Durham Tech program director wins prestigious respiratory care educator award

Janemarie Baker

A Durham Technical Community College program director has been awarded the prestigious Gail Gane Educator of the Year Award.

Janemarie Baker, Director of the Respiratory Therapy program, was recognized at the North Carolina Society for Respiratory Care awards ceremony on Nov. 12.

The award is given to respiratory care educators who have demonstrated top-notch service and leadership in respiratory therapy education throughout the year, according to the award’s website.

“I was honored to receive this award as there are many smart and talented respiratory therapy instructors in North Carolina,” Baker said.

NCSRC members submit nominees for the award, and the society’s Awards and Scholarship Committee select the winner.

The awards ceremony was held during the society’s 40th annual symposium at the East Carolina Heart Institute in Greenville, N.C. Baker received a plaque to commemorate the accolade.

“The work that we do is so important to the community – not only the education that we provide but the qualified and competent therapists that our program at Durham Tech produces to provide care locally and nationwide,” Baker said. “I am very proud of the program we have and feel that this award is a reflection on the program as a whole, not just one person.”

Baker earned her associate’s degree in respiratory therapy from Delaware Technical Community College. She received her bachelor’s degree in health science from West Chester University and her master’s in business Administration with a focus on health care administration from Wilmington University.

She is a registered respiratory therapist whose background includes working in adult, pediatric, and neonatal respiratory care. Before coming to Durham Tech, she worked as a therapist, ECMO specialist, and manager at UNC Health Care.

Baker has been with Durham Tech since 2013 and took over the program in 2016. She also chairs NCARE, the North Carolina Association of Respiratory Educators.

“Janemarie is committed to the success of her students, ensuring that they are prepared to enter the respiratory care profession,” said Melissa Oakley Ockert, Dean and Department Head of Heath Technologies at Durham Tech.

“Her dedication to the profession, to the program, and to Durham Tech is an inspiration to all of us.”