Newswise — Hackensack Meridian Jersey Shore University Medical Center recently received the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) 2021-2022 Apex Recognition Award.

Jersey Shore University Medical Center was recognized for demonstrating best practices in respiratory care and promoting patient safety, by providing access to respiratory therapists to deliver care.

“We join only 13 acute care hospitals in the nation, and are the only hospital in New Jersey to receive this award,” said Vito Buccellato, MPA, LNHA, chief hospital executive, Jersey Shore University Medical Center. “I’m proud of our amazing respiratory team and thrilled they are receiving this important recognition for the second consecutive time.”  

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

“As one of the foundations of a complete health care team, I’m delighted our academic medical center’s respiratory therapists were recognized for their excellence by the AARC,” said Kenneth N. Sable, M.D., MBA, FACEP, regional president, Southern Market, Hackensack Meridian Health. “This recognition has greater significance when you consider their essential role in treating COVID-19 patients through this pandemic.” 

The AARC is dedicated to supporting the respiratory care profession. The award program distinguishes facilities 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, educational programs, and dedicated transport teams.  In total, 24 organizations from across the U.S. received 2021-2022 Apex Recognition Awards.

“Respiratory care departments everywhere are coming off a hard year. Their skills and stamina have been tested like never before. As a vital component to a patient’s care team, respiratory therapists work hard each day to deliver quality patient care,” said Sheri Tooley, BSRT, RRT, RRT-NPS, AE-C, CPFT, FAARC, AARC president. “These teams reach high standards and bring specialized skills, unique to respiratory care departments. We are thrilled to honor these organizations as Apex Recognition Award recipients.”

For more information about the academic medical center, visit