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41 Incredible Years As A Riley Respiratory Therapist

Blog 41 Incredible Years As A Riley Respiratory Therapist

Richard Cormican will walk out the doors of Riley next week, leaving behind a remarkable career helping thousands of kids.


It didn’t matter whether she was a tiny baby in the NICU or he was an overgrown teenager in the PICU.

It didn’t matter whether it was the pulmonary unit or rotating amongst the floors.

Richard Cormican’s 41 years at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health have always been about one thing.

“The patients. The kids,” he says. “Over the years, Riley became my home.”

In a way, Cormican grew up at the hospital. He was a senior at Lawrence Central High School when he enrolled in a program with Indiana University – aimed at getting kids interested in healthcare careers.

He spent half of each school day at Riley. He was a kind teen, a hard worker and compassionate.

So when he graduated, Riley offered Cormican a job in the respiratory care department in 1971. He eventually went on to get his respiratory therapy license and a bachelor’s and master’s degree.

Through the years, Cormican left Riley a couple times – for short stints -- to work as a traveling therapist, to do adult care.

But he always came back to Riley. And in 1988, he came back to the hospital and never left – 30 years straight.

In his total 41 years at Riley, Cormican has worked in the NICU, the PICU, general care, the pulmonary department and even spent time as a supervisor in the 1980s.

For the last nine years, he has worked 12-hour night shifts on 8

West, the pulmonary floor.

“There is just something about pediatrics,” he says. “I would leave but I always came back to Riley.”

When Cormican walks out the doors of Riley next week, he will leave behind an incredible career helping thousands of kids.

-- By Dana Benbow, Senior Journalist at IU Health.

   Reach Benbow via email dbenbow@iuhealth.org or on Twitter @danabenbow.

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