The Breathe Pennsylvania Board of Directors has promoted Carla A. Conrad, MS, RRT-NPS, to the position of Executive Director, effective December 1, 2016.
Conrad originally joined the Breathe Pennsylvania staff in April 2015 as the Program Coordinator and Director of Tobacco and Health Programs. “Breathe Pennsylvania provides vital, timely educational services for individuals living with lung disease. I believe in the mission of our organization and am thrilled to work with our passionate Board of Directors and staff to continue, and expand, the great work of our organization,” Conrad said.
Breathe Pennsylvania Board President, William E. Otto, Esq. said “We are happy to be transitioning our leadership between two outstanding individuals, and I look forward to working with Carla to help western Pennsylvanians breathe better and live healthier.”
Conrad is preceded by John P. Rupp, who will resume his position on the Board as a full-voting Board Member. Breathe Pennsylvania Board President, William E. Otto, Esq. said that this announcement has been part of a transition over the last twelve months and will continue through the next year. “We thank Jack for his decades of service and support of Breathe Pennsylvania, and we look forward to keeping him involved with Breathe Pennsylvania in the years ahead,” he explained.
Under Rupp’s leadership, Breathe Pennsylvania completed a number of important achievements, including earning the Seal of Excellence awarded by the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations (PANO). There are fewer than 60 nonprofit organizations in Pennsylvania which have successfully completed PANO’s rigorous examination. In addition, Rupp guided the organization through extensive strategic planning and implemented a number of financial and operational measures to give Breathe Pennsylvania the capability to reach more western Pennsylvanians in the future.
Rupp has been appointed Deputy Executive Director and will continue to manage several projects in their advanced stages, as Conrad assumes day to day control of the organization.
Before joining the staff at Breathe Pennsylvania, Conrad worked at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and the Western Pennsylvania Hospital’s School of Respiratory Care, where she taught Respiratory Care students clinically and didactically. Prior to her position at the School of Respiratory Care, Carla was the Clinical Director of Laurel Business Institute’s Respiratory Care program in Uniontown, PA and worked as a Neonatal Respiratory Therapist at the Western Pennsylvania Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA.
Conrad earned her Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2008. “I chose a degree in Respiratory Care when my grandfather was diagnosed with lung cancer. I saw the impact that quality respiratory care had on patients with lung disease, and found that it was a perfect fit.” She went on to earn her Master of Science in Health Services Leadership from Saint Vincent College in 2012. Currently, she is a Doctoral student in the Administrative and Leadership Studies program at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and is focusing her dissertation on the effect of health literacy on chronic lung disease management.
Conrad is actively involved in the Pennsylvania Society of Respiratory Care (PSRC) and is a member of the American Association of Respiratory Care (AARC).