Skip to main content
San Joaquin Valley College Blog

Respiratory Therapy Program Director earns professional distinction

September 12, 2013
Mr. Westling himself – sporting the bow tie!

Visalia’s Respiratory Therapy Program Director, Barry Westling, has always stood out from the crowd. His iconic bow tie makes him immediately recognizable on campus – particularly by new Respiratory Therapy students seeking him out.

“I know it’s a somewhat different style from a different era, but it’s something I enjoy for myself,” says Mr. Westling, who owns over 40 bow ties and can quickly demonstrate the art of whipping the short length of cloth into perfect shape.

Recently, Barry Westling acquired yet another fine distinction when he was accepted into the Fellowship program of the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC), a national organization with approximately 52,000 members.

The AARC encourages and promotes professional excellence, advances the science and practice of respiratory care, and serves as an advocate for patients and their families, the public, the profession and respiratory therapists. An AARC Fellow is a Respiratory Therapist who is recognized to have reached a level of distinction in professional practice and who has made sustained contributions on a national level. Very few AARC members are nominated and even fewer attain Fellowship status.

“To be included among a list of such prestigious individuals is truly awe-inspiring,” says Mr. Westling, who was a first-time nominee.

“Fellows of the AARC (FAARC) are considered to be career professionals at the ‘top of their game’ and serve as role models for respiratory therapists nationwide,” says Patrick Dunne, MEd, RRT, FAARC and Chairperson for the AARC Fellowship Selection Committee

Barry Westling has many accomplishments and accolades, which made him an ideal candidate for fellowship consideration. In his professional capacity he has submitted questions for the National Board for Respiratory Care credentialing exams, served as Delegate to the AARC House of Delegates, represented Calif. to the national AARC organization, acted as New Terms consultant for Stedman’s Medical Dictionary for Allied Health and made major curriculum contributions to SJVC’s first A.S. degree program and Advanced Level RT program, to name just a few.

Inductions into the FAARC will take place at the annual AARC Awards Ceremony on Nov. 16 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

“Recognition as a Fellow is wonderful and humbling, but my years of service to students, patients, the college, and my profession are my true reward,” says Westling, who celebrates his 30th year with SJVC this month.

Mr. Westling hopes his professional accomplishments might guide students toward their own service to their professional community.

“There is a great need in the Central Valley to instill in students the importance of participation in professional societies through membership, meeting attendance and professional event participation,” says Westling. “Top leaders in our field are just regular people who step up to volunteer.”

Barry Westling has been a clear leader in his field and a true inspiration to his students. His entire 2012 RT graduating class demonstrated their respect and admiration for him by donning bow ties for their graduation ceremony. Theirs was a special tribute to a humble man deserving of many, it seems.