A Month to Think More about Alzheimer’s Patients and Caregivers

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Chicago’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s in 2012

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

Every 68 seconds, an American develops Alzheimer’s disease. In this year alone, an estimated 5.2 million Americans of all ages have this form of dementia which gradually robs our loved ones of their memory and their dignity. The disease also has a devastating impact on families as often a spouse or child becomes overburdened by the responsibilities of being a caregiver. Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance is often called upon to transport Alzheimer’s patients and proudly recognizes November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and National Caregiver Month.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Because more than 5 million in this nation are living with the disease, it’s virtually impossible to find someone who hasn’t been impacted. Too many have undergone what is often referred to as “The Long Goodbye.” Anyone who has lost a loved one to Alzheimer’s understands this description because of the patients’ gradual decline as the disease progresses.

The signs start innocently at first. Dad may start writing a lot of notes to himself to remind him of simple tasks. Or he’ll ask you something over and over, not remembering he asked you that same question just a short time ago. Often a spouse steps in and recommends testing. What may be surprising to some is there is no single test that proves a person has Alzheimer’s. The Alzheimer’s Association points out that “a diagnosis is made through a complete assessment that considers all possible causes.” Medical care providers will review the patient’s medical history and there will be a physical exam and diagnostic tests. The assessment will also include a neurological exam, mental status tests and brain imaging.

The patient’s long decline may involve anxiety and drastic mood swings. Loved ones who were mild-mannered before the disease, decline to a stage where they may resist being fed or bathed and then lash out at the caregiver, sometimes violently. What the Alzheimer’s Association wants all caregivers to know is there are ways to get help. The Alzheimer’s Association website is full of information and tips for the caregiver. The site provides a 24/7 helpline where their highly trained staff will provide information on the basics of Alzheimer’s, medications and treatment options plus legal, financial and living-arrangement decisions.

The Alzheimer’s Association can also direct patients and caregivers toward support group, care training resources, free e-learning courses and an e-newsletter. Their website also has an “In My Community” page where users can type in their state or zip code to find out what programs and services are available in your area, such as support groups and educational workshops.

Angel MedFlight’s medical crew members see the devastating effects of this ravaging disease as we often are chosen to transport patients with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia on medical flights. If you are a caregiver, know that you don’t have to go at it alone — there are ways to find support. For more information visit http://www.alz.org.

Hooked by the Autonomy in the Sky

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Angel MedFlight Clinical Educator Matt Greenwell

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

You’re a traditional emergency room nurse transitioning into the air medical transportation wing of the health care world. Nursing and paramedic work on the ground involves the same science, but in air ambulance work, you’re introduced to altitude physiology and new levels of autonomy are reinforced. At Angel MedFlight, that specialized training program is headed by Clinical Educator Matt Greenwell, R.N.

Greenwell’s entry into the emergency medical care field got started after a few words of advice from his mother, a registered nurse. Many years ago, Greenwell was working in the aerospace industry and wasn’t all that thrilled about it so his mother suggested he look into volunteering at a hospital emergency department. The hospital that is now Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa, Ariz., had an opportunity for him. “I was a volunteer in their ER. I’d go in there one night a week and kind of hang out, have some fun and learn some things and realized that was the direction I wanted to head,” says Greenwell.

With his interest in the medical field piqued, he went back to school to become a basic EMT. From there, Greenwell says he realized then that was just the starting-off point in terms of  emergency health care and it “really grabbed a hold of me.” He then went to paramedic school and shortly thereafter he realized that nursing was what he wanted to do. “When you become a paramedic, your choices are primarily either EMS and working on an ambulance or working for the fire service and I had no desire to be a firefighter.”

So it was off to nursing school for Greenwell, who also started  working as a paramedic and ER tech at Mesa Lutheran Hospital.  “I got my nursing license and they hired me into their emergency department.” After a few years at Mesa Lutheran he returned to Banner Desert and worked several years as a  member of their emergency room staff. “It was a very, very busy facility,” Greenwell says, “but as a young aggressive nurse we were into that. It was a very fast-paced ER.”

