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By: AAST Associate Editor on October 25th, 2021

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Sleep Technologists Appreciation Week 2021 Honorees: Part 1

STAW | Sleep Technologists Appreciation Week

Throughout Sleep Technologists Appreciation Week (STAW), we will be highlighting a few of our 2021 STAW honorees. These honorees have been nominated by their peers for their hard work and dedication to the sleep industry and community.


Amanda Rose AiliffAmanda Rose Ailiff

Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Nominated by: Sally Ibrahim

“Amanda Rose Ailiff is one of our pediatric sleep technologists who values her job and her impact on families. She is exemplary in her delivery of a family-friendly approach and was honored by our hospital CEO for her dedication to families. We value her and so do our families! Thank you!”


Debbie AkersDebbie Akers

Location: Virginia Beach, Virginia

Nominated by: Steven Tompa

“Debbie Akers, RRT, RPSGT, FAAST, serves as a motivation and inspiration to the respiratory and sleep medicine occupations. She has groomed and mentored numerous sleep technologists, and has taught multiple polysomnography courses. She encourages those in the field to grow their careers by guest speaking at sleep conferences and advancing their education.”


Dolores AndersonDolores Anderson

Location: Cleveland, Ohio   

Nominated by: Sally Ibrahim

“Dolores is dedicated to scoring quality studies for both pediatrics and adults. She is one of our best scorers and we value her attention to detail. Thank you!”



 Tanya AndreevaTanya Andreeva

Location: Virginia Beach, Virginia

Nominated by: Steven Tompa

“Tanya Andreeva is a true inspiration to the field of clinical sleep technology at Sleep Specialists of Tidewater with Bayview Physicians Group in Virginia Beach. She's an expert with patient care, attention to detail and medical knowledge, and has taught many technologists beginning with the basics and making them experts!”


Pankaj AroraPankaj Arora

Location: New Delhi, India

Nominated by: Nasreen Akhtar

“Pankaj Arora is a technologist par excellence. He works very hard at his craft and tirelessly climbs the ladder of knowledge. He goes out of his way to help others, spread knowledge about sleep technology and is always ready to lend a helping hand. The world will be a better place with more sleep technologists like him.”


Tom BenzTom Benz

Location:Omaha Nebraska

Nominated by: Steven Tompa

“Tom is a true inspiration to the field of sleep medicine, devoting himself to his sleep patients. He has a vast knowledge of the science of sleep, and holds a Bachelor of Science along with RPSGT and CCSH credentials. He shares his knowledge by coaching and mentoring other sleep technologists to earn their certification in clinical sleep health (CCSH). We are all blessed to have him as a colleague.”


Natalie BighamNatalie Bigham

Location: Lancaster, Ohio

Nominated by: Robin James

“I have enjoyed the privilege of knowing Natalie Bigham for over 15 years. From the very beginning of her career in sleep at Nationwide Children's Hospital, she has been a problem solver — troubleshooting equipment and software issues, creating a tech quality assurance manual and designing a tech summary template as our programmer analyst. After leaving Nationwide Children's, she remains a problem solver as a team lead for Fairfield Medical Center. Not only has she written and applied solutions to help sleep patients through her very organized efforts, she has also helped with staff troubleshooting through the creation of a polysomnography training program — a sleep technologist after my own heart!”


Larry BrewerLarry Brewer

Location: Denton, Texas

“Larry has been in the field of sleep technology for almost 20 years and has been a performing technologist, center manager for adult and hospital pediatric centers, clinical director, business manager and owner of multiple sleep centers in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. He and his wife Shauna founded First Sleep School, and together they have taught over 100 students through their training program since 2014.  Larry is also the inventor of the 10-20 TOOL that was created for sleep and neurodiagnostic professionals in an effort to help simplify head measuring without sacrificing accuracy. He strives to do his part in helping make the field of sleep technology and sleep medicine strong and those that work in it feel supported."


Jennifer ButcherJennifer Butcher

Location: Elyria, Ohio

Nominated by: Tara Sostakowski

“Jennifer has been a sleep technician for 20 years at Elyria Medical Center. She is committed to adhering to guidelines from our accrediting body, and assures the department is responsive to patient needs and providing exceptional care. She supports fellow technicians and assures they have the knowledge and tools to do their job well. Jennifer has worked through two equipment and documentation upgrades and has led the way to assure her team and the providers are supported. I have worked with her for the past three years and recognize that the quality and success of our sleep program is directly related to her efforts and support.”


Subhra ChakrabartiSubhra Chakrabarti

Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Nominated by: Sally Ibrahim

“Subhra worked with the AASM and all our staff to augment our program to achieve corporate accreditation. Her resilience and professionalism during this process was exemplary. We could not do this without her, nor any of our ongoing process improvement projects.”

Sleep Technologists Appreciation Week

Learn more about Sleep Technologists Appreciation Week (STAW), including celebration ideas and STAW swag, here.