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Respiratory Therapist and Polysomnographic Technologist Licensing Board

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Upcoming HLO closures due to state holidays

Mark your calendar and note that the Health Licensing Office (and all State of Oregon agencies) will be closed on the following day:

  • Monday, September 2, 2019, for Labor Day

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Practitioner information

The following regulated professions are overseen by the Respiratory Therapist and Polysomnographic Technologist Licensing Board; follow the links below to learn how to get licensed, learn about fees, see laws and rules and more:

About the board

The Respiratory Therapist and Polysomnographic Technologist Licensing Board (RTPT) oversees the practices of respiratory therapists and polysomnographic technologists in the State of Oregon.

The RTPT consists of seven members appointed by the governor and subject to confirmation by the Oregon Senate:

  • Three respiratory therapists
  • Two polysomnographic technologists
  • One qualified medical director for polysomnography or respiratory care
  • One public member

Members of the board must be citizens of Oregon. Respiratory therapist and polysomnographic technologist members must have engaged in their respective practice for a period of five or more years immediately preceding appointment. The term of office of each member of the board is four years, but members serve at the pleasure of the governor. Vacancies are filled by the governor by appointment for the unexpired term. A member holds office until the appointment and qualification of a successor.

Members are eligible for reappointment. After serving two consecutive full terms, members must wait at least four years before being eligible for appointment to serve on the board.

Board members

Jacob Espinoza

Jacob Espinoza

Term: 1st Full
Term end: 2/29/2020

Jacob Espinoza has been a sleep technologist for 10 years and currently serves at St. Charles Hospital in Central Oregon as the manager of clinical operations for pulmonary, sleep and infectious diseases for critical care providers. He says he wanted to be a part of the Respiratory Therapist and Polysomnographic Technologist Licensing Board because "I was impressed by the standards to be a licensed sleep tech in Oregon."

James Hulse

Term: 1st Full
Term end: 11/30/2019

Dr. James (Jim) Hulse currently works per diem at Asante Ashland Community Hospital, as well as full time as the program director of the respiratory care program through Oregon Institute of Technology. He taught respiratory therapy for 31 years. Dr. Hulse serves as a research mentor for graduate students in the master's of international development program through Andrews University and has assisted two nurses through their master's research projects on teaching neonatal resuscitation in Nigeria and Rwanda. He currently serves as a research mentor for a Director of Nursing in Nigeria on his project to work with traditional birth attendants to reduce maternal mortality rates. Dr. Hulse is a board member of Perinatal Rescue Network. He holds a PhD in educational leadership from Andrews University and a master's of public health in health services, a bachelor's of public health and an associate's degree in respiratory care through Loma Linda University. He is passionate about laboratory teaching using simulation and hands-on learning.

Nick Gaffney

Nicholas Gaffney

Term: 2nd Full
Term end: 2/28/2019

Nicholas Gaffney has worked in the sleep disorder field since 2003 and became registered as a polysomnographic technologist in 2007. He currently is Lead Polysomnographer at Samaritan Albany General Hospital. As Lead Polysomnographer, Mr. Gaffney was involved in the establishment of the sleep disorder department in the hospital and coordinates scheduling of sleep studies, installation of new equipment, and training. He also assists with policies and procedures and interviewing and hiring new staff. Mr. Gaffney previously worked as an emergency room technician, federal firefighter/emergency medical technician, spinning instructor and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) instructor. He graduated from Lake Tahoe Community College with an associate of arts in Fire Science and is pursuing study in the Respiratory Program at Lane Community College in Eugene. Regarding his second term on the board, he said, "I still hold a high passion to make sure that the best interests are kept when it comes to these two medical fields. I believe continuity is important when it comes to the board members."

Michael Lefor

Michael Lefor

Term: 2nd Full
Term end: 2/29/2020

Dr. Michael Lefor is Attending Physician at The Oregon Clinic and specializes in critical care, pulmonary and sleep medicine, all for which he is board certified. Named as one of Portland Monthly's "Top Doctors" in 2010 and 2012, Dr. Lefor serves as medical director at sleep disorder treatment facilities in Portland and Silverton. Graduating from Oregon Health & Science University with a medical degree in 1996, Dr. Lefor has presented, consulted or acted in an academic capacity at more than 50 conferences, workshops and other events. He served his residency at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle and received a fellowship in his practice specialties from the University of Utah. "Ultimately, our responsibilities are to our patients so they can receive the most appropriate, safe, and reliable care," Dr. Lefor said. "Because of my background, I do feel that I am well qualified to provide a physician-patient perspective regarding any regulatory developments governing respiratory care and polysomnography."
Tony Garberg

Tony Garberg

Term: 2nd Full
Term end: 5/31/2021

Tony Garberg is Director of Respiratory Care at Good Shepherd Community Hospital in Hermiston, a position he has held since 2006. He has worked in Oregon for the past 12 years as a respiratory therapist and has also worked in the polysomnography setting. Garberg has also served in two branches of the U.S. military: the United States Coast Guard and the United States Army Reserve. Mr. Garberg is current President of the Oregon Society for Respiratory Care. He is also actively involved in community service, coaching little league athletics since the age of 16, and recently coached soccer and basketball while assisting with baseball. Garberg has previously volunteered for a rural fire department as a firefighter and emergency medical technician. “Healthcare is an ever-changing field, and allowing professionals to do what they are trained to do while keeping patients safe will always be a challenge,” he said.

Sarah Fitzpatrick

Term: 1st Full
Term end: 12/16/2022
White City

Sarah Fitzpatrick has worked at Oregon Institute of Technology for six years as an associate professor and two years as program director of the Respiratory Care program. She also works as an on-call Respiratory Therapist at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford, Oregon. Fitzpatrick received a Master's in Healthcare Administration from Pacific University and is currently working on a Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership with an emphasis in Higher Education Leadership. She holds instructor credentials for Basic Life Support, Pediatric Advance Life Support and Advanced Cardiac Life Support through the American Heart Association.

"With a passion for the professionals in Respiratory Care and Polysomnography, I feel it is important to support the professionals in the industry by serving on the Respiratory Therapist and Polysomnographic Technologists Licensing Board" shared Fitzpatrick.


The Respiratory Therapist and Polysomnographic Technologist Licensing Board currently has an opening for a Public Member. To apply, fill out the Application form.

Board recruitment

Are you interested in serving as a volunteer citizen board member? HLO-regulated boards seek new members as current member terms expire. RTPT is currently recruiting for a public member to join the board.

Overview of HLO-regulated professions and boards
Current board vacancies and information on how to apply


For licensing qualification questions, contact Qualifications Specialist Derek Fultz at 503-934-5009 or

For policy questions, contact Policy Analyst Samie Patnode at (503) 373-1917 or

For board recruitment questions, contact Paige Sims at 503-373-1915 or

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