October 31, 2013

My Real Life Moment™ Patient Stories Return Nov. 7

By Angel MedFlight Contributor 

They are heart-touching stories that we as an air ambulance company are honored to be able to pass along to you. Patients we have transported have allowed us to share their experiences through a series of videos entitled "My Real Life Moment™." Through this award-winning series, Angel MedFlight has been able to tell the story of a young cancer patient and how he was flown home through the help of an anonymous donor. We shared the moving story of a mother who had suffered through numerous miscarriages before being blessed with four surviving quintuplets. Viewers ride along as Angel MedFlight transports them home to be reunited with their father, a wounded combat veteran. We are proud to announce that after an Emmy award-winning first season, "My Real Life Moment™" is returning next month with all new episodes. 

The first season concluded with "My Real Life Moment™ - The Taylor Collins Project," the inspiring story of a Florida high school student and how her school's student government association came together to find her a medical flight to Miami for specialized medical treatment. In the end, Collins' schoolmates gather in a hushed classroom and when the teen-ager enters, the room explodes into a chorus of "Surprise!" Wearing a crown and toting a bouquet of roses, Taylor Collins is queen for a day as she gets the long-awaited air ambulance transport to Miami.

In October, the uplifting story of a group of schoolmates banding together to help someone in need earned Angel MedFlight an Emmy Award.  The video was awarded in the Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter's Teen (13 and up) - Program Feature/Segment category.

"At its core, 'My Real Life Moment™' is a platform for patients to share their stories and lend their voices to others who experience similar trauma. Our primary focus is to enhance patient advocacy -- we created this with the families in mind, so the fact that this is being recognized regionally is a great honor," said Angel MedFlight Chief Creative Officer, Barry Keyles.

In the next season of "My Real Life Moment™," Angel MedFlight will introduce you to an endearing homeless man in San Francisco who is critically injured by a hit-and-run driver. After almost a year of rehabilitation, Rowe gets a medical flight home to Georgia after a community-wide fundraising effort. An effort that displayed love and devotion from family and friends.

Other videos coming later this month will feature a brave Army sergeant who survived multiple overseas deployments only to sustain a severe traumatic brain injury in an auto accident after returning home. You'll meet a young man who suffers a major stroke while on vacation in Jamaica and could not get home to Massachusetts until Angel MedFlight came forward to provide the air medical transportation. In another story, the parents of an infant born with a rare medical condition are shown with their adorable little son. The father says babies born with their son's condition have a lifespan of 18 months and with determination adds, "That just wasn't good enough for us." Later, the father says, "We going to be a family again. We haven't been a family in a while."

Angel MedFlight is honored the patients and families featured in "My Real Life Moment™" have allowed us to share their stories in order to help others who may be undergoing similar experiences in their lives.

Care, compassion and inspiring human will. The next season of Angel MedFlight's "My Real Life Moment™ debuts Nov. 7 on Facebook and YouTube. 

Air Ambulance Company Checks out Latest Aviation Trends at NBAA13

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

Angel MedFlight and Aviation West Charters recently returned from the National Business Aviation Association's 2013 convention and exhibition in Las Vegas. Our team and 25,000 other attendees roamed the huge convention halls, networking and checking out the latest in business aircraft and aviation technology. 

NBAA13 was a three-day event held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, which was filled with over 1,100 exhibitors displaying the latest products and services. If that wasn't enough, attendees could take in the static display of 83 fixed-wing aircraft at Henderson Executive Airport. Another dozen light business airplanes and helicopters were parked inside the convention center.

"Aviation is changing so rapidly, " says Aviation West Charters Director of Flight Operations, Brandon Kearns. "It seems every six months there are new product lines and technologies. NBAA13 was an opportunity for our company to see what is currently being offered to the aviation industry, what's the next big thing, what's the latest and greatest technology."

Kearns says attending a convention like this gives us a good idea of what the level of expectation of the end user really is. "Clients will get on one of those new airplanes and that will set the bar for them. So if you show up with an aircraft that is far below that level, it will be a big difference for them." says Kearns. In the business of aircraft management, Kearns says one must have a handle on what the "first class is now and where it's heading." 

