Photo: Mary Fruzia (center) received an award and a cash award as Memorial Hermann 


Respiratory Therapist of the Year from Robert Menchaca of Memorial Hermann Southwest 

Hospital and organizer of the award, and Suzanne Croft, director of Cardiopulmonary Services 

at Memorial Hermann Northeast.

 Mary Fruzia, a respiratory therapist at Memorial Hermann  Northeast Hospital, has been named Memorial Hermann Healthcare System’s Respiratory Therapist of the year.

This is the first year for the award, established and organized by Robert Menchca, respiratory 

manager of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital, to 

recognize and celebrate National Respiratory Care Week.  

Respiratory therapists were nominated from each Memorial Hermann campus.  Fruzia, a 17-year 

employee at Memorial Hermann Northeast, was selected for her excellent clinical skills,    great 

bedside manner,  collaboration abilities and  passion for her patients.

The Memorial Hermann recognition included an award and a cash prize.

Respiratory therapists treat patients with disorders affecting the cardiopulmonary system such as 

asthma, emphysema, pneumonia, cardiovascular disorders, and trauma. As well, they  provide 

care and life support to patients in the emergency room, intensive care units, general hospital 

areas,  pulmonary diagnostics laboratory and other specialty areas such as rehabilitation.  They 

also diagnose lung and breathing disorders and recommend treatment methods. 

After graduating from an accredited program, respiratory therapists must pass a certification 

exam to be a Certified Respiratory Therapist.  They can also pass an exam that earns them the 

credential of Registered Respiratory Therapist.

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