Respiratory Therapy program student Jessica Pinedo is breaking new ground as the first student ever to run for president of California Society for Respiratory Care (CSRC) San Diego/Inland Empire Region. The Ontario campus’s RT student, who is due to graduate in May, was beyond excited after hearing that her application to pursue the office was approved by the Board of Directors.
Jessica’s run makes it the first time a student has taken aim at CSRC’s highest regional office. That spot is usually filled by an experienced Respiratory Therapist with a good deal of patient contact. Jessica is undaunted by the implied gap.
“I have great leadership and organizational skills, so I know I could do a really great job, bring these positive things to the field, and show that I’m on fire for Respiratory Care,” says Jessica. “And, the support I am receiving here on campus is phenomenal.”
That fire was easily noticed by RT instructor, Russ McCord, who currently holds the CSRC’s Vice President’s spot and was the one to suggest to Jessica that she submit her application for the position. With her enthusiastic acceptance, Mr. McCord put her nomination forward for review.
Because Jessica’s application was light on direct patient care, she brought all of her considerable accomplishments and talents to the forefront in order to demonstrate her viability for office.
She has hovered at a 4.0 GPA throughout her program, made both the Dean’s and Honor’s Lists, maintained memberships in the Lion’s Club, volunteered for the Cystic Fibrosis’ Great Strides Walk, American Lung Association’s Fight for Air, received the 2013 Academic Excellence Scholarship from the CSRC and is prepared to host the Drive 4 COPD in March.
Jessica is also a member of Phi Theta Kappa, is President of Lambda Beta SJVC Ontario Chapter, volunteered for the American Association for Respiratory Care talent membership, was on the CSRC program committee and was an assistant for their Government Affairs.
“I highly recommended Jessica because of her passion for Respiratory Care and the spirited, youthful energy she will bring to our region,” he says. Russ plans to cast his vote for Jessica as soon as the online voting begins.
Although both RT students and RT professionals can be members of this statewide organization, only respiratory care professionals are allowed to vote. The results are announced in May and newly elected officials take office in August for a two-year term.
Should she win the Presidency, Jessica is looking forward its myriad responsibilities, such as conducting meetings several times a year, organizing educational and social events, initiating campaigns to increase membership, creating a grass-roots coalition that will advocate better patient care, and providing information and education to elevate the respiratory care profession.
“I have so many ideas and plans,” says Jessica. “I can do this job and I hope I am given the opportunity to do this.”
She is just starting to roll out her campaign and plans to cast the net wide for supporters.
“We have built a Facebook group, so I’m hoping to network and reach out to a lot of RTs in our region, a lot of the clinical sites that I’ve been to and professionals I’ve met there,” she says. “I will also solicit support from RT instructors, our Director and SJVC RT alumni.”
SJVC is proud that one of our students has pointed her ambition toward the height of her profession, and we wish her great success in her run for the top.