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Meet the Breathing Better, Living Well Team!

At Breathing Better, Living Well we have an amazing volunteer team of moderators, respiratory therapists and advisors. Each member of our team brings to BBLW his or her own special brand of professional and personal expertise, understanding, compassion and humor.

We’re here with information and support to help you make each day with chronic lung disease as healthy and positive as possible. Stop by and say hello, ask a question, or make a new friend on the BBLW Community Forum. We’re looking forward to meeting you!


Director

Jane photo

Jane M. Martin, BA, LRT, CRT

Jane M. Martin, BA, LRT, CRT is the founder and director of Breathing Better, Living Well. She has worked as a respiratory therapist for over 30 years in all areas of care; medical, surgical, intensive care, and emergency, and also with patients in Pulmonary Rehabilitation and a Better Breathers' support group. She believes that a full life with chronic lung disease begins with effective education and support. Jane works as the Associate Director of Education for the COPD Foundation and is the author of Live Your Life With COPD: 52 Weeks of Health, Happiness and Hope and Breathe Better, Live in Wellness: Winning Your Battle Over Shortness of Breath as well as over 60 articles on COPD. She lives in West Michigan with her very patient family and enjoys walking, cooking and traveling. Click here to learn more about Jane.


Ask the RT (Respiratory Therapist)

John

Craig, RRT

Craig has been practicing Respiratory Therapy for fifteen years. He has a wide range of experience including emergency care, pediatrics, bronchoscopy assistance, and pulmonary function testing. He especially enjoys working in critical care, which he finds exciting and challenging in difficult situations. 

Craig is the author of BreathWish, a scriptural guide to smoking cessation and understanding COPD. A devout Christian, Craig is also involved in Heartwise Ministries, an organization helping provide health-related services to those in need.

A resident of Tennessee, Craig is married to his wife Melissa and has two young children.


sunset over lake

Sandy, RRT

Sandy has been a respiratory therapist for over 30 years. Over the course of her career she has focused most of her time with patients in Intensive Care and Emergency, and at one time or another worked all shifts.

She currently works as a manager in Pulmonary Rehab and has for about 12 years. She looks at it as her most rewarding experience as a respiratory care professional. “I love to see my patients improve their quality of life and be able to do the things they love...maybe a little slower but nontheless still doing it!!!!”

Sandy lives in Michigan, has two grown children and loves to get away with her family to camp and do outdoor activities. “The guys are avid hunters and fishermen and us girls do movies and dinner while they are out in the wilds.”


Bob BBLW

Bob

Bob is a long-time (over 35 years) Registered Respiratory Therapist and COPD and Asthma Educator. He’s worked in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and home medical equipment companies in California, Nevada, and Florida. His career has allowed him to enjoy roles in clinical, critical care, education, home care, and pulmonary rehabilitation.

Bob currently works as a Staff Respiratory Therapist at night and also helps in Community COPD Support Groups, Community Teams, COPD Advocacy and coordinate COPD Community Workshops in Florida and throughout the Southeast Region of the United States.

Of all the wonderful experiences and opportunities he’s had, Bob feels the most important has been the awareness of the need and benefit of Pulmonary Rehabilitation, for the formal Phase II Program and beyond. He believes in the importance of support and commitment for the lifetime pursuit of lung health achieved through Phase III Rehab, Home Exercise, an on-going active lifestyle of collaborative self-management with your provider team, and supporting one another in your local COPD Community.

Bob lives in Southwest Florida with his family and a cat named Lucky. Whenever possible he and his wife try to visit beaches of Florida and the mountains of North Carolina. Bob met Jane last year after using many BBLW resources for our SW Florida Support Groups and considers it an honor to join the “Ask the RT” BBLW Team!


Dawn Turner BBLW

Dawn

I’m Dawn and I’ve been a critical care respiratory therapist for 20 years. After graduating as a RT in 1991 I moved to Hawaii with my college sweetheart and worked as an RCP at Queen's Medical Center until 1997. I then moved to Asheville, North Carolina and have worked at Mission Health System ever since.  

