May 27, 2016

Meet Angel MedFlight – Critical Care Flight Nurse Arend Folkens

Arend folkens in Angel MedFlight flight gear

Throughout his six years as a nurse, Arend Folkens has experienced plenty of important lessons and notable moments. In fact, Arend said one of his most rewarding moments as a critical care flight nurse with Angel MedFlight happened within the first six months of his position. The Angel MedFlight team arrived at 3am in Cancun, Mexico to transfer a patient with a broken hip. They flew all night, transporting the patient to Minnesota for surgery. It was a mission Arend said left him with great joy knowing he made a significant difference in the patient’s life.

Arend said his family’s history in medicine initially inspired him to become a flight nurse. His grandfather was both a pilot and a doctor, which encouraged Arend to combine the two paths in his own career.

Although Arend’s particular career path has sent him to the skies for now, one of his favorite things about the field is the flexibility of job opportunities nurses have.

Arend Folkens graduation picture“As a nurse, I can work in critical care, the emergency department, pediatrics,  the OR, and the list goes on,” he says. “Nursing is a highly diversified field of medicine and makes for a very interesting career.”

He encourages aspiring and current nurses in any field to keep an open mind and never stop learning.

“Healthcare is always changing with new meds, new procedures, and new diagnoses,” he says. “In order to be good at what you do and continue to be excited to show up to work, staying current is key.”

We are incredibly thankful to have Arend on the Angel MedFlight team. Every day, people like him work tirelessly to ensure seamless medical transport every step of the way.

May 10, 2016

Happy Nurse’s Week from Angel MedFlight!

In celebration of National Nurse’s Week, we are proud to feature two of the many nurses on the Angel MedFlight staff.


Richard Oeltjen, RN

national nurses week_richardRichard Oeltjen, recently celebrated his fifth anniversary as a RN Flight Coordinator at Angel MedFlight. However, those five years only cover a fraction of his lengthy career as a nurse. In 1984, Richard was inspired to pursue a nursing career when the Mayo Clinic launched its first medical helicopter in Minnesota. He was intrigued by the challenge of providing critical care in an aircraft. As a helicopter flight nurse, Richard handled countless emergency transports. His most rewarding moment was transferring a young man from a severe trauma situation and providing a blood transfusion during flight that eventually saved the patient’s life.

During his 28 years as a nurse, Richard has appreciated the wide variety of nursing career opportunities. He encourages new nurses to pursue their goals by taking advantage of the many options available to them.  We are thankful to have Richard on the Angel MedFlight team. Everyday he uses his experience to ensure seamless air medical transports for our patients. Happy Nurse’s Week Richard!


Jennifer Peterson, RN

jennifer peterson nurseAs a Flight Coordinator at Angel MedFlight, Jennifer Peterson uses her nursing skill to coordinate air medical transfers for patients throughout the world. With 16 years of experience as an RN, Jennifer is a valuable part of the Angel MedFlight team. She is passionate about the medical profession and she loves connecting with her patients and their families.

As a U.S. Air Force veteran, Jennifer has cared for patients in hospitals both in the U.S. and abroad. Her favorite assignment was working in the Labor and Delivery department and she found the experience incredibly rewarding. Her advice to new nurses as they begin their careers is: “Treat every patient as you would want your mother to be treated.”

We thank Jennifer for her service and her dedication to Angel MedFlight’s patients. Happy Nurse’s Week Jennifer!


Angel MedFlight Team

May 6, 2016

Happy Mother’s Day 2016 From Angel MedFlight

Angel MedFlight would like to honor mothers and care givers everywhere for their unconditional love and their steadfast commitment to their families. This Sunday marks Mother’s Day in the United States and many families will celebrate the special women in their lives. At Angel MedFlight, we are especially fortunate to have dedicated mothers on our team. Everyday they bring their compassion and multi-tasking talent to the office to ensure that our patients and their families receive exceptional care and service.


In appreciation of these hard-working ladies, we are sharing some of their favorite memories as well as some valuable motherly advice.


