2017 Board of Directors Elections: Meet the Candidates

Dear NYSSRC members,

Our 2017 elections are almost upon us.  We are looking forward to everyone participating in this as it will help us to shape our Board for the next couple of years and perhaps beyond.  It is extremely important to vote and we ask that you do so even for those positions which are running uncontested as it is a requirement of our bylaws that we meet minimum participation thresholds for a valid election.  Voting is NOT currently active but is anticipated to be made available on November 25, 2017 and will be open through Christmas (12/25/17).  Our date of record is going to be 11/20/17 which means all active AARC members on that date with NYS addresses will be eligible to vote.  So, if you’re not a member or your membership has lapsed then join/renew now and let your voice be heard!

Please note that unless otherwise specified all of these positions have one vacancy pending (a provision for write-ins will be available as well).  Individuals who win these elections will join the returning board members on the new board in January.  Without further adieu, here are the candidates on the slate as approved by the current Board of Directors last week (10/20/17):


Joseph McDonald, MS, RRT
Joe currently serves as the Associate Director of Respiratory Care Services and Upstate Hospital and Golisano Children’s Hospital in Syracuse. His past experience with the NYSSRC board includes Chair for the Central Region several times, President Elect, President, and Past President. He served on the American Lung Association Board until the organization reorganized and relocated to Albany. In addition he has served on Respiratory boards for Onondaga Community College and Upstate Medical University. He also currently serves on the Perkins Committee for Onondaga Community College.
Joe has spoken at regional and national conferences. He has taught adult and pediatric clinical sessions and limited clinical classroom teaching in a past life. Programs co-chaired include State Conferences and annual Great New York State Fair events. Member of AARC for over twenty years. He served in the Navy from 1984 to 1988 and received an Honorable Discharge.

Research activities includes High Flow with MyAirvo, Surfactant in Adult Mechanically Ventilated Patients, Partial Liquid Ventilation in the treatment of Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome in adults, Carperitide use in the treatment of Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome in adults, and E5564 in the Adult Organ Failure Patient.
Personal interests include being an Assistant Scoutmaster of Boy Scouts, kayaking, camping, and hiking. He lives with his wife and daughter. His son is currently serving in the Air Force.

Christine Slocum, BSRC, RRT, RPFT, AE-C
Chris holds a Bachelors Degree in Cardiopulmonary Science from Upstate Medical University and an Associates Degree in Respiratory Therapy from Erie Community College. She currently works in the Western NY region for Rochester Regional Health and was previously the Cardiopulmonary Services Manager for Samaritan Medical Center in Watertown, NY.She has been active in the profession for 30 years and an AARC member for 22. Chris has served on the CNY Board for over 10 years and is deeply involved at the state level as well. She has served on several committees and was elected as Treasurer prior to her most recent Presidential administration. Chris is currently on the NYSSRC Board of Directors as the Immediate Past President.


Thomas Harvie, RRT, CPFT
Tom is a graduate of the Respiratory Therapy Program at Springfield Technical Community College in Springfield, MA. He is currently the Ventilator Program Director and Director for Respiratory Services at the Northeast Center for Rehab and Brain Injury in Lake Katrine, NY. He has been an RT and AARC member for 26 years. He is currently the Vice-President of NYSSRC and has previously served as NYSSRC Treasurer. He has served the NENY Region (Chapter) of NYSSRC as treasurer for many years and has served on numerous committees for NYSSRC. He is currently Co-chairman of the Program Committee. He is a member of the Hudson Valley Respiratory Director Association and serves currently as their Secretary.


Andy Mulvaugh, RRT-NPS, MS
Andy currently holds the position of Director of Respiratory Therapy at Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo, NY. He spent 8 years at Kaleida Health as a Transport Respiratory Therapist for Women and Children’s Hospital as well as 2 years in Quality and Patient Safety at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital. He has also worked at Sister’s hospital and Kenmore Mercy for the Catholic Health System as a Respiratory Therapist.
Andy is a Buffalo native, and holds an Associates Degree in Respiratory Therapy and a Bachelors Degree in Applied Health Science both from Bowling Green State University. He also earned a Masters Degree in Health Service Administration from D’Youville College.


