Teaming Up to Support Fallen Firefighters and Yarnell

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Less than two months ago the Phoenix area was saddened by the news of the deaths of a police officer and firefighter on the same day. Now the region and Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance are mourning again. This time 19 brave souls were lost while fighting the wildfire in Yarnell, Ariz. Their families and the Yarnell community have suffered great losses and Angel MedFlight is partnering with Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale to get them much-needed help.

This Saturday Angel MedFlight will be at the Harley-Davidson dealership in Scottsdale for an all-day fundraising event. The event begins at 8 a.m. with a tribute pancake breakfast sponsored by Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale and the Scottsdale HOG Chapter, HOGZ United Charities.

Angel MedFlight feels a certain bond with firefighters. Our founder and CEO Jeremy Freer worked as a volunteer firefighter in Ohio and some of our flight paramedics have experience battling wildfires like the one that continues to burn near Yarnell. When firefighters or EMS personnel are lost, we feel as if we’ve lost a member of the family.

Saturday we are offering our support to the grieving families of the Hotshot crew and the displaced citizens of Yarnell. We will have a booth at the event staffed by Angel MedFlight employees and urge those who stop by to purchase a raffle ticket to win an all-inclusive trip for two to Hawaii. We will also have other giveaway items. Jackie Martinez with our business development team says, “Our team is so inspired by the community stepping up and wanting to get involved during this tragic time. We hope that this contribution can help inspire more people to get involved in this great cause.”

Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale is donating several prizes toward the raffle including a VIP grand prize package to see Kid Rock in concert at the Ak-Chin Pavilion on July 24th. All proceeds are going directly to the 100 Club of Arizona Survivor’s Fund.

In order to provide aid to the fire-stricken Yarnell community, organizers will be accepting donations of non-perishable food and personal hygiene items along with clothing.

The local motorcycle dealership will donate 10% of Saturday’s total motorclothes, parts and service sales and the dealership will match the total funds raised. In addition, $1,000 of every bike sold will be donated.

Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance and Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale urge all who would like to help the Yarnell Community to attend this event. It’s being held at the Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale dealership at 15600 N Hayden Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85260.

Working Together, Case Managers and Angel MedFlight

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Case managers visit the Angel MedFlight booth at the CMSA national conference in New Orleans.

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

Exhibiting last week at the 2013 Case Management Society of America’s Annual Conference and Expo in New Orleans has only reinforced our great appreciation for case managers and the work they do.

When a patient is in need of health services, the case manager is there to coordinate those services and advocate for the patient.  They serve as a middle man between the patient and the provider.  Hospital care, X-rays, prescriptions and more, just think of all the paperwork and red tape that needs to be navigated through. Case managers meet the task head-on.

“Many times case managers are the bridge between Angel MedFlight and our patients. They act as advocates, similar to our team here at Angel MedFlight,” says Jackie Martinez of the Angel MedFlight business development team.

The CMSA has an eloquent description of the Philosophy of Case Management on its website. It reads, “The underlying premise of case management is based in the fact that when an individual reaches the optimum level of wellness and functional capability, everyone benefits: the individuals being served, their support systems, the health care delivery systems and the various reimbursement sources.”

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Angel MedFlight representatives at the 2013 CMSA national conference in New Orleans.

The case manager streamlines the process of acquiring the necessary care for a patient. When that care involves a medical flight, our case managers contact Angel MedFlight’s worldwide air ambulance service.  At Angel MedFlight, our fight coordinators, registered nurses and case managers are there to cut through the red tape as well.

One call to Angel MedFlight’s air ambulance service does it all. As part of the  One Touch Promise® our experienced team of experts in the fields of medicine, aviation, insurance law  and case management handle every detail. Like all case managers, Angel MedFlight believes in handling the details so  the patient doesn’t have to. Case managers enjoy their association with us because we lessen their workload by making phone calls and submitting insurance documents.

On spending the past week at the CMSA’s national conference, Martinez says there’s nothing better than being able to connect with case managers face-to-face. “Being at the CMSA national conference was an extra opportunity for our team to have conversations with our case managers that utilize our services for their patients.”  During those conversations we get important feedback.  “The first question we ask when they tell us they’ve used our air ambulance service is, ‘How was your experience?’ Hearing their responses helps us constantly continue to work efficiently and effectively.”

Angel MedFlight has a deep appreciation for case managers and looks forward to meeting up with them throughout the year and at the 2014 national conference in Cleveland.

Meet Our Team: Flight Coordinator Jessica Merwin

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Angel MedFlight Flight Coordinator Jessica Merwin

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

When you call Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance, that  call is handled by one of our experienced flight coordinators. These are licensed nurses and case managers who will help coordinate the air and ground transportation you need. Jessica Merwin is one of our flight coordinators and she tells us more about her responsibilities and her keys to success.

