Career Launch at LLCC

Dr. Cynthia Maskey in surgery bay with Career Launch teensTeens in the Boys and Girls Club of Central Illinois’ Career Launch program learned about various health professions yesterday at LLCC! They learned about a range of health care — from ambulance to trauma bay, sonography, surgery and in-hospital experiences.


LLCC Respiratory Care receives national credentialing success award

LLCC’s respiratory care program is among a select group of programs across the country recently recognized with the Distinguished Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) Credentialing Success Award. The RRT credential is a measure of a program’s success in inspiring its graduates to achieve their highest educational and professional aspirations.

In selecting programs for this award, the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) used objective criteria based on key accreditation metrics. Among other factors, programs were required to achieve at least 90% credentialing success. LLCC achieved 96%.

“Our focus is on helping our students succeed in the classroom and as future respiratory therapists in the workplace,” says Jan Szoke, LLCC’s program director, respiratory care. “Right now, there are more job openings than graduate therapists to fill them. Most of our graduates have multiple job offers before completing the 21-month program.”

Prospective students interested in getting started in the program can attend an information session today at 6 p.m., July 7 at noon or on-demand online. More information about the sessions is available at

Radiography students win state awards

Three of the LLCC Associate Degree Radiography students received awards at the 86th Annual Illinois State Society of Radiologic Technology Conference that was held in April this year. First year radiography student Megan Jamison of Taylorville received a $500 scholarship. Second year radiography student Emily Schmidt of Carrolton received a first place award along with a $60 check for her electronic poster on Infantile Cortical Hyperostosis. Second year radiography student Whitley Barto of Litchfield received a second place award along with a $45 check for her electronic poster on Craniosynostosis. Congratulations to these outstanding students!

Megan Jamison

Megan Jamison

Emily Schmidt

Emily Schmidt

Whitley Barto

Whitley Barto

NDT student Sean Dugan shares his story

Picture yourself at LLCC … Sean Dugan did! Sean came all the way from California to be part of LLCC’s neurodiagnostic technology program. Diane Liesen, program director, says, “The field of neurodiagnostics is rapidly growing, and there is a high demand for graduates. Often, students like Sean gain employment while still in school.”

LLCC nursing students assist with COVID-19 vaccinations

LLCC transition hybrid and traditional ADN nursing students along with Dr. Pam Bradley and Dr. Amanda Roche, professors of nursing, braved the cold to administer COVID-19 vaccines in the Sangamon County Department of Public Health drive-through clinic Feb. 13-14. “The students were rock stars with their nursing and professional communication skills,” says Dr. Pam Bradley, professor of nursing. “The nursing mantra is ‘see one, do one, teach one.’ This weekend the students saw one, gave and taught hundreds. It was really amazing to see them in action and to have been invited to participate in this historic and hopefully only once-in-a-lifetime event.”

Cary Cheffy, director of personal health services, said the students were “fabulous and very professional. They were a big help to us and to the community.” The students will be back later this week to help get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible.

LLCC nursing students at drive-through clinicLLCC nursing students at drive-through clinicLLCC nursing studentsLLCC nursing professors

Ultrasound machine donated to LLCC

RPS Imaging recently donated a Samsung ultrasound machine, valued at $45,000, to LLCC’s diagnostic medical sonography program. The machine is being put to use right away by students in DMS labs.

LLCC students; Leigh Giles-Brown, program director, DMS; Samsung representatives.
Pictured left to right are: Raven Horsthemke, DMS adjunct instructor; Shelia Jack, LLCC student; Alli Richards, LLCC student; Leigh Giles-Brown, DMS program director; John Pemberton, vice president, Ultrasound Sales & Service, RPS Imaging; and Scott Van Winter. account executive, RPS Imaging.

LLCC Respiratory Care program recognized

LLCC’s Respiratory Care Program was recently recognized for meeting and exceeding the thresholds of success established by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). The organization reviewed LLCC’s program to determine ongoing compliance with accreditation standards. “This is an accomplishment of which you, your staff and institution should be proud,” said Shelley Christensen, director of accreditation services for CoARC.

With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing, respiratory therapists are in great demand, according to Lori Badgley, LLCC adjunct faculty. “We have had a shortage of respiratory therapists in this area for a while, and we need them more than ever during this pandemic. We have respiratory therapists who will be retiring soon, and this will only add to the shortage.”

She explained the role of the respiratory therapist in treating patients with COVID-19.

“One of the major symptoms of COVID-19 is respiratory distress. People feel like they cannot breathe, and generally their body is not oxygenating well. When the oxygen in your body drops, you breathe faster, try to compensate and feel ‘heaviness’ in your chest. This is where a respiratory therapist comes in to improve breathing and oxygenation.

“Unfortunately, this virus has required many people to be placed on a mechanical ventilator because the patient could not breathe on their own any longer or could not get oxygen into their bloodstream. As respiratory therapists, we work side-by-side with nurses and physicians to provide the best care for our patients and reach successful outcomes.”

LLCC’s Respiratory Care Program is located at HSHS St. John’s Hospital, providing students with access to direct patient contact, hospital equipment and facilities. Director Jan Szoke says the program takes less than two years to complete, has 100% job placement, and many graduates receive multiple job offers with sign-on bonuses of up to $10,000. The average starting salary for a respiratory therapist in the Springfield area is approximately $43,000.

“Our graduates are hired to work in respiratory care departments in hospitals, physician offices and sleep labs. One of our graduates just started working as a traveling respiratory therapist and loves it. Most of our graduates stay to live and work in the area.”

An information session for interested students is scheduled Nov. 18, 4 HSHS St. John’s Hospital, inside the HSHS Neuroscience Center. No pre-registration is required. Those unable to attend in person may view an online information session at More information is also available at

Next Moving Forward info session Oct. 12

Moving Forward to LLCC virtual information sessions on majors and career training programs began yesterday evening with “Moving Forward to LLCC in Health Professions.” Presenters were Dr. Cynthia Maskey, Janelle Murphy, Nick Ferreira and Emily Smith. Prospective students learned about the variety of programs available in health professions, opportunities in the field and next steps to enroll.

LLCC Social Sciences and BusinessThe next session on Monday, Oct. 12 will feature programs in LLCC’s Social Sciences and Business Department. Invite prospective students to register for this event and view additional October opportunities and ways to move forward to LLCC at!