I have two beautiful children Lauren and Joshua, who are by far my proudest accomplishments! I love to run, garden and spend time with my family hiking and exploring the Mountains of Western North Carolina. I absolutely love Indian Cuisine—anything hot will do! I long for summer days when children are laughing and I'm experimenting in the kitchen, or more importantly my husband is the master of the grill.

I am currently enrolled in the Master’s Program for Health Care Quality at George Washington University, serve as an interim clinical director for RT students at our acute care facility, and serve as chairperson for both a COPD core task force team and a community coordination and advocacy task force team in our region.

I’m passionate about providing GOLD (Global initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease) standards for all patients with a diagnosis of COPD, and I feel strongly that we must advocate for screening for all persons at risk for developing COPD. I am honored to join the BBLW team and look forward to learning from each one of you!


Mark RT BBLW

Mark

I’ve been an RT for about 40 years, having worked in most every area of the hospital, outpatient rehabilitation, home care and teaching for several respiratory therapist programs. I’ve lectured quite a bit at seminars and conferences for respiratory therapy as well as served as editor, author and columnist for several COPD-related publications. I have a keen interest in long-term oxygen therapy. 

As the father of a wonderful daughter who, through 30 years, has endured the ravages of Cystic Fibrosis, two double lung transplants and all that has gone with that journey, I have a personal and vested interest in lung disease and the plight of those who live with it. 

For fun, I sing. I’ve done opera, in the San Antonio Opera Chorus, for eight seasons, 22 years with the Texas Bach Choir, at my church as cantor, for a friend for his Jewish congregation and various solo and other gigs.  I play golf as much as my wife will tolerate. My wife and I are embarking on a new chapter in our life together, having finally gained the empty nest, reacquainting with each other at long last at a slower pace and both having semi-retired – now doing things we want for our income, rather than the nine to five rat race – at least for the time being. She has an eye and developing talent for water color painting which I am pushing her to pursue.


Contributing Professionals

Contributing professionals are not responsible, nor liable, for information found on the Breathing Better Living Well website. The answers here are not intended as medical advice, but information only. We encourage you to discuss this information with your personal physician so he or she can consider if it is appropriate in your individual situation.

Dr. Robert Sandhaus

Robert A. Sandhaus, M.D., Ph.D., F.C.C.P.

Dr. Sandhaus has nearly forty years of experience in medicine and research aimed at improving our understanding of alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency and related disorders. He is board-certified in the specialty areas of internal medicine, pulmonary disease, and critical care medicine.

Dr. Sandhaus was a principal investigator for the NIH Alpha1-Antitrypsin Deficiency Registry in the early 1990s and is a founding member of the Boards of Directors of AlphaNet and the Alpha-1 Foundation. He joined the biopharmaceutical industry in 1994 and helped lead the clinical departments of Cortech, Inc., NeXstar Pharmaceuticals, and Gilead Sciences over the subsequent six years before accepting a position with AlphaNet and the Alpha-1 Foundation in April of 2000. He is now Clinical Director of the Alpha-1 Foundation and Medical Director and Executive Vice President of AlphaNet.

In addition, since 1981 Dr. Sandhaus has been a faculty member at the National Jewish Health in Denver, caring for one of the largest, continuously-followed groups of individuals with Alpha-1 in the world. He currently serves as Professor of Medicine and Director of the Alpha-1 Program at National Jewish Health.

Dr. Sandhaus received a B.A. in Molecular Biology from Haverford College and went on to receive a Ph.D. in experimental pathology and a medical degree at the Stony Brook University. He has held academic positions at Harvard Medical School, the University of California at San Francisco, and the University of Colorado.

Dr. Sandhaus was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He now lives in Bow Mar, Colorado with his family.


Dr. Francis Adams

Dr. Francis V. Adams

Francis V. Adams, M.D. is a pulmonologist in private practice in New York City. Dr. Adams received his BA from Georgetown University and his medical degree from Cornell Medical College. He is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at New York University and an Attending Physician at the NYU Langone Medical Center and Bellevue Hospital in New York.

