Men’s Health Awareness Week – June 9-15

Running in San Francisco

Let’s face it, as men we probably work too much, don’t eat that healthy, have a lot of stress and probably don’t go to the doctor as often as we should. Does this sound familiar? Well, the good news is each year in June we get a wake-up call. Yes, it’s Men’s Health Week. A time when the media like the internet, TV and radio give us a gentle reminder to take a moment and do a self assessment of our health. So, in the spirit of the week-long event, let’s run down a few key items we as men can do to improve our health.


See The Doctor

Are you one of those guys who refuses to ever go to the doctor? You’ll just tough it out, no matter what it is, right? Well, maybe that’s okay to do when you just have the sniffles, but what about a serious pain or other unexplained symptoms? Those really shouldn’t be ignored. And, if you haven’t had your physical lately, that’s important too. It’s recommended you get an annual physical. It’s really quite painless, and might only take an hour out of your day, but could save your life. Your doctor can do things like check your cholesterol, to see if it’s in the healthy range. This test is a must, because high blood pressure can lead to heart disease. He can also check your body mass index (BMI). This is a good way to judge if you’re overweight or not. He’ll listen to your heart and lungs and take your history and decide what other good preventative tests are appropriate for you. It’s important to get regular check-ups from your doctor, so if it’s been a while, make an appointment today.


Get Your Zzz’s!

Many guys don’t get enough sleep or have trouble sleeping. It’s a good idea to get at least 7-9 hours of sleep each night, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Not getting enough sleep can lead to a host of bad health problems, like obesity, heart disease and even depression. If you snore like a chain saw, wake up gasping for air during the night, or you’re constantly exhausted during the day, you could have a sleep disorder, like sleep apnea. If you’re feeling like this, it could be another topic to discuss with your doctor.


Get Active And Eat Your Veggies!

If you have a sedentary job and just grab some fast food for lunch, you’re not doing yourself any favors. If you’re like most guys you work at a desk and sit for a good part of the day. You need to get up and move. According to the CDC, we need at a minimum 2.5 hours of moderate activity each week. This means going for a walk at a good clip, not just a stroll. Also, try to work all your muscles. You can do resistance exercises or use weights. Grab a cheap pair of resistance bands and keep them in your desk drawer at work. Take them out and do a quick five-minute workout after you take a walk around the parking lot at lunch. As for eating, we’re all guilty of just grabbing something like a fast burger, but we need our vegetables too. Vegetables are packed with vitamins. Here’s a tip: try packing your lunch for each day of the week, planning it out on the weekends. That way it’s all prepared and you can just grab it from the fridge when you leave in the morning for work. This way you won’t be tempted to just run out and get fast food at lunch. Ideally, prepare a lunch with some protein, veggies, whole grains and a healthy fat, like avocado or olive oil. Try to avoid foods with excess sugar. Fruits, nuts, low-fat cheese, lean meats, yogurt, protein drinks, raw veggies are easy to prepare and healthy. Try to avoid soda and drink more water. It’s easy to become dehydrated, especially in the heat, so always make sure your drink plenty of water.


Stay Calm

Do you have a stressful job and life? A lot of men do. An undue amount of stress is not good for anyone. Exercise is a great way to keep your stress in check, so is meditation. You can spend a few minutes meditating anywhere. Find a quiet place and sit for a few minutes with your eyes closed and focus on your breathing, don’t think about anything else but your breath in and out. You can view videos and read books on meditating. Try it the next time you’re feeling a little overwhelmed. It’s easy and it works.


Kick The Habit

We shouldn’t have to say it but, if you smoke, stop! No matter how long you’ve smoked, according to the CDC, it’s never too late to stop and the benefits of doing so are huge. Stopping will lower your chances of cancer, heart disease and lung disease. Think of the money you’ll save too. Put the money you would’ve used for the cigarettes into an account and save for something you want. It might seem impossible, but you can do it.


So, take this week to reflect on whether you’re as healthy as you could be and make a few changes. You’ll be glad that you did. You can learn a lot more about the information contained in this article at



Training Together Proves to be Beneficial for Employees and Patients




Essential to the success of any organization, is the quality of its employees. Angel MedFlight actively seeks talented individuals who share the same work ethic and passion for exceeding standards that the company was founded on. Finding talent, however, is just the first step in building and maintaining an exceptional team. After initial new-hire orientation, individuals need ongoing, specialized training in two very technical fields: aviation and healthcare.

Angel MedFlight has designed and implemented a world-class training program providing instruction in every department including aviation, aviation maintenance, safety, operations, flight coordination, medical, quality management, legal, claims, human resources, IT and business development. Cross training employees allows employees to experience what it’s like to be in another’s role; for better understanding of how departments must work together for improved overall operations.