When Merwin arrives at Angel MedFlight’s offices here in Scottsdale, Ariz.,  she first checks on where our jets will be flying for the day and gets the statute mileage for the upcoming flights.  “When I’m on the phone with a patient or case manager,  I can easily tell where all our planes are, where they’re going to be next week or the next couple of days.” Knowing where the Angel MedFlight jets are going to be situated helps Merwin give the patients an accurate price and/or availability for the medical flight.

Merwin’s knack for keeping close tabs on our aircraft helps here turn these initial calls into actual passengers. Merwin says, “When I get in and I see where the planes are going to be, ‘We’re going to have a plane in Fort Lauderdale? Oh, what about that person who called me two days ago?'” What’s her trick to recalling a detail like that? She says she just pays attention and does a good job of remembering her callers.

Another of Merwin’s tasks is making a daily stop to the aviation department to see if any planes are scheduled for maintenance and won’t be flying that day. “Instead of hearing it from other sources, I’ll go straight to Aviation West Charters Director of Operations Brandon Kearns or Maintenance Director Dwain Chase” and check on the status of an aircraft.

Merwin says she’ll take about eight calls per day from patients trying to secure a flight on an Angel MedFlight air ambulance.  Not all calls will lead to actual flights but Merwin says she’s been able to book seven flights in a week and wants to increase that to 14 per week.

How a flight coordinator conducts his or herself on the initial call is very important.  Merwin says, “I think if a flight coordinator can sit back and understand ‘They’re calling you. There may be every possible emotion in their voice, things are bad, so you have to make people feel comfortable.’ Just imagine that’s your brother, your sister, that’s your mom, that’s your dad. How would you want someone to speak to you? It’s all about customer service. And whether we get the flight or not, these people are in a really tough situation if they’re calling us.”

What impacts Merwin the most are the patients who may have the most difficult time getting insurance to cover a flight. She finds herself connected to the patients she talks to and she’ll do whatever it takes to help that person find the funding for transport with Angel MedFlight. “I’ve always looked at it like every patient is my own family member,” says Merwin and  that means sometimes calling an insurance company “every day for two months.”  From Merwin’s hard work and persistence she is able to get more insurance authorizations to go through, resulting in more successful air ambulance transports through Angel MedFlight.

Recommend a Checkup During Men’s Health Month

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By Angel MedFlight Contributor

They’ll watch a ballgame, mow the lawn, wash the car, putter around the house and often never find the time to make that all-important appointment for an annual checkup. Does this sound like a man you might know? Maybe your father, son, brother or husband? June is Men’s Health Month making it a great time to remind the men you know to get checked out.

Men’s Health Month is promoted by Men’s Health Network (MHN),  a national non-profit organization. They point out that “an ongoing, increasing and predominantly silent crisis is the health and well-being of men.”  Some of the main reasons for this crisis are lack of awareness, poor health education, and as MHN puts it, “culturally induced behavior patterns in their work and personal lives.”

Men’s Health Network Vice President Ana Fadich tells Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance, “It is a well-known fact that men tend to ignore health messages. Data shows that men go to the doctor 100% less than women. Having a month of the year set apart specifically for health care providers, public policy makers, the media, churches, and other groups to target men with health messages especially crafted to fit their needs, it increases the chances of success in reaching and moving them to action.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is a five-year life-expectancy gap between men and women. In addition to avoiding doctors, men tend to smoke and drink more.

There isn’t one particular health issue facing men but a number of factors that contribute to their silent health crisis. For instance, a higher percentage of men have no healthcare coverage, society discourages healthy behaviors in men and boys; and research on male-specific diseases is underfunded. In addition, men statistically are employed in the most dangerous occupations, such as mining, fire fighting, construction and fishing. The CDC says the top three causes of death for men are heart disease, cancer and accidents.

Fadich is confident the five-year life-expectancy gap between men and women can be closed. In order to do that, she says the aforementioned factors need to be addressed. “Getting more men insured under the Affordable Care Act, encouraging them to go to healthcare appointments for prevention, offering proper health education at work when engaged in dangerous tasks, by changing attitudes as a society and start paying attention to them, and by engaging in new types of research concerning men.”

Men’s Health Month grew out of National Men’s Health Week, which was sponsored by Senator Bob Dole and Congressman Bill Richardson. The bill passed through Congress and was signed into law on May 31, 1994 by President Bill Clinton.  Men’s Health Week is recognized during the week leading up to and including Father’s Day.

What can you do to help men in your life during Men’s Health Month? Understand that men tend to ignore the warning signs of health issues. So if you’re that man’s spouse, child or friend, do them a favor and encourage them to see a healthcare provider in June . Or better yet, as the MHN says, “set the appointment for them.”