"If you stuck around and just had the same old airplanes all the time and said, 'this is first class,' that's great but your first class would never be pushed to the next level. It would never be redefined because you would never see anything else. That's why it's good to expose yourself to external audits or attend  events like NBAA13 and find out how aircraft manufacturers are addressing the passengers' needs."

The convention, which is the sixth-largest trade show in the United States, gave Angel MedFlight a unique window on the business aviation world. Director of Business Development, Chandra Stewart says NBAA13 gave the company a chance "to gather market and business intelligence. Fixed base operators, aircraft maintenance and sales, we looked at how these companies are marketing, who they're partnering with and what need they might have that we could fill or how we could get involved with them for building our business base."

The NBAA is a trade association that represents the interests of business aviation. Founded in 1947, the NBAA establishes industry standards aimed at enhancing safety and the efficiency and acceptance of business aviation.

NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen chalked up this year's show as a big success. "The energy and enthusiasm among exhibitors and attendees has demonstrated once again the tremendous value the industry continues to place on this event as premier national and international business aviation venue."

At Angel MedFlight we make safety the top priority along with the highest level of care and comfort for our patients. The information we brought back from NBAA13 will help keep Angel MedFlight and Aviation West Charters on the leading edge in the medical flight and business aviation industries.

CDC: Vaccine Offers Best Protection Against the Flu

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

Flu season is here and it's time to start thinking about getting a flu shot.  Promoting a healthy workplace is extremely important to us here at Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance and recently employees were given the opportunity to get their flu shot. Consider that a brief needle stick in the arm can help protect against a virus that hospitalizes over 226,000 people in the U.S. each year. Thousands will die from the flu and its complications.  

Rebecca Van Pelt, R.N., is Angel MedFlight's Chief Administrative Officer. "We offered a flu shot clinic to our employees this year after many of them were affected by the flu virus last year, " said Van Pelt. "As our company grows, our office space is getting cozier. Plus, our flight crews being in and out of airports, ambulances, and hospitals - they are particularly at risk of being exposed to the flu virus in their work."

What is the flu? Influenza is a contagious disease that spreads around the U.S. every winter. The flu season usually starts in October and runs into May. The disease is caused by the influenza virus and can be spread by coughing, sneezing and close contact. Most experts believe you can get the flu when a person who has the disease coughs, sneezes, or talks and droplets containing their germs land in your mouth or nose. You can also get the flu by touching a surface or object that has the flu virus on it and then touching your mouth, eyes or nose.

While anyone can get the flu, the risk of getting flu is highest among children. The symptoms come on suddenly and can last several days. Symptoms of the flu include fever/chills, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, cough, headache and runny or stuffy nose.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says the best way to protect yourself from the flu is the flu vaccine. This season's vaccine is now available at various locations including health clinics and drugstores. One of the easiest ways to find who has the vaccine is by going to the Flu Vaccine Finder on the Flu.gov website. There you just type in your zip code and the finder will generate a map with red markers on it showing where the vaccine is available. There are also detailed listings on the page that include location addresses, phone numbers, hours,  and what types of vaccines are available at specific locations.

Who should get a flu shot? The CDC recommends everyone six months of age and older should get vaccinated against the flu. It's also recommended to get the vaccine as soon as it's available in your area.

There are two types of flu vaccines available this season. The traditional vaccines, called the trivalent vaccines, protect against three flu viruses: H1NA, H3N2 and an influenza B virus. This season there are also vaccines being produced to protect against four flu viruses. These are called quadrivalent vaccines and they protect against  the same viruses as the trivalent vaccine plus an additional B virus.
Remember that it takes about two weeks for protection to develop after getting the flu shot and protection lasts several months to a year.

Van Pelt says that being in HR, she gets an interesting look at how the flu season can impact employees. " We hope that providing easy access to the flu vaccine for our employees this year will help lessen the negative impact."