Ironically, someone who had left the aerospace industry would find himself — working in the air.  Greenwell says he had some friends who worked in the air medical industry and one day they invited him to go on a ride-along. He really hadn’t been attracted to air ambulance work but after a couple of helicopter rides, he knew he had found his calling. “I ended up in that arena and flew for a program for a number of years and then got into their education department.”

It was the autonomy Greenwell felt while treating patients in the air made him realize he was in the right place. “As an emergency department nurse we have quite a bit of autonomy  but yet we still have the physicians right there to back us up. They clearly make the decisions. In the air medical arena we still have medical direction, we have a number of standing orders and guidelines we follow — but that autonomy is there.

Greenwell began his clinical education work with another company and eventually landed at Angel MedFlight as chief flight nurse. He has since rejoined our team as the clinical educator where he stresses compassion in his training. A patient needing air ambulance transport is obviously going through a difficult time and Greenwell makes certain our medical crew members deliver the highest level of compassion and care. Our flight crews go through quarterly and annual training, both didactic (classroom) and in skills labs.

Why did Greenwell come to Angel MedFlight? “What has impressed me all along is how we really do continue to raise the bar. Our equipment is second to none, I’ve worked for a number of flight programs and we have the best of the best with everything.” Greenwell says when you mix in the company’s training and staff, “it’s a very powerful package.”

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 suffered 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.

Medical Personnel Came to the Rescue During Superstorm Sandy

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Aerial view of damage to homes in Mantoloking, N.J., after Superstorm Sandy

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

It was a year ago this week that Superstorm Sandy came ashore in New Jersey and left thousands in the Mid-Atlantic region homeless in its wake. It is during disasters like these — natural or man-made — that we see the critical role emergency medical personnel play in survival as well as recovery.

As Superstorm Sandy sent record-breaking ocean swells into New York City, flooding large sections of Lower Manhattan and seven subway tunnels, officials along the coast had enacted pre-established emergency plans and evacuation procedures. Residents in homes can often evacuate themselves, but what about the sick and infirm lying in hospital beds or at assisted living facilities? They required specialized transport and it was experienced critical care medical personnel who often came to the rescue. Throughout the East Coast local, state and private medical transportation services banded together to evacuate thousands of people from health care facilities.

In New York City, emergency medical workers rescued some 40 newborn babies from New York University’s Langone Medical Center in Manhattan. Just hours after the storm had flooded parts of the city, one of Langone’s backup generators failed. Hundreds of patients needed to be evacuated including dozens of newborns. According to a report by The Associated Press, one of the newborns was Kenneth Hulett III, who weighed only two pounds when emergency medical workers rescued him. They rushed him out of the hospital’s intensive care unit and down some stairs while hooked up to an oxygen tank. Ambulances were used to transport hundreds of patients to other hospitals.

It takes intense emergency planning to tackle an event like Superstorm Sandy. According to a report  from EMS World, in the four to five days prior to Sandy coming ashore, the New Jersey EMS Task Force established two regional EMS staging areas, as well as a helicopter base for air medical  operations. In addition the state implemented the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), which initially requested 75 ambulances from out of state to help assist with health care facility evacuations. In all, 39 hospitals and 196 nursing homes in the Garden State lost power  because of Sandy and more than 1,500 health care facility residents were evacuated.

Many of Angel MedFlight’s air ambulance medical crew members have worked as EMT’s and thus we have a special bond with our brothers in the EMS community. Our flight nurses and paramedics are also at the ready, standing by to offer long-distance medical transport to critically ill or injured patients.

Make it a Happy and Safe Halloween

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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.)

CDC: Vaccine Offers Best Protection Against the Flu

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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 vaccine. 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.)

