PCC Creates Scholarship to Honor Longtime Respiratory Therapy Medical Director
By Rob Goldberg Jr.
PCC Media Relations Director
WINTERVILLE—The Pitt Community College Foundation has announced the creation of a scholarship to honor Dr. Robert Shaw for his longtime service as medical director of the college’s Respiratory Therapy (RT) program.
According to Wendy Ayscue, PCC Department Chair of Respiratory Therapy and Polysomnography, the inaugural Dr. Robert Shaw Respiratory Therapy Scholarship will be awarded this summer to a current RT student with demonstrated financial need. Ayscue said additional scholarship criteria and the award’s value will be determined this spring.
“We’re excited about the new scholarship created to honor Dr. Shaw for his commitment to our Respiratory Therapy program,” Ayscue said. “There simply aren’t enough words to express how thankful we are to have had his involvement with the program for more than 30 years now.”
Shaw, a clinical associate professor with East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine (BSOM), assumed the medical director’s role at PCC in 1983. In that capacity, he ensures the curriculum’s medical components – informational and clinical – meet current medical practice standards. He also makes certain there is physician instructional involvement in RT student training.
Four years ago, Shaw created team-based learning simulations that foster increased cooperation between a variety of health care professionals. The training involves PCC respiratory therapy students working alongside medical residents from Vidant Medical Center and BSOM, as well as practicing nurses from Vidant, to simulate care of patients in acute respiratory distress.
“Because it is difficult to include staff therapists from the hospital in the simulations, Dr. Shaw asked if our second-year respiratory therapy students would participate,” Ayscue explained. “As a result, our students have gained a valuable and unique learning experience.
“Some of our graduates have even gone on to build wonderful working relationships with the same residents-in-training they worked with during the simulations.”
Shaw has said the excellent instruction PCC respiratory therapy students receive more than prepares them to assist nurses and residents during the training simulations, adding that they often direct the actions of other team members who are less experienced in respiratory care.
In addition to his contributions to PCC, Shaw is an honorary member of the N.C. Society for Respiratory Care (NCSRC). He has been active with the group for many years, has served as a physician member of the organization’s board of directors, and received the NCSRC Physician of the Year Award in 2008.
A New Jersey native, the 63-year-old Shaw and his wife, Jon, live in Greenville. They have four children.