Angel MedFlight, a leader in worldwide medical flights, and the CDC remind you that flu vaccine is the best protection from flu and its complications.  Talk to your healthcare provider and consider getting a flu shot today.

(Information for this article came from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.)

October 30, 2013

Make it a Happy and Safe Halloween

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

Children are bubbling with excitement as Halloween is right around the corner. They've picked out their costumes and plans are being sketched out for the family jack-o'-lantern. But before the kids set out on Halloween for buckets of treats, Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance wants to remind you of some tips for a safe Halloween. 

When it comes to costumes, wear one that is brightly colored. You and your kids want to be seen as you walk through the neighborhood at dusk or later. Reflective tape on the costumes is a great addition. Costumes should not be restrictive or hinder the vision of a child. If the costume includes a toy weapon, wand or broom, make them out of paper or cardboard. They are much safer than those that are made from plastic, metal and wood. Wear comfortable footwear. Shoes that are don't fit well could cause a child to fall. And always make sure costumes and wigs are made of a fireproof material.

What child doesn't want to "dig in" to their stash of candy as soon as they get back to their house? Don't let that happen. Adults should check all treats before they are consumed. A good hint is to have your kids eat a full meal before they begin their trick-or-treating trek through the neighborhood. This will help in them not being tempted to eat their treats before you've properly checked them. As for homemade treats (baked goods, Rice Krispie Treats),  and fruits and nuts -- they should not be eaten unless the parents know the person they came from.

A lot of this is common sense and we parents remember our folks telling us these things years ago. But it's always good to get a refresher.  For safe trick-or-treating visit only  the homes in the neighborhood that are well-lit and make sure to plan your child's route. Travel in a group or with adults and never enter a home. Another good tip for visibility is to trick-or-treat with a flashlight or glow stick. When crossing streets, cross at corners and never from between two vehicles.

Keeping your home safe is also important during Halloween.  It's best to not light candles around walkways. Think of using a battery-operated light source or glow stick in jack-o-lanterns or luminaries. If you've got good candy and some creepy decorations on the front door and porch, you may get high traffic -- so make sure to keep your walkways well lit and unobstructed. Lastly, don't let anyone you don’t know into your home.
Children are our treasures so make it a fun, and most of all, a safe (and spooky) night. Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance wishes everyone a happy and safe Halloween!

(Information for this article came from the Scottsdale and Phoenix Police Departments.)

Caring for Patients and the Community

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

While Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance is all about providing the kind of care that exceeds our patients' and industry expectations, there is also a deep care for our community and an employee commitment to it. This is why Angel MedFlight tries to support so many outstanding charitable organizations during critical fundraising campaigns. 

Most recently our employees volunteered at the Hope Worldwide Phoenix Carnival for Homeless Children. There, members of our team manned a first aid booth and handed out treats to children and families who are less fortunate. Others from Angel MedFlight gave kids manicures and haircuts while others grilled hamburgers and hotdogs.  

Just a few months ago, Arizona suffered one of its saddest days when 19 Granite Mountain Hotshot firefighters were killed while battling the Yarnell wildfire that displaced hundreds of residents. Like most, we were grief-stricken by this tragedy and wanted to help in any way we could. We chose to partner up with Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale for a pancake breakfast and all-day fundraising event with all proceeds going to the 100 Club of Arizona Survivors Fund. It was heartwarming to see so many area residents and motorcycle riders stop by the Angel MedFlight booth and buy 10, 20, 50 dollars worth of raffle tickets in order to help the families of the brave 19 souls who lost their lives trying to save others.

The grand prize from the Angel MedFlight raffle was an all-expense paid trip for two to Hawaii, but when the winner was announced, he chose to donate the value of the trip to the 100 Club. When it was all said and done, Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale and Angel MedFlight had raised over $100,000 for the 100 Club Survivors Fund.

