AirMed, Flight Program of the Year, Lands a New Home

AirMed, Flight Program of the Year, Lands a New Home

Nov 7, 2007 5:00 PM

U recognizes AirMed achievements at dedication ceremony for new helipad

With their sleek aircraft, black flight suits, and heroic, life-saving missions, it's no surprise that AirMed crew members enjoy a sort of rock-star status around the hospital.

Now they have the international reputation to boot. The Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS), which represents nearly 500 medical transport programs worldwide, voted AirMed the 2006 International Program of the Year for its "superior level of patient care, quality leadership, safety, and commitment to the community."

Now when David Entwistle, CEO of University Hospitals & Clinics, claims AirMed is the best air medical transport program in the country, he can add that peers from around the world agree with him.

"The recognition from AAMS is a pretty big badge of honor to wear," says Brian Simpson, R.N., AirMed's program manager. "It took a lot of work and our entire team--past and present--to get it."

AirMed was also honored locally by Utah Business Magazine as one of the publication's "Health Care Heroes for 2007." The magazine cited the program's commitment to providing exceptional service and patient care as well as its commitment to ongoing research, something that makes the U's flight service unique in the field of air medical transport.

On Sept. 28, A. Lorris Betz, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president for health sciences, David Entwistle, and Margaret Pearce, R.N., chief nursing officer, joined with hospital employees, donors, and friends atop the new helipad to congratulate the crew on its recent recognition and to welcome AirMed back home. For the past 11 months, AirMed had been working from a temporary home about a quarter mile from University Hospital. Simpson estimates that the team clocked 100,000 miles in the van transporting patients and equipment.

During the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Entwistle unveiled a plaque commemorating AirMed's designation as International Program of the Year and a plaque honoring the memory of four crew members who died while rescuing others: pilot Louis Merz, nurse Shayne Carnahan, R.N., paramedic Tim Hynes, and pilot Stan Berg.

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