Maureen Welch, BS, RRT, NPS
Maureen is the Director of Clinical Education and a full time Instructor at Genesee Community College. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care from the Suny Health Science Center Upstate Medical in Syracuse NY and a second Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Pittsburgh. Maureen worked at the University of Rochester in various positions from 1991 to 2016. These included staff therapist, Neonatal /Pediatric Clinical Coordinator as well as a per diem therapist in the Pediatric Pulmonary Clinic. Along with extensive and diverse clinical experience, Maureen gained professional experience working on the industry side educating and selling for CareFusion (now Vyaire) from 2008-2015. She is an active member in the NYS Society for Respiratory Care and is currently acting Secretary for the NYSSRC. Maureen has been an Executive Board member on their Board of Directors since January 2016. She has been a long time active member of the AARC as well.


Connie Zimicki, M.Ed, BA, RRT
Connie is currently the Director of Clinical Education at Erie Community College where she has worked since 2001. She has diverse work experience having worked for a number of Buffalo area hospitals and as a former Director of Respiratory Care for Associated Healthcare. Her volunteerism extends beyond the profession as a member of both Genesee County’s 4H Equine Board and Niagara County’s 4H Board.  Connie has been an AARC member since 2002 and an active member of the NYSSRC. She is the co-Chair of the WNY Regional Symposium in Niagara Falls and currently holds two positions on the board: WNY Regional Director and Treasurer


Douglas Wilkinson RRT-ACC
Doug is a graduate of the Hudson Valley Community College Respiratory Care Program, and also possesses a Bachelors in Respiratory Care from Boise State University with honors. In his 8th year of practice, he spends a large portion of his time in the inpatient setting working in both adult and neonatal intensive care areas at St. Peter’s Hospital (Albany, NY), as well as promoting multi-disciplinary growth and development through a variety of hospital based educational programs. Further expanding his clinical practice, Doug also works in international fixed wing critical care air transport for REVA Inc., the largest fixed wing air ambulance provider in the Americas. Through his work with the United States Department of Health and Human Services, he has developed a passion for humanitarian relief on the Disaster Medical Assistance Team for the Metro NY-2 region. Recently he has participated in providing austere medical care for victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Doug participates actively as a member of the hospitals Hazmat Decontamination team, and will be expanding this role through training as an advanced Hazmat life support provider in the near future. Doug began exploring professional leadership roles by becoming a chair of the NICU committee, and more recently as a member of the Board of Directors for the Gift of Life of Rotary District 7190. Doug is eager to expand his leadership talents into the realm of promoting the profession that he has grown to love. Doug finds great value in supporting leadership, education, and growth in our field, and looks positively toward the future development of Respiratory Care throughout New York State.

Marilyn (Kunk) Pastizzo RRT,NPS
Marilyn started her career in 1978 after graduating from Miami Valley School of Respiratory Care. In 1996 she graduated from California College of Health Sciences. She became a National Board Certified NPS in 1998. Marilyn has taught for the American Lung Association- Tucson chapter as a day camp instructor for children with asthma. She was a volunteer for at Double H camp for Camp Inspiration, mentored for Pima community college and at Hudson Valley community college. A consistent member of AARC since 1993 she is presently a staff therapist at Albany Medical Center for the past 27 years.

Leslie Chesher, RRT
Leslie is a 2012 graduate of the Respiratory Therapy Program at Genesee Community College in Batavia, NY, where she was class president. She is currently a senior/charge therapist and a member of the ECMO team at Rochester General Hospital. She has been an RT and member of the AARC for 5 years. Leslie has worked for Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network, as the first Respiratory Therapist in New York State, as an organ Procurement Coordinator. She has a bachelor’s degree in Public Justice from SUNY Oswego in 2005. She was an investigator for Child Protective Services in Monroe County prior to attending Respiratory School.

