Date: April 03, 2023

ATLANTA (April 3, 2023) – For their exemplary demonstration of best practices in respiratory care, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s respiratory services department has won the 2023-2024 Apex Recognition Award in the Acute Care Hospital category from the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC). Because Children’s promotes patient safety and improved outcomes by providing access to respiratory therapists who deliver high-quality respiratory care, they are among an elite group of respiratory care departments and educational programs from across the U.S. who have met the stringent quality, clinical practice or educational program criteria of the award. Children’s was one of only five pediatric hospitals to win the award.

“We are honored to receive the prestigious APEX designation from the AARC,” said Regina Lunde, MBA, RRT-NPS, Director of Respiratory Care Services at Children’s. “Fulfilling the stringent requirements to receive this elite national recognition highlights our team’s unwavering dedication and significant contribution to clinical excellence. This award spotlights the level of training and skill that our more than 300 respiratory therapists bring to the bedside every day. The commitment of our respiratory therapists to advance patient safety, clinical quality, and cutting-edge therapies, while providing compassionate care to patients and families, drives improvement in clinical outcomes and patient experience.”

The AARC Apex Recognition Award was developed in 2017 as a way for the AARC Board of Directors to recognize respiratory care departments that demonstrate high quality care.

“Respiratory care departments dedicate themselves to delivering excellent care for patients everywhere. They are a vital component to a patient’s care team, making a positive impact for the quality of patient care,” said AARC President Carl Hinkson, MSc, RRT, RRT-ACCS, RRT-NPS, FAARC. “Earning the Apex Recognition award is a tremendous honor. It shows how these teams reach high standards and bring their specialized skills to their health care colleagues. Congratulations to our 2023-2024 Apex Recognition Award recipients.”

Respiratory Care Services is a vital component in managing many pediatric illnesses. Children’s employs the latest in treatment methods and provides excellence in patient care, education and research. Respiratory care practitioners work to provide the best possible therapeutic airway and pulmonary services to their patients. Their specialists understand the unique needs of children and work with patients and families to develop the best possible treatment plan.

The AARC is dedicated to supporting the respiratory care profession. The award program distinguishes organizations for their commitment to excellence in professional development, evidence-based care, patient safety, patient satisfaction and quality improvement. The Apex Recognition Award includes five categories for recognition: acute care hospitals, long-term care facilities, home medical equipment (HME) companies, entry-level educational programs and dedicated transport teams.

About Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

As the only freestanding pediatric healthcare system in Georgia, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is the trusted leader in caring for kids. The not-for-profit organization’s mission is to make kids better today and healthier tomorrow through more than 60 pediatric specialties and programs, top healthcare professionals, and leading research and technology. Children’s is one of the largest pediatric clinical care providers in the country, managing more than one million patient visits annually at three hospitals, Marcus Autism Center, the Center for Advanced Pediatrics, urgent care centers and neighborhood locations. Consistently ranked among the top children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta has impacted the lives of kids in Georgia, across the United States and around the world for more than 100 years thanks to generous support from the community.

About the AARC

Founded in 1947, the American Association of Respiratory Care (AARC) is the leading national and international professional association for respiratory care. We encourage and promote professional excellence, advance the science and practice of respiratory care, and advocate for patients, their families, the public, the profession, and the respiratory therapist. Supporting more than 42,000 members worldwide, the AARC is a not-for-profit professional association headquartered in Irving, TX. Learn more about us at