Uncorked: Angel MedFlight’s “Sam” on Chardonnay Label for Great Cause

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Angel MedFlight’s Sam Freer is proudly displayed on Desert Lab Cellars’ Happy Hound Chardonnay label

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

There is big news coming from the office of Sampson “Sam” Freer, Angel MedFlight’s Canine Information Officer. Sam happily roams the AMF office in Scottsdale and often greets employees with a pawshake. He brings a lot of smiles to AMF employees and has a loyal following on Twitter (@CanineSam). But now, our beloved CIO has become even more of star. We’re happy to announce Sam is being featured on a  wine label! Luckily, we were able to collar Sam and have him sit down with us to get more information on this exciting news.

AMF: Thanks for inviting us again into your cozy office Sam. I understand you have some big news to announce.

Sam: Great to have you again. I apologize for the place being a little untidy. I got a hold of another toy and kind of..well, took it apart. But anyway, let’s get right to the news. I am proud to announce that my image is being used on the Desert Lab Cellars’ Happy Hound Chardonnay. I just happen to have a bottle of it here. Here, take a look.

AMF: Sam, this is truly celebrity status. It makes me think of the wines produced by Francis Ford Coppola, Madonna, Tom Seaver and other stars.

Sam: Well, I won’t debate you on the celebrity part but what makes me so proud is sales of the Happy Hound Chardonnay and other wines produced by Desert Lab Cellars benefit the Desert Labrador Retriever Rescue. DLRR is where my owner Jeremy Freer adopted me from in 2008. They are a tremendous organization.

AMF: Can you tell loyal readers of this air ambulance blog  more about DLRR?

Sam: Well, I bet you didn’t know that since 2000, Desert Labrador Retriever Rescue has rescued close to 2,600 Labrador Retrievers. DLRR is a no kill shelter. The great people at DLRR rescue dogs from Arizona county dog pounds or ones that are surrendered to DLRR by their owners. These folks provide medical care for sick or injured dogs.

This type of care and shelter for dogs like me is very costly. According to DLRR, they incurred over $165,000 in veterinary care expenses in 2011 alone. Approximately 97% of the funds they receive are used to address the medical needs of my Lab friends over there. So any help they get is very appreciated. Humans who pick up one of those bottles of wine are helping out DLRR and in turn, saving the lives of my fellow Lab buddies.

AMF: DLRR sounds like a very special organization. What is the special event they are holding this weekend?

Sam: Desert Labrador Retriever Rescue is holding its 5th Annual Corks & Collars Wine Tasting and Silent Auction which benefits DLRR. It’s being held at the Armitage Bistro in Scottsdale on Market Street at DC Ranch. Dogs, have your owners walk and play with you early in the day as this event runs from 3pm until 6pm. Tickets are only $35. DLRR wants you humans to know all proceeds from the afternoon will be used for rehoming, medical care and rehabilitation of rescued Labs like me. While there, I hope you taste the Happy Hound Chardonnay and maybe pick up a case or two.

AMF: Truly a great event for an even greater cause. Michele Hanigsberg from Desert Labrador Retriever Rescue has also joined us in Sam’s office. Michele, what can you tell about the event in Scottsdale?

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Sam with Angel MedFlight CEO Jeremy T. Freer

Hanigsberg:  For the past 3 years we’ve been hosted by Armitage Bistro.  This year we expect close to 300 people attending. The event is outdoors and features wine tasting, beer,  appetizers and live music by Jay Allen. We also have a terrific silent auction and raffle.  The silent auction has something for everyone — dog lovers, wine aficionados, sports fans, great restaurant gift certificates, spas, concerts, trips and our ever popular Fat Tire bicycle.  We will also be promoting our Benefit Wines, where Sam’s label will be featured.

Sam: If I might add, there’s plenty of information about Saturday’s event on the Corks & Collars website.

AMF:  Sam, we truly enjoyed another opportunity to speak with you and Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance is thrilled with your newfound celebrity status as well as your philanthropic heart.  What’s next on your busy schedule?

