In the News

Happy 100th, Dr. Helmholz!

December 27, 2011

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Health care professionals up in Minnesota are celebrating a momentous occasion this week, as H. Frederic Helmholz, MD, marks his 100th birthday at a series of open houses being hosted by his three children in Rochester.

Many RTs remember Dr. Helmholz most fondly for the years he spent as a judge at the AARC Sputum Bowl, often appearing at the “finals” competition in costumes ranging from a Southern gentleman to Santa Claus. But this giant in our profession has made major contributions to the science of respiratory care as well, beginning in World War II with the study of decompression chambers and aviator bends and continuing at the Mayo Clinic, where he studied oxygen therapy and mechanical ventilation, and did pioneering work in pulmonary function testing.

He has been a big supporter of our profession too, founding the RT program at the Mayo Clinic and helping to develop the forerunners of today’s National Board for Respiratory Care and Committee on Accreditation of Respiratory Care.

Dr. Helmholz received the NBRC’s Albert H. Andrews, Jr., MD Award in 1988 and was the first Board member to achieve Trustee Emeritus status. He was honored with the AARC’s highest honor, the Jimmy A. Young Medal, in 1993.

Happy birthday, Dr. Helmholz, from all of your friends at the AARC!