SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — It was a great turnout for the first 5K fundraiser for Marywood University’s Respiratory Therapy Program.

The race aims to promote the respiratory therapy profession and bring awareness to the role of respiratory therapists in the healthcare setting as one of the school’s smaller programs.

The occupation of respiratory therapy is projected to grow 23% over next 10 years over other medical professions.

Respiratory therapists have taken the role that nurses previously held in keeping patient airways unobstructed or operating breathing equipment during procedures.

Organizers hope this will help bring more exposure to this field as a key part of the interdisciplinary healthcare team.

“We thought of organizing a race to educate people of the profession of respiratory therapy, even get students, and high school students, interested in respiratory therapy itself, and who knows maybe we might even get to really grow the program here and get a lot more students to attend,” said Ricky Stains, co-organizer for Run for your Lungs 5K.

All proceeds will go towards the growth and advancement of the university’s respiratory therapy program.