Matt Greenwell, RN, CFRN, NREMT-P, FP-C, Angel MedFlight’s Director of Clinical Operations teaches one of the training courses; Flight Physiology. He explains how pressure and altitude affect patients, flight crew and medical crew alike. Pressure affects people differently, an important consideration when transporting critical patients. A patient is going to react differently at sea level than at 40,000 feet.

“It’s very important that the patient’s history and condition area taken into consideration when the flight coordinators plan the flight,” says Greenwell, adding, “Altitude and air density, cabin pressure and the condition of the patient all play a role in coordinating a flight and determining the correct altitude and cabin pressure.” Greenwell teaches all the laws concerning pressure including Boyle’s Law, Charles’ Law, Henry’s Law, Graham’s Law and Fick’s Law. These are all complex theories that will need to be understood in depth. Greenwell stresses the importance of the medical crew and flight crew needing to communicate when it comes to adjusting cabin pressure. Because of their cross training, they’ll all have an understanding of the situation and be able to communicate effectively. This is one of many examples why a cross-training approach coupled with an in-depth curriculum are such integral pieces of an effective training and development program.

Greenwell also includes a training segment outlining the 4 types of hypoxia including hypoxic, hypemic, stagnant and histotoxic and the potential effects on patients and crew. He recalls a time when he had the training opportunity to spend time in an altitude pressure chamber; which simulates an aircraft reaching different altitudes and tests the effects it has on people. He explains that in his experience, it only took about 90 seconds to begin to feel the effects of hypoxia. He said he felt confused and experienced pain in his neck. Hypoxia can affect everyone differently. Personally experiencing a pressure chamber is an excellent way to understand first-hand what the effects can be. Greenwell hopes to incorporate altitude pressure chamber training to the curriculum in the near future.

Chief Pilot Kindle Tannery joins Greenwell to teach a segment that explains all of the 9 stressors that can affect not only the patient during the flight but the crew as well. The stressors are:

  • Hypoxia
  • Barometric Pressure
  • Thermal
  • G-Forces
  • Noise
  • Vibration
  • Third-Spacing
  • Decreased Humidity
  • Fatigue


Together, they explained the importance of the flight crew and medical crew to remain hydrated, eat healthy and the proper amount of rest in between flights so that they are able to perform their job functions to the absolute best of their ability.

It’s necessary for pilots and flight coordinators to learn and understand flight physiology; not just the medical crew. Although flight coordinators remain on the ground, they must be able to effectively communicate this information to patients, families and case managers that they work with to coordinate medical flights.

Angel MedFlight’s training and development is continually evolving in order to remain on the cutting edge of technology. Because air medical transport encompasses both the aviation and healthcare fields, ongoing training and continuing education requirements are important to remaining leaders in the industry.  The flight physiology course is just one part of the extensive training curriculum.

Angel MedFlight’s commitment to hiring, training and developing talent is essential to delivering operational excellence on every level.


Memorial Day Weekend Starts Summer Travel Season

The long Memorial Day weekend marks the start of family summer fun with outings and vacations. According to a recent Airlines for America (A4A) report, a predicted 1.5 percent increase in air travel means there will be more people traveling by plane this summer than in the highest recorded years of 2007-2008.  A4A predicts that airlines will transport 210 million people this summer. Not only will the roads be busy, but so will the airports. They also report that the top destinations this summer are Mexico, Canada and the U.K.


More travelers mean more people may be visiting your favorite summer destination. With more people, comes the possibility of more accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) the holiday weekend is one of the six deadliest holidays involving automobile fatalities. Staying alert and aware of other drivers on the road, refraining from drinking and driving, only using mobile devices when vehicle is pulled over or stopped and wearing a seat-belt  are all simple but potentially life-saving tips.


If you’re traveling, have fun, but remember to be safe around the water at the beach, pools and water parks. Make sure children are always under a watchful eye, it only takes seconds for a drowning to happen. If you are celebrating at the beach, park or other places with large crowds, be sure to have a plan in case you and your children get separated. Deciding on a predetermined place or landmark to meet should you become separated is always a good idea. Remember to drink plenty of water so that you stay hydrated and make sure to pack sunscreen and perhaps a small first aid kit for emergencies.


Something else to consider during your holiday weekend: when participating in risky activities that could potentially cause a serious injury, like a traumatic brain injury (TBI), it’s important to wear protective gear including a helmet. Every year, in the United States alone, 2.4 million people, including 475,000 children, sustain a TBI.  Experiencing new adventures is an important part of living a full,healthy life; especially when enjoyed safely.


