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A Friend of Our Profession

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August 19, 2013

Late last month we were informed of the passing of Dr. David Duane Gale of Richmond, KY. Dr. Gale’s passing has left respiratory therapists with one less friend and he will be missed.

Even though Dr. Gale was not a respiratory therapist, he was one of those rare human beings who answered a call for help to assist AARC in planning and implementation of its “2015 & Beyond” project. The project’s main goals were to analyze environmental forces at work within our nation’s health care system, create a vision for the future, and better prepare respiratory therapists to meet future challenges in expanded roles on behalf of the patients we serve.

Dr. Gale was the highly regarded dean of the College of Health Sciences at Eastern Kentucky University, where he served from 1973 until his retirement in 2011. As such, he didn’t just deal with one health profession but with several. He brought this perspective to the AARC project and was not afraid to share his opinions regardless of whether we wanted to hear them or not, but rather, because he felt we needed to hear them.

Our profession has come a long way over the last six-plus decades, but one thing we’ve always been short of is persons like Dr. Gale who give of their personal time in order to better position our profession to serve our patients.

As you know, if we are to thoughtfully guide our profession forward, we need input from a wide range of resources; not the least of which includes deans of allied health since these individuals are some of the gatekeepers to our profession’s education system. Dr. Gale helped our profession and the AARC as it conducted its work to complete “2015 & Beyond.” This involvement made the process better and, in so doing, helped to make our profession better too. We will miss him.