Costumed Relay Race and Open House Raises Awareness about Lung Health

Rancho Cordova, CA (MPG)  |  Story and photos by Shaunna Boyd
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The Super Girls team hopes to win the relay race.

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The Disney team shows off their costumes from the movie “Up.”

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - Students from the Rancho Cordova campus of San Joaquin Valley College (SJVC) hosted a Costumed 5K Ventilator Relay Race, Open House, and BBQ on June 28. The campus (located at 11000 Olson Dr., #100, Rancho Cordova) offers accelerated healthcare career training in respiratory therapy and surgical technology.

Six teams (five respiratory therapy cohorts and one surgical technology cohort) chose their themes, decorated Mark 7 Ventilators from their labs, and attached the ventilators to various non-motorized wheeled carts. Members of each team dressed in costumes matching their themes (Zombie Hospital, Disney’s Up, Hawaii, Coachella, Super Girls, and Toy Story 4) and took turns pushing their entries around the campus parking lot — racing toward the finish line while a crowd of onlookers cheered them on.

The students set up booths with food and activities, and gave out raffle prizes. Last year they donated the raffle proceeds to the Folsom Cordova Community Partnership, and this year the proceeds will go into a fund for their practice exams.

Campus president Jeff Rutherford said they’ve been hosting the event since 2011: “We wanted to create a little bit of camaraderie and open it up to the community to come out and see exactly what it is we do here. It’s a fun event for the students.”

Surgical technology program director Josephine Williams Cody said the purpose of the event is to educate people about lung health and to create “community awareness of the multitude of lung diseases affecting our community.”

The open house portion of the event helped “to bring awareness to not only what a respiratory therapist does and how we facilitate lung health, but to bring awareness to the community on how we can improve lung health by not smoking/vaping, and limiting exposure to harmful behaviors that compromise lung health,” said Williams Cody. “[And] we are proud to introduce our newest program — surgical technology — to the community and continue the tradition of excellence in education to that program.”

Respiratory therapists (RTs) and surgical technologists (STs) have vital roles in the healthcare field. RTs evaluate, treat, and manage patients with respiratory illnesses and other cardiopulmonary disorders. STs are responsible for maintaining sterile instruments, equipment, and areas for surgical procedures — in addition to assisting surgeons with patient care.

If you are interested in starting a career in surgical technology or respiratory therapy, visit


The Super Girls team hopes to win the relay race.The Disney team shows off their costumes from the movie “Up.” Students from the Rancho Cordova campus of San Joaquin Valley College race in a Costumed 5K Ventilator Relay Race. A member of the Coachella team accepts the award for winning first place in the relay race.