CENTRAL NY REGIONAL DIRECTOR: (two positions open; most votes earns longer term)
Joseph Colello, RRT, BSRT
Joe received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Respiratory Therapy from SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse New York in 2012. Prior to Respiratory school, Joe was a managing partner for 15 years in a family business serving as CEO. After graduation, Joe stated at Samaritan Medical Center in Watertown, New York where he has been for the past 5 years. Joe has also been a staff therapist at Rochester Regional Health (Rochester General), Rochester New York and at River Hospital, Alexandria Bay, New York where he is the Cardiopulmonary Manager. He currently serves on the Upstate Medical University College of the Professions alumni board and is on the Strategic Growth Planning committee.

John Ringleham, BS, RRT
John is a graduate of the Respiratory Care Program at Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica, NY. He also earned a BS in Civil Engineering from SUNY Polytechnic Institute. John is a proud Veteran of the United States Army. He currently works as a staff therapist at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse and also serves as adjunct faculty at Mohawk Valley Community College. John has been an RRT and AARC member for 3 years. He is a member of the Tobacco Action Coalition of Onondaga County and currently serves the NYSSRC as the Chairman of the Annual State Symposium at the Turning Stone.

Cathey Sullivan, MBA, RT, RRT, RPFT, Pediatric/Perinatal Specialist
Cathey is the Director of Respiratory Care/EEG/Sleep at Nyack Hospital in Nyack, NY. She holds an MBA in Health Administration from Iona College and both a BS and AAS in Respiratory Therapy from SUNY Upstate Medical Center.

Professional Associations include: Member Hudson Valley Respiratory Directors Association since 1992, Secretary HVRDA, 1994-98; member Board of Directors, American Lung Association, Hudson Valley 1989-1998, Hudson Valley Coordinator, Camp Treasure Chest, ALA of Connecticut and Hudson Valley, Alpha Eta Honor Society, 1997; Lambda Beta Honor Society, 1998.

She has been an AARC member since 1978. AARC Affiliate: New York State Society for Respiratory Care, Hudson Valley Chapter: President, 2000-2002, 2004-2006,; 2008-2010; Rockland Regional Director 2011; President-Elect, 1998-2000, 2002-2004, 2006-2008; Treasurer, 1995-2000, Rockland County Representative.1988-1992. She currently holds the Hudson Valley Regional Director position with the NYSSRC.

Ann D. Cuccia, MPH RRT-NPS, RPFT
Ann Cuccia is currently the Director of Clinical Education for the Respiratory Care Program at Stony Brook University and teaches the program’s courses in mechanical ventilation and pulmonary pathology. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Health and a Bachelor of Science degree in Cardiorespiratory Sciences (CRS) from Stony Brook University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Longwood University, Virginia.

Early in her career, Ann worked as a respiratory therapist at University Hospital at Stony Brook (UHSB). During her time at UHSB, she was promoted to Coordinator of the Respiratory Care Unit at UHSB, a unit specifically created for tracheostomized patients who had difficulty being weaned from mechanical ventilation. Ann left UHSB and accepted a position in the Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Program at Southampton Hospital in Southampton, NY. There she provided healthy-lifestyle and disease self-management, education, and support to patients with both chronic lung and cardiac disease. She also managed the pulmonary function lab, provided asthma education, facilitated tobacco cessation programs, and continued as a clinical instructor for students in the Stony Brook Respiratory Care Program.

Ann serves as a committee member and Board member on several university, professional, and civic organizations and serves as a reviewer for the peer-reviewed journal Respiratory Care. Ann has a seven-year history of service to her local chapter and to the NYSSRC. She is Past-president of the Southeastern Chapter of the NYSSRC and has served as board member, symposium committee chair, and member of the by-laws, membership and nominations/elections committees at the local level. At the state level, Ann has served as board member of the NYSSRC and member of awards, nominations/elections, publication, and symposium committees. She currently serves as a committee member on the School of Health Technology and Management Faculty Assembly, has served on the Stony Brook University Tobacco Free Campus Task Force Committee and the University’s Healthier U Committee, which provides health and wellness opportunities and education to the employees of the university.

Her research interests include aerosol medicine, E-cigarettes, COPD, asthma, pulmonary rehabilitation, lung cancer and tobacco cessation. She has presented at local and national conferences and together with her colleagues in Stony Brook’s Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, Ann has published several research papers related to aerosol medicine and mechanical ventilation. Ann recently presented an abstract and poster at the 2017 AARC Open Forum in Indianapolis this October.