In 2006 Dr. Adams was sworn in as a police surgeon for the NYPD. He is the author of The Asthma Sourcebook (McGraw Hill) which is now in the 3rd Edition, The Breathing Disorders Sourcebook (McGraw Hill) and Healing Through Empathy (iUniverse). Dr. Adams is a contributor to The LA Times and hosts Doctor Radio on Sirius/XM satellite radio weekly. He has been named as one of the best doctors in the city by New York Magazine and in Top Doctors: New York Metro Area by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd.

Dr. Adams has been interviewed on television, radio, and the Internet in regard to his books and has been quoted on the subject of asthma in newspaper and magazine articles. He has maintained a web site (www.adamsmd.com) for several years which includes a News page that lists the current advances in lung disease. Dr. Adams publishes an electronic newsletter weekly which is obtainable through his web site.


Dr. Vijai Sharma

Vijai Sharma, PhD, is a clinical psychologist with over 30 years experience. He had untreated asthma and chronic bronchitis since childhood and was diagnosed with Emphysema in 1994. Vijai strictly follows the COPD medical treatment and follows a program of wide-ranging exercise, nutrition and self-care.

Dr. Sharma specializes in mind-body medicine and appreciates how the anxiety, depression, anger, pain and stress can affect cardiopulmonary, colon and immune system function. He believes that we can utilize the body, breath, mind and spiritual energy for personal well-being, overall health and a better quality of life.

He is currently in private practice and directs the Behavioral Medicine Center in Cleveland, TN. He received extensive clinical training in India, the U.K. and Sweden and has been licensed as a clinical psychologist in Tennessee since 1981. He is a certified yoga teacher and registered with U.S. Yoga Alliance (500+hours) since 2004. He is a yoga instructor at the local YMCA and other fitness facilities and has completed advance teachers’ training in Yoga. Vijai believes yoga has helped him psychologically and physically in his battle with emphysema since being diagnosed.

Dr. Sharma has developed two exercise DVDs and companion workbooks, “Stretching and Breathing Exercises for Severe COPD,” and “Stretching and Breathing for COPD.” His clinical focus is on developing psychosocial interventions for anxiety and depression in COPD and he presents nationally on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Yoga Breathing Techniques for people with COPD. He has written over 300 self-care articles for people and families struggling with chronic illnesses. www.mindpub.com For specific COPD information: http://www.mindpub.com/copdhome.htm.


Helen Sorenson

Helen Sorenson, MA, RRT, CPFT, FAARC, is a respiratory therapist and the Director of Clinical Education and an Associate Professor at the Department of Respiratory Care at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas.

She obtained a degree in Biology from Dana College in Blair Nebraska; CRT, RRT, and CPFT from California College for Respiratory Care; and a Master of Arts (MA) in Social Gerontology from the University of Nebraska. Her passion for the art of respiratory care and helping patients breathe better is evident in everything she does.

Helen has three children, five grandchildren, and enjoys writing playing the guitar and reading. She is a published author and is currently at work on a textbook on geriatric care.


Larry's Dogs

Larry Westby, MS, RRT

Larry Westby, MS, RRT is a respiratory therapist and the president of LMW Inc. a disease management company assisting primary care physicians and their patients / families in the management of asthma and early stage COPD in the physician office setting.

Larry has been a registered respiratory therapist since 1979, his graduate studies were in human physiology at Michigan State University.

After 15 years in the acute care hospital setting, Larry moved his practice to the primary care physician office setting. He refined his program over the course of two years, gathering outcomes information, which indicated significant reduction in costs, hospitalizations, ER visits and a higher quality of life for his patients.

In 1998 LMW Inc. was formed to expand these programs to a large number of physician practices nationally.

Larry has been an instructor for Indiana University, Central Michigan University, Ivy Tech State College, and a guest lecturer at many professional and clinical programs. He has authored or co-authored over 20 professional articles in professional & industry publications.

"I feel that standards of care can be made useful to every patient in their daily lives. Getting this information to primary care physicians, and thereby patients and their families can result in major improvements in care, and symptom free living.”

Larry currently lives deep in the "Northwoods" with his family and three golden retrievers.

 

 

 

   
 
 


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