By Shawn Leth, MEd, CEP
Kathy Zarling has been working with cardiopulmonary patients since 1970. She was a charter member of the Minnesota Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (MNACVPR) in 1990 and has since served as a director, president, chair of numerous committees and, most recently, as the Board historian.
Kathy also has been highly active in AACVPR as a board member, Annual Planning Committee co-chair, Education Committee Chair and Rapid-Fire Session Chair. She has spoken at the state level and nationally on a variety of topics related to cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation.
Professionally, Kathy is a Clinical Nurse Specialist, Cardiac Rehab Specialist, Cardiac and Vascular Specialist, Tobacco Treatment Specialist, Nurse Coach and Wellness Coach. She also has a Parish Nurse Certification.
With the help of a few patients, Kathy launched a local support group for patient and families living with cardiovascular disease. The Rochester Coronary Club was a non-profit organization serving the community until its end a few years ago. Where there was a need, Kathy would work to fill it. Even today, she continues to volunteer her time working with non-English as primary language residents and fellows by reading research articles with them and practicing proper pronunciation. She has been a mentor to many professionals throughout her career, and we are all thankful for that.
In addition to her accomplishments and credentials, Kathy is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. She gives of herself selflessly through her upbeat personality, eagerness to continue to learn and collaborate and promotion of cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation.
Recently, Kathy announced that, after 33 years, she was stepping down from the MNACVPR Board. The remaining members voted unanimously to re-name our annual award the “Kathy Zarling Award of Excellence.” MNACVPR has been honored to have Kathy as part of our state association, and we on the Board wish her well.
Shawn Leth is Immediate Past President of MNACVPR.