BY JACLYN ROSE –
Even as a child growing up in Redwater, Texas, Kyle Robertson knew he wanted to enter the medical field, and through a series of events he settled into respiratory therapy, a field that was not his original choice but based on the accolades he has received over the past year, has proven to be the correct choice.
After graduating from high school in 1998, Robertson completed his first Bachelor’s of Science degree from the University of Central Arkansas with an emphasis in Health Sciences. With his future plans up in the air, he answered an advertisement that his mother found in the Texarkana newspaper, saying that the Texarkana hospital would pay for the respiratory therapist’s education, if they would in turn work for them upon graduation. Robertson joined the program and completed his second Bachelor’s Degree in Cardio – Respiratory Care. “Basically, I help people who can’t breathe, from the emergency room to long term disease management. I work with simple breathing treatments up to people who are on a ventilator,” explained Robertson.
An Eagle Scout, Robertson met his wife, Jenny, while he was working as a counselor at Camp Pioneer, the local Boy Scout Camp. A proud husband and father, his face lights up when he begins talking about his family. “Jenny and I were married in 2006, she’s very supportive. I work several different jobs and I’m gone a lot, but she is very understanding and very loving and she is a great mother to our two girls,” said Robertson. The couple’s daughters, Finleigh, age 6, and Briggs, age 3, are very active children, from dance and violin lessons, to the First Baptist Church of Mena’s children’s choir, mission friends, and after school zone. “Finleigh is very busy, and Briggs, well, she tries to do everything her sister does,” said Robertson with a smile. “I like spending time with them and just doing things with them, like taking them out to eat or going to the library, like daddy and daughter dates.”
After working in Texarkana, Robertson moved to Tyler, Texas, where Jenny ran her own photography studio and Robertson worked in the hospital. When Finleigh arrived, they chose to move back to Jenny’s hometown of Mena to be close to family and Robertson started his career at Mena Regional Health System (MRHS) in 2009.
In addition to his work as a Respiratory Therapist, Robertson works as a CPAP Consultant for Hometown Medical Home Health Company and he also teaches several continuing education and lifesaver classes, for MRHS every quarter. Robertson received the high honor of being named MRHS Employee of the Year for 2014. Robertson also served as the 2014 South District Chairman for the Arkansas Society for Respiratory Care and was named the South District Practitioner of the Year. “I am pretty honored and very humbled; 2014 was a really great year for me,” said Robertson. Part of his title of South District Practitioner of the Year required Robertson to make a presentation, which is something he also enjoys. “I really enjoy teaching, I found an interesting case study and enjoyed teaching it to others so they can also learn about the topic. I’m looking forward to presenting again in Batesville this week,” Robertson explained.
Robertson and his family are also very involved in all aspects of their church, First Baptist Church in Mena. Robertson serves as a deacon and Jenny is very involved in the nursery. They host a young adults group one day a month, and they serve as the Church Chefs, planning, shopping for, and preparing meals for the church-wide dinner on Wednesday nights. “Jenny and I both love cooking so it’s neat, it’s something we can do together that is a service back to our church,” explained Robertson. Also as a volunteer for 9th Street Ministries, Robertson is able to save back and freeze left over meals to donate to that ministry.
“I really like that Mena is small and that there is a real sense of community here. It seems like I know somebody everywhere I go. I like that the people really support their local economy,” said Robertson.