Respiratory Therapists

Registered Respiratory Therapists (RRTs) are key members of the team that care for patients by evaluating, treating, and maintaining heart and lung function. Respiratory therapists have specialized medical expertise and use advanced medical technology. They are educated to treat all age groups, from newborns to the elderly. At MAHC, we recognize their contributions to safe, quality health care during Respiratory Therapists Week in October. 

Introducing Laura SpeelmanThe role of Cardio-Respiratory staff extends beyond breathing. They are specialists in heart function and have a thorough understanding of the heart's electrical system. Respiratory Therapist Laura Speelman supports MAHC's Pacemaker Clinic, which ensures these devices are safe for patients and are functioning properly. A self-proclaimed lover of gadgets, Laura's interest in pacemakers stemmed from a desire to be able to read holter tests better.
"In the Pacemaker Clinic we keep an eye on the battery life and the intrinsic rhythm and we can assess how much energy it takes to stimulate the heart muscle," she says. For Laura, developing relationships with patients has been one of the best parts of her job for the past 20 years.



Introducing Madison WrightMadison Wright knew she wanted to work in the field of medicine. Helping others to breathe easier might as well be a perk of the job for her. Registered Respiratory Therapists like Madison are vital members of the care team working to manage the patient's airway and breathing, whether by a transfer to another health care facility or upon a new infant's arrival. Since joining the MAHC team four years ago, Madison has worked to help implement a new smoking cessation program to support hospital patients who want to stop smoking. Madison moved to the area and fell in love with Muskoka and recently bought her first house.




Introducing Paul ShiskoPaul Shisko can sum up his feelings about his career in five words: "I have a good job."
For Paul, working as a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) allows him to see variety in his work. He can be asked to help patients throughout the hospital and that is what keeps his job interesting. Paul spent six years working in Home Oxygen, but always knew he wanted to work in the hospital and joined the MAHC team 14 years ago. Paul is very community minded and is involved in the Breath of Muskoka program and the Healthy Heart Rehabilitation Clinic through the Algonquin Family Health Team. He enjoys golf and cross-country skiing and camping trips across Canada.




Introducing Steven LiuSteven Liu loves that his profession allows him to see the whole spectrum of a patient's health care journey. Working as an RRT, his specialty is in heart and lung function, which takes him throughout the hospital and also allows him to work directly with outpatients. Before joining MAHC last June, Steven worked at Mount Sinai where he was first introduced to an electronic health record. His experience was invaluable to the Cardio-Respiratory department as they worked to build their side of MAHC's system. Steven and his wife, who also works at MAHC as a nurse, welcomed their first child and are excited for the arrival of baby number two.