Image: REACH Air Medical Services was named Program of the Year (AAMS)
A number of air medical companies and professionals have been honoured at the Air Medical Transport Conference (AMTC) Annual Community Awards event in Long Beach, California, hosted by the Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS).
REACH Air Medical Services, headquartered in Santa Rosa, California, was named Program of the Year. The award is given each year to an emergency medical services programme that has demonstrated superior levels of safety consciousness, patient care, quality leadership, and community and industry service. AAMS said that at REACH, safety is the ultimate expression of patient care, adding that the company is hyper aware of its risks and responsibilities and is dedicated to doing everything it can to protect their people and patients.
Intermountain Life Flight of Salt Lake City, Utah, received the Vision Zero Aviation Safety Award for its development of safety risk assessment tools to help guide flight decisions and flight crew status. As part of ongoing safety improvement efforts, Intermountain staff developed a series of tools to evaluate health, well-being and readiness of flight crew members designed to identify signs of fatigue. With this $10,000 award, the provider plans to develop these tools into a mobile app.
Michael Griffiths, CEO of Life Flight Network, was named as Program Director of the Year. The award took into consideration the company’s financial stability, improvements that Griffiths has implemented and his positive relationships with the staff and the community. Life Flight Network operates planes, helicopter and ground ambulances in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana.
The Neonatal/Pediatric of Excellence Award was won by Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago Transport Team, which transported more than 1,700 patients in 2014.
Mark Schumacher was the recipient of the Transport Mechanic’s Award of Excellence. Through his leadership, said AAMS, Schumacher has mentored and trained countless maintenance professionals at PHI Air Medical, both domestically and abroad.
The Barbara A. Hess Research Award was presented to Dr Eric R. Swanson, medical director for University of Utah AirMed in Salt Lake City, co-editor of the Air Medical Journal and a two-term AMPA board member. AAMS said: “As a medical educator, there are four qualifications you need: clarity, a case-based approach, credibility and passion. Eric Swanson has all four of these qualities – hands down.”
The Marriot-Carlson Leadership Award was presented to Howard Ragsdale of Air Methods Corporation for outstanding contributions to the emergency medical transport community. AAMS stated: “He is simply one of the best airmen, managers, mentors and executives in our air medical industry.”
Terry Palmer, director of the Helicopter Flight Training Center at Metro Aviation Inc., in Shreveport, Louisiana, received the Jim Charlson Aviation Safety Award. A long-time professional pilot, she has spent more than a decade working to improve helicopter safety through proactive training. The centre, which opened in 2012, uses a cost-effective ‘train the trainer’ programme. It now trains customers from Shreveport to Beijing.
The Critical Care Ground Award of Excellence went to Cleveland Metro Life Flight’s Critical Care Ground Team.