Marywood University recently announced the appointment of Joy Hughes, Dillsburg, Pa., as the founding director of its new Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy (BSRT) Program*, which is the only BSRT program in the region. She will develop the new program’s curriculum, oversee its accreditation process, and develop and maintain relationships with medical facilities.


“Health professions are growing and in demand more than ever,” said Ms. Hughes. “Respiratory therapy is a fast-growing, fast-paced, and diverse profession.” Opportunities in the field include work in hospital settings, doctors’ offices, emergency transport, sleep labs, nursing homes, sub-acute rehabilitation facilities, home care, education, and equipment/pharmaceutical sales.


Respiratory therapists have traditionally held a two-year degree before beginning to practice, but the profession is now moving toward a four-year degree requirement for new practitioners. Marywood’s new BSRT program, which begins in fall 2019, is leading the way to meet the profession’s new educational standards. As the only BSRT program in the region, Marywood’s RT Program will offer a degree completion program for those who already hold an associate degree in the field and a four-year degree base program.


Since 2012, Ms. Hughes served as an assistant professor and director of clinical education for the respiratory therapy program at Harrisburg Area Community College. She had previously served that institution as an adjunct professor and clinical instructor, beginning in 2005. Additionally, her professional experience also includes service as interim program director of the respiratory therapy program at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology (Lancaster, PA) from 2011-2012 and as a respiratory care practitioner at Geisinger Holy Spirit Hospital (Camp Hill, PA) from 2004-2017.


Ms. Hughes holds a master of science in health administration degree (2016) and a bachelor of science in healthcare leadership degree (2012) from the University of St. Francis (Joliet, IL). She received her associate of science degree in respiratory therapy from Harrisburg Area Community College (Harrisburg, PA) in 2004. She is a certified respiratory therapist and a registered respiratory therapist, with specializations in both neonatal pediatric and adult critical care.


Ms. Hughes is the 2012 recipient of the Adjunct Excellence in Teaching Award from Harrisburg Area Community College. Her memberships include the Pennsylvania Society for Respiratory Care, American Association for Respiratory Care, National Board for Respiratory Care, Lambda Beta National Honor Society for Respiratory Care (Faculty Member), Cumberland Perry Vo-Tech Health Career Advisory Committee, and the Harrisburg Area Community College Operations House and Faculty Cabinet.


For more information about the new Respiratory Therapy program at Marywood University, call Marywood University Admissions at 570-348-6234 or email

# # #