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Team Continued: Respiratory therapy editor Farzana Vela

Farzana Vela has a profound appreciation for interdisciplinary collaboration and education. 

As a dually licensed professional in both respiratory therapy and speech-language pathology, her passion for education led her to join the Continued editorial team, where she oversees the newly launched learning site in respiratory therapy. 

“I’ve always wanted to inspire people through education,” said Vela, MS, CCC-SLP, BSRC, RRT-NPS. “I am excited to be part of something that can expand the knowledge of clinical professionals providing the best possible care.”  

As managing editor for Continued Respiratory Therapy, Vela oversees the site’s online courses and fosters relationships with the industry’s top experts. Respiratory therapy joins the Continued family of professions, which also includes athletic training, audiology, early childhood education, occupational therapy, physical therapy, social work, and speech-language pathology. 

Vela brings more than 15 years of clinical experience to her role and has worked with diverse patient populations ranging from premature infants in the neonatal intensive care units to adults in critical care management. In addition to her expertise in quality improvement and education, Vela has a strong ability to partner with multidisciplinary leadership. In the hospital, this led to the implementation of hospital-wide policies and guidelines to achieve better outcomes for patient care and safety.

 “I am excited to be part of something that can expand the knowledge of clinical professionals providing the best possible care.”  — Farzana Vela

Vela's clinical path began right out of high school, when her work for a chiropractor sparked her interest in how the body works, particularly the cardiopulmonary system. 

She took that interest and went on to earn her Bachelor’s degree in respiratory therapy from Midwestern State University. She worked at Dallas’ Parkland Hospital as a student and stayed on after graduation as a member of their critical care team. As her passion for knowledge and medicine continued to grow, Farzana earned a master’s degree in speech-language pathology from Texas Woman’s University and transitioned to a speech pathology role within the hospital.  

When the pandemic hit in 2020, there was a subsequent shortage of respiratory therapists, and Vela quickly transitioned back into the respiratory therapist role while continuing to work as a speech-language pathologist.

“My two degrees are very complementary; I am always pulling my knowledge and skills from my respiratory therapy toolbox into my speech pathology practice and vice versa,” Vela said. 

Her goal for Continued Respiratory Therapy is to offer practitioners innovative, best-practice tools for dynamic growth in their work with patients and multidisciplinary professionals.

“Respiratory therapists play an integral role in the healthcare system, and the field of respiratory therapy is consistently changing,” Vela said. “I’m excited to build our library to allow for the growth and development of professionals working in all areas of the profession.”  

Vela lives in Dallas with her husband and three cats. When she is not working, she enjoys gardening, traveling, and learning about new cultures.


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