Sinclair College is teaming up with Class of ’73 graduate, Jerry O’Ryan, to celebrate and recognize students and the Dayton region’s frontline workers during National Respiratory Care Week (October 24-30, 2021). O’Ryan was among the College’s first students to graduate with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Respiratory Care in 1973. Sinclair’s Respiratory Care program was founded in 1971.
This week, the Sinclair Foundation delivered special cards and shirts to Sinclair’s current Respiratory Care students. Cards and pins were also delivered to respiratory therapists working on the frontlines at Dayton Children’s Hospital, Kettering Health, and Premier Health – Miami Valley Hospital.
“It is an honor to give back to the program that opened the door for me to a fulfilling and rewarding career in respiratory therapy and to pay it forward to students who are the next generation of frontline healthcare workers,” said O’Ryan. “Respiratory therapists have always played a critical role in patient care and the need for trained professionals is at an all-time high.”
Through the Sinclair Foundation, O’Ryan established the Robert Dittmar Respiratory Care Scholarship in 2000, to honor his professional mentor and to provide financial support to students pursuing a degree in Respiratory Care. In addition, O’Ryan and his wife, Nancy, established the Jerry and Nancy O'Ryan Respiratory Care Scholarship for students enrolled in the Respiratory Care degree program and are in their final one to two semesters of the program. A conference room in Sinclair’s state-of-the-art Health Sciences Center is named after O’Ryan and his wife, Nancy. O’Ryan is currently co-authoring a book with Sue Ciarlariello (1975 RT Sinclair graduate) entitled “Respiratory Care in Ohio—A Half Century and Beyond.”
Over the past five years, 110 students have graduated with associate degrees from Sinclair’s Respiratory Care Program. Many are now serving on the front lines in Dayton region hospitals, caring for COVID-19 patients.
In Fall 2021, Sinclair College expanded its Respiratory Care Program to increase the number of students in the program by 21% to meet the severe shortage of respiratory therapists in the Dayton region.
For more information on Sinclair’s Respiratory Care Program, visit