September 18, 2022


DSCHD Serves as Clinical Training Site for Respiratory Therapy Students

Deaf Smith County Hospital District is encouraging students to pursue a career in respiratory therapy by participating in a new federal grant program providing free tuition for respiratory therapy students. As part of the new Rural Public Health Workforce Training Network Program, DSCHD will serve as a clinical training site for respiratory therapy students who have their tuition covered by the grant.

“During the pandemic, we saw an unprecedented need for respiratory therapists,” said Candice Smith, RN, chief nursing officer, DSCHD. “We need more therapists, and we need more of them in our rural communities. Participating in this grant is another way our hospital is investing in our community’s future.”

The intent of the grant program is to encourage students to practice respiratory therapy in rural areas. University Medical Center in Lubbock is one of 30 grant award recipients, receiving more than $1.5 million to administer the program and work with students. DSCHD and other rural facilities are the clinical, hand-on training partners that complement classroom education.

Nationally, the need for respiratory therapists is expected to increase by 30 percent by 2030.

Anyone interested in the program may contact Silvana Juarez at 806-349-9221 or

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