As we finish Memorial Day Weekend and head into the summer travel months, keeping safety in mind will ensure you will have a fun and safe summer.


May 18-24 is National EMS Week



President Gerald Ford signed the Emergency Medical Services Systems (EMMS) Act in 1973.  One year later, he declared National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) week.  The theme for this year’s week is “EMS: Dedicated. For Life”.  EMS is a vital and critical part of the healthcare system today. Emergency Medical Service professionals include physicians, nurses, paramedics, emergency medical technicians, dispatchers, and support staff. These people are the first ones to respond to an emergency, and the ones delivering emergency care in emergency departments. Oftentimes, they put their own lives in jeopardy while trying to save others. They provide acute emergent care, stabilize patients, and transport them to the nearest appropriate medical facility.


Paramedics are one branch of the EMS family.  They are highly trained, licensed healthcare professionals who can perform advanced life support (ALS), administer life-saving drugs, perform intubation, and are trained to treat multiple types of injuries. Paramedics respond to everything from heart attacks to trauma. Angel MedFlight places a highly specialized Flight Paramedic on every medical flight. Flight Paramedics have prior experience working as EMS paramedics, typically on board ground ambulances.  Beyond standardized EMS training, Flight Paramedics are required to be trained and certified in flight physiology, allowing them to deliver critical care with the nuances of flying at 40,000 feet.


National EMS Week is dedicated to providing awareness and education around safety and emergency medical services. It is also the opportunity to recognize and honor the hard working, dedicated men and women who serve as the front line of medicine. It is because of the training, experience, passion, and dedication that our medical crew brings to the table, helping out patients get to the level of care that they require, that Angel MedFlight is able to provide patients with a high level of specialty care.  Today and every day, Angel MedFlight expresses thanks and gratitude to all EMS professionals; past, present and future.

Dr. Anne M. Burns, Angel MedFlight Co-Medical Director and Proud Mom

Dr. Anne M. Burns and children

Dr. Anne M. Burns and children


May 12, 2014 (Scottsdale, AZ)

“I am proud of the high-quality medical care we provide to our patients, and the comfort we are able to give to their families.” — Dr. Anne M. Burns, Angel MedFlight Co-Medical Director


There’s an old adage that goes, “When some people walk into a room, they improve the atmosphere.” As she greets you with a firm handshake and big, warm smile, you can tell Dr. Anne M. Burns is one of those people.

“Dr. Anne” has been Co-Medical Director of Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance, since November of 2009.

Every working single mother deserves a lot of credit. Even in these “post millennium” times, for a woman with a family, especially a single mom, to have a busy career she’s passionate about, while making time for her family, volunteering and (heaven forbid) having a social life, still means finding the right balance between work and life.


We caught up with “Dr. Anne” to ask her how she does it “all.”


When she’s not consulting with the Angel MedFlight medical staff, her “day job” is working clinical shifts in the St. Joseph’s Hospital Emergency Department in the heart of Downtown Phoenix, where she is also the Medical Director. She’s been in practice for 11 years, and is one of 15 doctors at St. Joe’s who specializes in Emergency Medicine, and she is board certified.


Dr. Anne came to Angel MedFlight through a recommendation by Angel MedFlight’s Medical Director, Dr. John Shufelt, who asked her to join the team.  As Co-Medical Director for Angel MedFlight, Dr. Anne provides consultation and direction to the Angel MedFlight medical staff, sometimes even while they are in the air working to save patients’ lives.


“We work closely together, with attention to detail to deliver superior medical service to our patients,” she says.


As Angel MedFlight’s Co-Medical Director, Dr. Anne reviews patient cases, and helps determine the most efficient and effective life sustaining and saving techniques to improve methods and achieve the best outcomes for emergency patient transports.


Growing up in Arizona, Dr. Anne watched how her father, long-time Scottsdale urologist, had a passion and dedication for the patients he saw through his practice. She admired how his patients praised his work. She remembers a time when a grateful patient wrote a thank-you letter to her father for saving her life, and how he treasured that letter.


Although her mother was a “stay-at-home-mom” by choice, she knew her bright young daughter could continue on to college and pursue her dream of becoming a doctor, like her father.


“In my parents’ days, a lot of women just stayed at home because they weren’t encouraged to work if they didn’t’ have to or want to,” she explains, “But my mother saw how well I was doing in school and encouraged me to keep going.”


After attending Arcadia High School, in Scottsdale, Dr. Anne left for California and earned her Doctor of Medicine degree from the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). She did her residency at Los Angeles County-Harbor-UCLA Medical Center from 1999-2002.