Billie-JoBillie-Jo Carpenter, Dispatcher

Billie-Jo celebrated her favorite Mother’s Day with both her mom and her daughter three years ago.  Her mother traveled from Colorado to spend the weekend in Arizona.  Together they enjoyed manicures and pedicures followed by a beautiful brunch. Later, the trio watched a series of “chick flicks” at home with a large bowl of popcorn and plenty of laughs.


Billie-Jo treasures her three-generation celebration and is grateful that they had the opportunity to be together on Mother’s Day.


Jennifer Peterson, RN Flight Coordinator

Jennifer & familyJennifer loves to travel with her three children. This year she will be celebrating Mother’s Day with her family on vacation in Venice, Italy. One of the most meaningful gifts Jennifer ever received from her kids is a poem written by her daughter while she was in high school. The thoughtful verses describe how much Jennifer means to her.


Parenting advice Jennifer lives by: Love, kiss, hug every day!


Kelly Medina, Assistant Flight Coordinator

Kelly and kidsKelly has received several arts and crafts gifts from her two young children, but her very favorite is a homemade photo project made of popsicle sticks glued together with her children’s picture attached to the top. On warm weekends, Kelly enjoys swimming in the pool with her kids.


Parenting advice Kelly lives by:
You will never have this day with your children again. Tomorrow they will be a little bit bigger than they are today. This day is a gift. Breathe and notice everything. Study their faces and their little feet. It will be over before you know it.


Kristy Becker, Flight Coordinator/Case Manager

Kristy and DaughtersFor Mother’s Day this year, Kristy’s two daughters have made surprise plans for her. Whatever they do, Kristy is sure to be pleased. She loves to spend time with her girls and she adores all of her daughters’ homemade gifts. As a family, they enjoy being around water and they go camping at the lake as often as possible.


Melanie and DaughterMelanie Gassert, Human Resources Generalist

Melanie is celebrating a very special Mother’s Day this year as she is expecting her second child in June. Until then, she is setting aside extra time for her favorite mother/daughter activities including going to the park to play on the swings. Although she’s still very young, Melanie’s daughter also enjoys art and crafts projects. Melanie’s favorite gift is a butterfly picture created for her by her daughter!


Nicole Wacura, Flight Coordinator/Case Manager

Nicole and Son at grand canyonNicole is very proud of her son who recently graduated from Michigan State University. Although Nicole will be working in the Angel MedFlight communication center on Mother’s Day this year, she is looking forward to celebrating with her son when he moves home to Arizona from Michigan later this month.


Every summer, they enjoy a relaxing fishing vacation in Northern Wisconsin. Nicole is also a big sports fan and her family loves to watch hockey, baseball and college football together!


Nicole’s parenting mantra: Keep your hands and feet to yourself


Sharon_croppedSharon Mico, Marketing Assistant

As the happy mother of the groom, Sharon recently had the pleasure of seeing her son get married and start a new chapter in his life. Undoubtedly, he will continue to recall some of the life lessons his mother shared with him growing up.


Sharon’s favorite saying
to her son when he was little:
We follow my rules in this house…..why….because you, my dear son, have a homeowner problem right now. You don’t own one!
It worked… and now he gets to make the rules in his own house for his kids!


Shelley and kidsShelley Schlossberg,
Director of Human Resources

As the mother of triplets, Shelley works overtime as a mom everyday. This year, she plans to celebrate Mother’s Day with a family breakfast followed by trip to the park. She loves every minute of being with her children and listening to them giggle, laugh, argue, and play.


Tammy Harrison, Lead Flight Coordinator

Tammy_w_kidsThis year Mother’s Day is especially dear to Tammy. Her youngest daughter will be graduating from high school in just a few weeks. For Tammy, the years seemed to pass in the blink of an eye, so she is happy to share a valuable piece of wisdom with new parents.


Tammy’s Advice: “Love ‘em, hug ‘em, hold ‘em, kiss ‘em every day when they are little because it is such a fleeting moment in the grand scale of life.”