It's a good thing Angel MedFlight has so many great fitness-minded people on the staff as they enjoy walking for great causes. Take for example the Relay for Life in Anthem, Ariz., when members of our team took part in an overnight fundraising walk, all to benefit the American Cancer Society. Angel MedFlight has a special bond with cancer patients as we often transport them to facilities to undergo treatment and specialized care. That day in April, we walked alongside with patients currently undergoing treatment along with survivors of the devastating disease.

The offices of Angel MedFlight can be a colorful place as we help to raise awareness for a number of causes. In September we wore shades of gold as part of the American Childhood Cancer Organization's "Go Gold" campaign during National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. A few weeks later, as leaves changed color to signal the arrival of Fall, we changed into pink shirts to recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Our talented graphics and marketing departments came up with a special pink ribbon logo on a pink t-shirt and employees of the air ambulance company purchased the shirts with part of the proceeds going to the Susan G. Komen Fund. During the organization's Race for the Cure in Phoenix, our director of community relations wore the shirt while participating in the  5k race and the one-mile walk.

Employees are encouraged to give their time for causes like those mentioned above. We are constantly reminded through participation how gratifying it can be to simply give our time…to give a part of our heart.

October 14, 2013

Angel MedFlight Catches Up with 2012 Scholarship Winner

By Angel MedFlight Contributor
As Angel MedFlight continues to take applications for its Scholarship for Excellence in Aviation, we thought this would be a perfect time to catch up with 2012 scholarship winner Caroline Gleb, a senior at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Ariz.
Heard about the scholarship through a friend at school. A friend of a relative was in the air ambulance industry and he sent her the link to our website.  Gleb has long considered a career in air ambulance and while she browsed the site she came across the scholarship link.
Something that makes the Angel MedFlight scholarship unique is applicants must submit a video biography, along with other required materials. Gleb says the video interview was new and different and she liked it a lot better than other scholarship entry forms which call for an essay. Gleb makes it no secret that she doesn't like writing much. She says it was a lot easier to come up with a short script and to be herself in front of the camera giving answers to various questions. "It was something different and something cool, something where I could actually express myself and Angel MedFlight could see my personality." 
She's been interested in flying and a career in aviation since middle school. A lot of the credit goes to her father, who to this day, takes Caroline and her younger sister to air shows every year. She says one year in middle school it just clicked and that being a pilot seemed like a "really cool career." But it wasn't until high school when she started to pursue her dream and think of  what college she would attend.
Gleb grew up on Vashon Island on Puget Sound in Washington. Pilot training programs were in short supply on the small island so when it came time to apply to college, Gleb enrolled at Embry-Riddle where she is just a few credit hours away from earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Science.  She chose Embry-Riddle because she could work on her four-year degree while also getting her flight training.
Upon graduation Gleb wants to work as a flight instructor at Embry-Riddle.  "I'm very familiar with their training program and I think it's an awesome school. I've loved my experience here," says Gleb. She says while working as a flight instructor, she'd gain a lot of knowledge and experience, which she knows will come in handy when she becomes a full-fledged pilot.  Gleb says ultimately she wants to become a commercial pilot or work for an air ambulance company. "Working for an air ambulance company would be my number-one goal. I love flying," says Gleb.
Finding out she had won the 2012 Scholarship for Excellence in Aviation was a big thrill for Gleb. "I wasn't really expecting it. It was so exciting to have someone appreciate all the  hard work that I have put in throughout my four years here. It was such an awesome feeling to see that you guys had picked me over other applicants. I am so grateful for everything that Angel MedFlight has given me."
Gleb's scholarship was well-earned. At the time of her application Gleb was not only taking on her course load at Embry-Riddle, she was also working as a dispatcher and volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters and serving as vice president of Alpha Sigma Tau sorority. Through all this, Gleb maintained a 4.0 grade point average.
Her advice to this year's scholarship applicants?  She says "make a video that shows who you are and shows what your career goals are. Be who you are on the video and people will appreciate that."
Gleb calls Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance "an awesome company." We think Gleb, our 2012 scholarship winner, is pretty awesome too.