Genesee's Respiratory Care Students Take Healthy Initiative to New York State Fair

Love your lungs. That’s the message students in Genesee Community College’s Respiratory Care program offered as they volunteered for the seventh consecutive year to provide lung function screening at the New York State Fair. This year, the following seven students screened approximately 400 people at the fair, testing for lung disorders such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, fibrotic diseases, and asthma.

- Amber Bates Batavia, NY 
- Casey McKenzie Basom, NY 
- Natasha Mooney Rochester, NY 
- Erin Morrissey Geneseo, NY 
- Anne Spencer LeRoy, NY 
- Andrea Tramontana Rochester, NY 
- David Turnbull Stanley, NY

Each day, humans draw as many as 23,000 breaths, which deliver more than 2,000 gallons of air to our lungs. The act of inhaling and exhaling, 10 to 20 times per minute, supplies our blood with needed oxygen and removes carbon dioxide waste. It is this vital role played by our lungs that Genesee’s respiratory care students get a chance to highlight each year as they volunteer one day to operate the New York State Society for Respiratory Care booth at the State Fair.

“I truly enjoyed sharing my clinical knowledge with the public,” Genesee student Natasha Mooney stated. “Explaining pulmonary function testing (PFT) and the importance of the respiratory care profession was very rewarding for me.“

Students administer the screenings using single breath Forced Vital Capacity (FVC) machines, where participants must breathe through a mouthpiece and are asked to breathe in as deeply as they can, then blow the air out as fast and as much as they can. The results from the screening are printed out and checked by a licensed respiratory therapist to determine if a participant should seek further medical advice.

“This is great experience for our second-year students,” said Ron Jacobs, Director of the Respiratory Care program at Genesee Community College. “They provide an important public service, they get to participate in a professional society, and they get experience working with individuals that is invaluable to their future careers.”

For more information about the screening process or rewarding careers in the growing industry of Respiratory Care contact Jacobs at 585-345-6860 or

Editor’s Note: Photographs of Genesee’s respiratory care students screening for lung disease at the New York State Fair are available by going to:
Photo caption: Respiratory Care students Natasha Mooney, Rochester (back-left), Amber Bates, Batavia (front-left), and Casey McKenzie, Basom, (front of table on right) volunteered to help screen visitors at the New York State Fair for lung disease.
Photo caption: Genesee Community College Respiratory Care students volunteered to help screen visitors at the New York State Fair for lung disease. From left to right are: Andrea Tramontana of Rochester, Erin Morrissey of Geneseo, Natasha Mooney of Rochester, David Turnbull of Stanley, Casey McKenzie of Basom, Anne Spencer of LeRoy, and Amber Bates of Batavia.