Vickie Bell, MSRC, RCP, RRT-ACCS, Respiratory Therapy program director, was recently awarded the Gail Gane Educator of the Year Award from the North Carolina Society for Respiratory Care (NCSRC) at the NCSRC Symposium in Winston-Salem.  In addition, Bell was sworn in as the 2022 Secretary for the Board of Directors after she had served two years as the Treasurer.

The NCRSC Gail Gane Educator of the Year Award honors an individual who has made significant contributions to and exemplified outstanding service and leadership in respiratory therapy education.

Bell’s nomination letter reads in part, “Vickie Bell is an excellent respiratory therapist and educator. She always goes above and beyond to support her students and the respiratory care profession. She makes learning fun and easier for the students. Bell has a natural talent for balancing discipline while maintaining a great learning environment. Through the eyes of her students, it is easy to see that Vickie Bell is deserving of the Gail Gane Educator of the Year Award. Additionally, Mrs. Bell is active in community service. She has a passion for vaping victims and has traveled to many schools and community platforms to educate our youth about the dangers of vaping and the potential for lung damage. As you can see, Vickie Bell is an excellent educator of the year.”

Bell joined Wilkes Community College in 2016 as a Respiratory Therapy instructor. She was promoted to RT Clinical Coordinator on January 1, 2017, and was promoted to Program Director of Respiratory Therapy in 2022. Bell has presented at Respiratory Therapy symposiums, a state Dental Educator meeting, as well as elementary, middle, and high schools.  She is scheduled to present to several schools during the upcoming Respiratory Therapy Care Week (October 23-29, 2022).

When presenting in the school systems, Bells states, “I will usually discuss the hazards of vaping on a level specific to the age group, but I do not alter the message! I try to make it interactive and memorable by using the pig lungs as a visual and telling stories of real kids who have faced life-changing lung illnesses due to vaping. My goal is to tell them the truth but let them know – at the end of the day – it is their decision and their lungs that will be affected.”

Tammy Beck, dean of Health Sciences stated, “I congratulate Vickie on being this year’s Gail Gane Educator of the Year from the NC Society for Respiratory Care! Vickie’s passion for imparting knowledge knows no boundaries. She works tirelessly to educate students within our Respiratory Therapy program but extends her knowledge outside of those walls into our community. Her dedication to the Respiratory Therapy profession and education is truly improving the lives of students, patients, and the community.”