History of Tri-State

In October 1971, Doug McIntyre, from Pearl, Mississippi, went to New Orleans for a study session while preparing for the registry oral exam. During a break, he met Rocco Tretola from New Orleans, Louisiana, where a discussion ensued about the limited availability of continuing education options in their home states. The men brainstormed ideas of hosting an education meeting and pooling resources to maximize their opportunities for better speakers and programs. 

The following month, both men sat for the oral exam in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They continued the continuing education discussion initiated the previous month. Jimmy Norwood, from Mobile, Alabama, joined in the discussion with Doug and Rocco. Jimmy later met with his Medical Director, Dr. Abel Johnson, and suggested he join them in the conversation. After talking for about three hours, the four men created a plan for a three-state education conference. Tri-state was born!

Using their own money, Rocco and Doug blocked off 150 rooms and meeting space at the Broadwater Beach Resort in Biloxi, Mississippi,  They were never thinking, what if this idea didn't work? It worked! The gamble paid off because the very first meeting had 325 attendees. After paying the bills, there was $630 left. Rocco and Doug divided the money among the Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi states' societies.

With great success in the first year, there was no problem recruiting national speakers to present for the subsequent years. The plan was for the conference to continue for 3 to 5 years. Thanks to the volunteer Tri-State board members, the conference has successfully provided outstanding programs and quality speakers for over 50 years. The Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi state societies continue to share the benefits of the ongoing success of the annual Tri-State Respiratory Care Conference.

Thank you to Mr. Doug McIntyre, Co-Founder, for sharing the history of Tri-State.