Sam:  I have an appointment with another company. There’s talk they want to use me in a “Most Interesting Dog” ad.

 

Air Ambulance Company Helps Deliver Smiles to Kids in Need

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Angel MedFlight employees and Spider-Man at the Hope Worldwide Phoenix Carnival for Homeless Children

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

The children laughed happily on this warm October day in Phoenix. They had come to a carnival. They were there to play, lick snow cones, get a few treats and frolic with costumed superheroes. But these children and their families had also come to this carnival to take advantage of basic services like haircuts and dental checkups. For some, it may have been their first chance at a hot lunch in days. This was no ordinary carnival — it was the Hope Worldwide Phoenix chapter’s Carnival for Homeless Children and Angel MedFlight was happy to once again be involved, helping to make this a very special day for underprivileged kids. Hope14

Ryan Jones is the Chairman of the Board for Hope Worldwide’s Phoenix chapter. Jones says the organization has global reach and whether it’s in Phoenix or across the United States, they are there to help. “You name it we’re there, serving the poor, the homeless, the needy, medical needs, we cover it all.”

The carnival was held at the Children’s First Academy in Central Phoenix.  A school where according to its website, “one hundred percent of the students and their families are at the poverty line and a vast majority of students are homeless.”  Jones says, “We have a great partnership with the Children’s First Academy. They’ve done so much in the community and have a great new facility and we’re happy to be here.”

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Angel MedFlight employees helped with haircuts

For five hours on a Saturday afternoon some 800 children came through the front gates. Many stopped by the Angel MedFlight booth where our employees handed out treats. Whether it was a small bag of Skittles or a plastic feathered pink tiara, the faces on these children lit up with gratitude as we placed items in their bags. 

From the Angel MedFlight booth the children and their families continued around the school grounds to find a myriad of snacks and concessions, snow cones, bags of popcorn and cotton candy. Costumed super heroes were there in force. One little boy pointed with excitement at very large man dressed up as The Hulk. The hero’s Marvel mates Spider-Man, Captain America and Hawkeye were also there as were a DC Comics contingent including Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. From heroes it was on to health as carnival-goers could get dental checkups and blood pressure screenings — all for free.

This was the fifth year Angel MedFlight has volunteered at the carnival. While some of our employees were there to hand out treats, others lent a hand with haircuts, face painting and manicures. Roberto Antonio, who works in the Angel MedFlight claims department is a board member at Hope Worldwide Phoenix. He’s been involved with Hope Worldwide for 14 years, including six years at the Phoenix chapter. “For me, the carnival is a day that allows me to get that one-on-one touch that we are meant to have with others. It’s a day that at the first spot of sunlight, you know that it’s going to be long and tough but it’s going to be fulfilling. “

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A member of the Harlem Globetrotters passes out t-shirts

The small faces we encountered thanked us politely for the treats they received. And Hope Worldwide showed their gratitude to us. “We wouldn’t have a carnival without (Angel MedFlight), ” said Jones. “You guys are one of our largest contributors to make this happen, not for us but for the community. We’re just so grateful for you guys being here and making the difference that you guys make.”

Angel MedFlight is a provider of worldwide medical flights. We are committed to delivering the highest quality air ambulance service to our patients. But on this day, it was most gratifying to help deliver a few hundred smiles to children and families in need.

Cooler Weather Means Cozy New Apparel Is Coming

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Marketing manager Rebekah Kanigan

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

Pages of catalogs are being flipped through, surveys are being taken, orders are being filled. It’s a busy time in our marketing office as we get ready to add to the Angel MedFlight apparel line. Fall foliage is out in the eastern United States, there’s a morning chill in the west and snowy peaks in other parts of the nation. Winter is just around the corner and our marketing  team is working hard to fill the demand for cold weather apparel.

