MMC Respiratory Therapist Honored with National PHIL Award


October 29, 2020

Memorial Medical Center (MMC) leadership and team members on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020, recognized Respiratory Therapist Sebastian Suarez with the PHIL Award, the only nationally recognized hospital-based recognition program dedicated to honoring outstanding respiratory therapists who provide exemplary care and treatment for patients with respiratory illnesses. Candidates are nominated by patients, family members and other caregivers.

The PHIL Award from the FACES (Family And Caregiver Education & Support) Foundation was created in 2006 in honor of Philip C. Lamka, who passed away from Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD). The award honors and recognizes the unsung heroes in the respiratory profession who understand that each breath matters. Once a year, hospital partners across the country present the PHIL Award to an outstanding respiratory therapist. In addition to being known throughout the country as “the best of the best” in respiratory care, PHIL Award recipients receive an appreciation sculpture and paid tuition to their state’s annual professional conference.

Suarez, who has dedicated the past six years of his career as a Respiratory Therapist at MMC, was joined at the surprise recognition ceremony by his wife of 25 years, Maricela. The couple has two adult sons, Andrew and Antonio.

“Sebastian takes his job very seriously and treats every patient with respect and dignity,” said Sharon Prieto, Respiratory Manager at MMC. “He once told me that this is someone’s mom, dad, grandparent or child and they deserve the best care we can provide.”

“I just want to treat everyone like my family would be treated,” Suarez said upon receiving the prestigious honor.