Medical Director
- Muhammad Raza, MD, Associate Medical Director Regional Hospitals
- Karla Balasko, RRT, Director
- John Burkhart, RRT, Manager, West Regional Hospitals
- Daniel Sutton, RRT, Manager, East Regional Hospitals
- Rob Chatburn, MHHS, RRT-NPS, FAARC, Enterprise Program Manager, Research
- Vince Roberts, RRT, Enterprise Project Manager
- Susan Brant, RRT, Enterprise Quality Coordinator
- Matthew Jurecki, RRT, Enterprise Program Coordinator, Education
- Brittany Conley, RRT, Enterprise Flexible Staffing Pool Supervisor
- Bradley Boling, RRT, Enterprise Flexible Staffing Pool Supervisor
- Katherine Fedor, RRT, Manager, Pediatric Respiratory Therapy
Research & Clinical Trials
Respiratory therapy physicians who specialize in pulmonary and critical care medicine, as well as staff respiratory therapists and researchers perform basic science and clinical studies to improve respiratory therapy protocols and treatments.
Respiratory Therapy Research
Our research focuses on lung simulators, workflow, and management processes and protocols. We also test new and existing ventilation devices to determine their effectiveness in treating patients.
Some of our best research tools include our fully-integrated electronic medical records, electronic documentation and data management systems, which allow us to consistently track our outcomes and conduct valuable research measurements. Such research allows Cleveland Clinic respiratory therapists to stay current in their field and be up-to-date on the latest pulmonary techniques.
For Medical Professionals
Respiratory Therapy Opportunities
Full-time, part-time, and flexible staff pool positions are available for respiratory therapists at Cleveland Clinic, who desire to work in an environment that provides the opportunity to utilize the full spectrum of their clinical skills. Applicants must be registered or registry-eligible with an Ohio license, or respiratory therapy students with an appropriate license.
Work in Specialty Areas
We have an ongoing orientation process for preparing therapists to work in specialty areas, such as:
- Adult Critical Care (cardiovascular, medical, surgical, neurology)
- Critical Care Transport
- Neonatal Intensive Care
- Pediatric Intensive Care
- Emergency Department Care
- Cystic Fibrosis Care
- Flexible Staff Pool
- Flexible scheduling options
- In-house CME program, which gives therapists the opportunity to receive required continuing education for state licensure
- Research opportunities (we highly encourage participation in data collection, writing, and the presentation of research)
- Tuition reimbursement
- Opportunity for advancement through our unique career ladder
For questions about our respiratory therapy program, contact Karla Balasko, Enterprise Director, at 216.444.8338 or by email at [email protected]
Learn more about how to become a respiratory therapist, helpful respiratory care electronic books and useful respiratory therapy web resources.
Careers in Respiratory Therapy
Respiratory therapists work to evaluate, treat, and care for patients with asthma, bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, emphysema, lung cancer and AIDS, as well as heart attack and trauma victims and premature infants.
Respiratory therapists perform diagnostic and therapeutic procedures including:
- obtaining and analyzing sputum samples
- obtaining and analyzing arterial blood gas samples
- performing pulmonary function tests
- operating and maintaining various types of highly sophisticated equipment to administer oxygen or to assist with breathing
- employing mechanical ventilation in patients who cannot breathe adequately on their own
- monitoring and managing therapy to help a patient recover lung function
- administering medications in aerosol form to help alleviate breathing problems and prevent respiratory infections
- maintaining a patient's artificial airway, one that may be in place to help the patient who can't breathe through normal means
- educating the patient about their disease process and treatments their physician has prescribed.
Respiratory therapists are licensed health care professionals who must graduate from a fully accredited school offering either an associate's degree (two year) or a bachelor's degree (four year). Currently there are 18 accredited schools in the state of Ohio (15 offering associate's degrees and three baccalaureate programs).
Generally curriculum includes courses in anatomy and physiology, biology, chemistry, math and respiratory therapy. Training is done in a variety of classroom, laboratory, and clinical settings.
New graduates are required to obtain an Ohio license to practice respiratory care and must obtain the registered respiratory therapist (RRT) credential within one year of graduation.
- American Association for Respiratory Care
- National Board for Respiratory Care
- Respiratory Therapist—Cleveland Clinic Allied Health
Respiratory Care Web Resources
Visit the following sites for helpful information about respiratory care.
- American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC)
- National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC)
- Ohio Respiratory Care Board (ORCB)
- Ohio Society for Respiratory Care (OSRC)
- American Heart Association
- American Thoracic Society
- Advance for Respiratory Care Practitioners
- American Society for Critical Care Medicine