Having a wide selection of company apparel is especially important at Angel MedFlight where twice a week employees are given the chance to dress casually for the office. Many companies offer “casual Friday,” but at Angel MedFlight we are given the option to wear jeans and tennis shoes on “Spirit Wednesday” as long as we don a shirt, sweater, blouse, etc. that features a company logo. Because the marketing team has come up with some great new designs, employees often stop by to purchase polo shirts, t-shirts, long-sleeved tees and more.

With fall weather upon us, long-sleeved tees have become very popular. Angel MedFlight has both crew and v-neck  versions in charcoal and gray, both featuring our standard logo and “Angel MedFlight” down the right arm.

Marketing manager Rebekah Kanigan has been busy getting feedback on apparel selections not only from employees but also from the public. She hears often from people who love Angel MedFlight and how we offer exceptional worldwide  air ambulance service. They identify with our company and wish to support the Angel MedFlight team by wearing the team colors.  “Feedback is a big part of the process because our employees are a diverse group, as is the public obviously, and we want to find not only modern, up-to-date styles but we want people to wear what they like. So input is very important and valid. We got input that we expected (hoodies) but we also got a few surprises — things we may not have come up with without asking.”

Kanigan says our apparel should reflect the mission of Angel MedFlight as a leading provider in air ambulance service. “Angel MedFlight to me represents innovation, high quality and  excellence  –  so that’s something that’s really important to convey in every aspect of marketing including our apparel. That’s a big consideration when choosing what we want to put people in. We want people in modern, well-made apparel because they are representing an innovative, cutting-edge, high-quality company.”

Angel MedFlight Wears Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness

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Angel MedFlight at the Phoenix Race for the Cure

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

Nothing looks more pretty in pink that seeing a group of employees come together for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We at Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance are showing our support for this health initiative by taking part in special events and encouraging employees to wear pink around the office on “Pink Fridays.”

According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States.  It accounts for nearly 1 in 3 cancers diagnosed in women.  In 2013, it is estimated that more than 232,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed among American women.  By the end of the year, an estimated 39,620 will die from the disease.

There are statistics that show some progress is being made.  A new report from the American Cancer Society reveals death rates from breast cancer in the U.S. have dropped 34 percent since 1990. But the report also says, “the rate at which new breast cancers  are diagnosed increased slightly among African-American women from 2006 to 2010, bringing those rates closer to those of white women, who still have the highest diagnosis rates among women ages 40 and older.”

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Angel MedFlight employees (with Dexter) taking part in “Pink Fridays” at the office.

Part of the battle against breast cancer is making people aware of the disease and ways to fight it.  Angel MedFlight is holding “Pink Fridays” during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, with employees encouraged to wear pink around the office. Our business development team has designed a special pink Angel MedFlight t-shirt which is being sold at the office and on our online apparel store. A portion of the proceeds from the t-shirt sales are going toward the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. The simple gesture of wearing pink at the office may remind someone to get a mammogram or clinical breast exam. The American Cancer Society recommends both for women 40 and older.

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Thousands took part in the Phoenix Race for the Cure

This past Sunday, Angel MedFlight took part in the 21st  annual  Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in downtown Phoenix. Among the thousands of area residents who took part in the morning one-mile walk and the 5K race was Angel MedFlight Director of Community Relations, Jackie Martinez. “It was great to see the community united for a cause. I saw mothers, daughters, sisters, grandchildren, husbands. All that have either lost the battle against breast cancer or know someone who is fighting it.”

Martinez has an aunt who has been directly affected by breast cancer and one of her good friends was just diagnosed. “It was very emotional being out there as you really see the toll breast cancer has taken on so many lives,” says Martinez.  She says after running the five kilometers and then catching up with her family for the remainder of the walk, she became quite tired, “but I thought this isn’t a part of what breast cancer patients have to go through” and she pushed herself to the finish.

While many great strides have been made , Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance reminds you so much more needs to be done in the fight against breast cancer. There’s more information on the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month website (http://www.nbcam.org).

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