Thomas J. Kallstrom, MBA, RRT, FAARC, has been named Executive Director and CEO of the American Association for Respiratory Care, upon the retirement of Sam Giordano, who held that position for over 30 years.
AARC President Karen Stewart, in making the announcement said, “This is absolutely the right choice for us. We are pleased that Tom has accepted the position.” She indicated that the search committee was impressed with Kallstrom’s patient-centric philosophies. “We were looking for someone from the profession, a respiratory therapist, to lead the organization. His vision is very consistent with where we have been going as an association.”
Kallstrom, who has been a respiratory therapist for over 30 years, has spent the last six as the AARC’s Chief Operating Officer. Prior to that, he held staff and management positions with Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, OH and later at the Cleveland Clinic system. He began his career in Minnesota at University of Minnesota Hospitals.
Over the years, both as a staff member and a volunteer for the AARC, Kallstrom has carried the banner for respiratory therapists. He was a member of the Board of Directors before coming to the AARC. He has been a recognized leader in asthma disease management, working with government agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, and National Asthma Education and Prevention Program. Spearheading the development of asthma and COPD education for clinicians and patients and representing the respiratory therapist’s interests with industry, have been hallmarks of his career. He will continue to work to promote the profession and the patients that respiratory therapists care for as he takes the helm of the organization.
Sam Giordano, MBA, RRT, FAARC, leaves a legacy behind after serving as Executive Director since 1981. He officially retires on June 1.