Debbie Smith ETSU 2014 Rising StarDebbie Smith, owner of U.S. Respiratory, LLC, has been awarded the 2014 Rising Star Award from the Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC), at East Tennessee State University. The Rising Star award is given annually by the TSBDC to the company that best exemplifies not only business success, but an outstanding working relationship with the TSBDC and use of the services it provides.

U.S. Respiratory, LLC is a new disease management-­‐medical equipment company located in Johnson City, Tennessee founded by local Respiratory Therapist, Debbie Smith. The company’s focus is to provide clinical excellence through education and specialized respiratory support services to help patients breathe better and have improved quality of life. U.S. Respiratory will provide ongoing support to patients with chronic lung disease to decrease hospitalizations associated with this population. The company is currently in its first year of operation and is located in ETSU’s Innovation Laboratory.

The TSBDC assisted Mrs. Smith by providing startup assistance and being a resource to her throughout the process. Smith states, “It has been a very rewarding experience so far. I am happy to have made the first step in becoming a business owner and I look forward to the growth of this new company. I feel secure and very thankful knowing that whatever comes my way I have the support of the TSBDC and ETSU Innovation Lab team right down the hall. Having those resources are invaluable.”

Debbie Smith is a Registered Respiratory Therapist with almost two decades of experience in her field, most of her career being spent in the medical equipment industry. She has been recognized for excellence in clinical and sales roles from previous employers in the home medical equipment industry.

Debbie looks forward to offering a personal caring touch to all whom she comes in contact.