After more than 35 years in the respiratory therapy profession, Michigan resident Bonnie Boggs is retiring.
As her retirement became official, Boggs reflected on the path her career took her over the years. When she first enrolled in college she wanted to be a teacher. She began studying to be a history teacher, then a music teacher. But her heart just wasn’t in it and when a sorority sister told her about a new career in the healthcare industry, her interest was piqued.
She enrolled in the associate degree program at Lexington Technical Institute in Kentucky in 1972 and then continued at the University of Kentucky to receive a bachelor degree in allied health education.
Boggs moved to Michigan to work at the University of Michigan Medical Center and was promoted to supervisor within a year and later took charge of clinical instruction within the facility.
She continued to flourish in her career and was put in charge of rolling out the Respiratory Therapy program at Monroe County Community College in Michigan. Boggs created the program from a blank slate, developing everything from the curriculum to the recruiting materials. She was also in charge of hiring staff, purchasing equipment and creating clinical contracts. By 1981 the first students of the program began and Boggs was determined to provide the best program possible.
Since then Boggs has overseen hundreds of students and watched them begin their education and begin valuable careers in the respiratory care field. She says she enjoyed being able to visit the clinics as part of her job and having the chance to catch up with students who graduated from the program she helped create almost 35 years ago.
Her hope for the future is to see community colleges be able to grant bachelor’s degrees for allied health majors. “The curriculum in our field is very difficult to keep within a reasonable credit hour limit and still prepare respiratory therapists for their important work,” she says.