She says her biggest challenge, as a single mother, is keeping her work and home life with two young boys in balance. She admits that her busy schedule sometimes doesn’t make room for a “social life,” but quickly adds she’s working on that, too.


When her boys were young, her mother helped take care of them while Dr. Anne was getting her career underway.


Although her busy work-volunteer-mom schedule keeps her plate full, when she has the opportunity, she would like to do more hiking, running, playing tennis, and mostly, spending time with her two sons, now ages 11 and 7. She makes it a point to be involved with their school, even volunteering as a homeroom mother.


She says one of the causes close to her heart is volunteering each year to help with the PANDA (People Acting Now Discover Answers) “Children Helping Children” Fashion Show and Luncheon. The event helps raise funds for a Tucson-based research center specializing in childhood diseases.


She attended the event for several years and was so impressed by the organization she decided to become active as a board member. Three years ago, she even got her two young sons, then ages 5 and 8, to model in the children’s fashion show. Funds go to help the research at the University of Arizona’s Steele Children’s Research Center.


“They had a blast (modeling), after I explained to them that they were helping other kids, they were really into it.” She adds, “As a physician, I’m passionate about medical research to improve patient care, and as a mother of two young boys, I am highly supportive of an event that has children helping other children.”


Another of her passions is her involvement with the Elizabeth Brooklyn Blair Foundation that raises money for Camp Rainbow, a Phoenix Children’s Hospital-sponsored summer camp for children with cancer (past or present).

“My son went to preschool with Elizabeth, so we were close with the family when she was diagnosed with lymphoma,” Dr. Anne explains. “I sit on the Board now, and am running as part of the 30-member team in the Disneyland 10K on August 30.

Dr. Anne M. Burns, Angel MedFlight Co-Medical Director, is a mother, a certified emergency physician and an active member of her local community.

For more information about the Steele Children’s Research Center visit:

We Celebrate Our Nurses

Some of Angel MedFlight's Nurses at the celebration

Some of Angel MedFlight’s Nurses at the celebration

May 9, 2014 (Scottsdale, AZ)

May 6th is National Nurses Day and the beginning of National Nurses Week. National Nurses week began in 1954. It is celebrated from May 6th to May 12th each year. May 12th is significant because it marks the birthday of one of the most famous nurses of all time, Florence Nightingale.


Nightingale was born on May 12, 1820. She felt a calling to be a nurse from the early age of 17. Even though her parents initially had forbidden her to study nursing, she went on to attend nursing school and to later train nurses herself. During the Crimean War, Nightingale was sent to Turkey to oversee a military hospital for wounded British soldiers. Nightingale’s famous for her nursing methods and her theories are still practiced today.


We celebrate our nurse’s hard work, dedication and patient advocacy during this important week. The nurses at Angel MedFlight are essential to the success of the operation.


Our Flight Coordinator teams of Case Managers and R.N.s provide you with exceptional service from the moment you call them and continue to provide ongoing patient advocacy. They coordinate every aspect of the patient’s transfer with our One Touch Promise® and ensure that the patient’s every need is met. They exceed our patient’s expectations.


Just as Florence Nightingale did for the British troops, our Flight Nurses provide caring support for the many patients and patients’ families they transport. Flight nurses have the awesome responsibility to care for patients at 40,000 feet in the air, traveling at 500 mph. They are highly skilled professionals with years of experience, special flight training and life saving skills and certifications. They can handle any kind of patient from tiny, premature babies to critical care patients.


It takes a certain type of individual to dedicate their lives to helping others. We celebrated our nurses this week by surprising them with delicious individual cakes and long stem roses. Angel MedFlight honors our nurses and all the nurses around the world this week, for their caring service to others.

Angel MedFlight Logbook

Angel MedFlight transports patients worldwide.

Angel MedFlight transports patients worldwide.


April 14, 2014 (Scottsdale, AZ)

In March, Angel MedFlight had a record-breaking month, transporting patients and their family members from all around the globe, including an 8,011 mile flight from T’ai Pei to Texas. When all was said and done our pilots and medical crew flew our Learjets an astonishing total of 103,254 statute miles worldwide.


We fly patients for any number of medical reasons. In March, the largest number of flights was for post trauma recovery. The ages of our patients are as diverse as the reasons they need a medical transport. Our youngest passenger in March was only 85 days old, and our oldest patient was 95 years young.


We’re so glad that we can help so many people in need of medical transports. It’s our honor to have made a positive impact on these patient’s lives. Our team stands ready 24/7/365 to go anywhere in the world to transport patients.