PHIL Award Winner
July 2008
Folk receives PHIL Award for excellence in Respiratory Care*

When Sharman Lamka’s husband, Phil, was near the end of his battle with pulmonary
illness in 2005, his respiratory therapist combed the hospital after her shift until she
found a mask that would provide greater comfort and relief. Though Sharman and Phil
joked about how big the mask was, they realized how important respiratory care is to
end-of-life care. They were so inspired by Linda Folk, RRT, clinical specialist in
Respiratory Care, that they created an award – The PHIL Award – to recognize the
excellent care she provided.

PHIL stands for Pulmonary Health and Illness of the Lungs. After Phil’s death, Sharman
founded The FACES Foundation to reflect, acknowledge and advocate for the many
“faces” of those living with and caring for patients with life-threatening pulmonary
diseases. The foundation hosts The PHIL Award, which recognizes respiratory
therapists, and the Daisy Award, recognizing excellence in nursing.

“I had no concept of a respiratory therapist and what they do,” Sharman says. “Thanks to
Linda scouring the hospital for the mask, we realized how critical these therapists are to
the end of a patient’s life.”

Sharman presented The PHIL Award to Linda at a ceremony this past summer. The
PHIL Award resembles a person (the caregiver) embracing in its circular arms, a
butterfly symbolizing the lungs. The sculpture represents the caregiver’s relationship,
which holds the patient’s freedom to breathe easier.

“Respiratory therapists provide a vital life-saving function with every action they take,”
says Margaret Calarco, Ph.D., R.N., senior associate director of Patient Care and chief
of Nursing Services. “Thousands of patients and families are touched every day by
these incredible practitioners, and we are so honored to recognize Linda Folk with The
PHIL Award.”

*Reprinted with permission from
Applause! University of Michigan Health System
Linda M. Folk, RRT
University of Michigan Hospital
Ann Arbor, MI
(retired December 2010)
Linda M. Folk, RRT,
(right) with The FACES
Foundation Founder
Sharman Lamka.