Angel MedFlight Answers: When To Consider An Air Ambulance

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Angel MedFlight Learjet 60 interior

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

Maybe it’s you, a loved one or a friend in need of critical care and time is of the essence. Or perhaps a patient has a rare disorder that is treated by an expert physician thousands of miles away. These are just two possible scenarios that would call for air ambulance transport. And the first call you should make should be to Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance.

When a patient is critically ill, commercial transport is out of the question. Commercial jets don’t carry the necessary equipment and there are restrictions on how much oxygen can be brought on board. Can’t risk exposure to all the germs on a commercial flight? Then consider Angel MedFlight where patients fly in medically configured jets equipped with a stretcher, advanced life support equipment and medications.

Who will treat the patient on board Angel MedFlight?

Each and every one of our flights is staffed with a Critical Care Nurse  and a Critical Care Flight Paramedic. This is far different from other air ambulance companies which sometimes have overworked and/or under trained nurses and medics providing the care. Angel MedFlight nurses and flight paramedics have a minimum of 10 years combined experience and many have specialized training in critical care, emergency medicine and other specialties.

Your Angel MedFlight experience BEGINS with the best care in the industry. Other air ambulance companies have low-level  employees or salespeople answering the phones. When you contact Angel MedFlight your call is handled by a trained medical professional.

What about the cost of air ambulance transport?

The safest and fastest way to get a patient to urgent medical care is via air ambulance and this mode of transport is not without operating costs. But Angel MedFlight is committed to finding the most cost-effective transportation without compromising the quality of care. If you’re considering an air ambulance for patient transport, our flight coordinators will provide a no-obligation quote for you.

Our quote will include ground ambulance, medical personnel, flight crew, equipment and medicines and the flight itself.  If there are additional charges, usually contingent upon the patient’s upgraded condition, they would be made prior to the flight and with full knowledge of the patient.

These are just a few of the frequently asked questions we are asked about our Angel MedFlight air ambulance service. We will address more questions about medical care, insurance, aircraft and other topics in future articles.

 

 

Angel MedFlight Sponsors Traveling Tribute

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The AVTT Traveling Wall (Photo courtesy AVTT)

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

American servicemen and women have given their lives to protect our freedoms. Police, firemen, and many others put their lives on the line in their daily jobs to protect our way of life. It is the cost of freedom. But thanks to the American Veterans Traveling Tribute, we as a nation have a way to remember and honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice to defend our country.

The AVTT has created the Cost of Freedom Tribute and Traveling Wall, which is coming soon to Buckeye, Ariz. Angel MedFlight is proud to sponsor the event which will be held May 9-12 at the Earl Edgar Recreational Facility.

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin will speak at the event Thursday at 5 p.m.  Air Force Lt. Col. Thomas Cluff is also scheduled to address the crowd  during the tribute’s stay in Buckeye.

AVTT Chief Executive Officer Kevin Weatherly says, “Our events are not about veterans paying tribute to other veterans; that has gone on far too long. Our primary focus is to get the general public and community out to pay tribute in a visible way to the men and women who they have asked to protect and serve this great country.”

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The Traveling Wall is an 80% replica of the original Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Courtesy AVTT)

The centerpiece of the Cost of Freedom Tribute is the Traveling Wall, an 80% replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. Perhaps you haven’t been able to make the trip to our nation’s capital to pay tribute to someone you know who gave his or her life during that conflict. With the Traveling Wall, you have the chance to locate their names and make a rubbing off the memorial.

AVTT Event Coordinator Leah DeLuzio says the wall, “represents freedom and sacrifice and those that visit it seem to be profoundly affected regardless of the fact that it is a replica.” DeLuzio says the mobile nature of the AVTT tribute allows people around the country to celebrate freedom and honor heroes without having to travel far distances to do so.

What else will you see at the Cost of Freedom Tribute? A 190-foot standup display honoring all veterans and those serving today. There will be timelines for both the Korean War and World War II. The WWII timeline includes casualties by country while the timeline for the Korean War features battle maps

More recent military actions are also remembered with panels featuring casualties from the Grenada invasion, the bombing of the U.S. Marines barracks in Beirut, Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and others.

As you stroll the grounds, you’ll come upon the 9/11 Memorial which features the names of those who lost their lives at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon along with Flight 93, which crashed in Shanksville, Pa.

Law enforcement and firemen are also honored with panels listing casualties by state.

The AVTT describes the Cost of Freedom Tribute as “a one of a kind outdoor tribute, depicting Honor, Respect and Remembrance of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country.” DeLuzio says, “We partner with communities to help them develop and execute a patriotic interactive experience that offers an educational and memorable event for their heroes and participants.”

Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance is proud to continue our support of American servicemen and women and urges all to visit this unique tribute, whether it be in Buckeye or when it travels to your area.

Make No Mistake, Angel MedFlight Is Jet-powered

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By Angel MedFlight Contributor

“You guys fly helicopters, right?” That’s a question some of us at Angel MedFlight get now and then. And while we certainly respect helicopters as an integral part of the medical transport industry, we thought we’d clear the air on Angel MedFlight’s aircraft.

Angel MedFlight is a worldwide air ambulance service that flies jets. And that allows us to transport patients virtually anywhere around the globe. And these aren’t just any jets.  We own, operate and meticulously maintain  state-of-the-art medically dedicated jets. These airplanes feature pressurized cabins and can serve as flying hospital intensive care units complete with custom stretcher, specialized equipment and medications. And Aviation West Charters dba Angel MedFlight is licensed in all states and insured worldwide.

Jets and helicopters provide completely different types of missions. Aviation West Charters Operations Director Brandon Kearns says helicopters are shorter-range and can go right to a crash scene, for example if it’s an EMS helicopter. “Aircraft are longer range, getting people from point A to point B over a 500 or 1,000-mile stretch in a shorter period of time. They serve two completely different types of missions.”

Kearns says helicopters are more short-range, “kind of like what an ambulance would do . The airplane is used more once a patient is stabilized and transports that patient, maybe to a special care facility or to a place where they can continue their therapy or healing process.”

There are times when Angel MedFlight is called upon to transport a patient to an expert in a medical field. “There may be a situation when there are only two doctors in the world who are experts in that condition. Well, that airplane is going to provide the lift for that patient,” says Kearns.

Angel MedFlight and Aviation West Charters have used Bombardier Learjets as our preferred equipment. Kearns calls the Learjet 60, “just a really phenomenal platform as far as dispatch reliability.”

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Cessna Citation X

But true to its reputation as a leader and innovator in the air ambulance industry, Angel MedFlight is in the process of changing over our fleet to the Cessna Citation X which Kearns says, “is going to increase our mission complexity as far as distance, time, speeds, allowing us to open up new markets that we haven’t previously had such as Hawaii.”  Kearns says with a Citation X “we can get to Europe without making a stop. “We’re going to be able to get to places quicker than we ever have before, which is going to increase the amount of patients we are able to serve.”

So the next time you hear the words Angel MedFlight, think leaders in safety, innovation and patient comfort. And remember, we are jet-powered…and about to get even better.

Angel MedFlight Supports Relay For Life In Fight Against Cancer

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Relay for Life of Anthem chairman Mike Chartrand walks with niece Kaly at 2012 event

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

Angel MedFlight, the leading air ambulance service, has a special bond with cancer patients, often transporting them to facilities to undergo treatment and specialized care. We see it as one of many ways to help fight this terrible disease. Another is becoming involved with the American Cancer Society and sponsoring events like their Relay for Life in Anthem, Ariz., which takes place this weekend.

Mike Chartrand is the chairman for this year’s Relay for Life in Anthem and a 21-year cancer survivor. “Angel MedFlight is an awesome weapon to have in the fight against cancer, ” says Chartand. “It’s great that Angel MedFlight is able to transport patients when time is of the essence.”

The Relay for Life in Anthem will be held Saturday, April 20 at the Community Softball Fields. It’s an organized overnight community fundraising walk which includes teams of people camping out around a track or path. Members of teams each take turns walking around the track. The event also includes snacks, games and activities.

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Kaly Chartrand rides with uncle Mike Chartrand at 2012 Relay for Life

Saturday’s event kicks off with an opening ceremony at 6:00 p.m. and then a Survivor’s Lap 30 minutes later as cancer survivors, including Mike, take the first lap around the track cheered on by other participants.

Mike takes part in the Relay for Life every year with his niece, Kaly — also a cancer survivor. Kaly was diagnosed with retinoblastoma at 10 months and it was shortly after that Mike walked in his first relay. Doctors removed the affected eye and Mike says Kaly had to go through “about six months of chemotherapy.” He’s happy to report his 7-year-old niece is in full remission saying she lives like a normal kid, and then some. “She’s a ball of fire,” says Mike.

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Cancer survivors Mike Chartrand and niece Kaly

Karynda Kearns recently moved to Anthem and will be walking  in the relay for the first time. Both she and her husband Brandon, Flight Operations Director at Aviation West Charters, have been touched by the disease. Both have had grandmothers survive breast cancer. “This relay is for such a great cause,” says Karynda. ” I know of at least two people fighting cancer in the community and it’s great to see the people rally around them and show them they’re not alone in this battle.”

Chartrand says Saturday’s Relay for Life “is a celebration of the folks who are currently fighting cancer, the survivors and it’s also a time to remember those who have passed.” He says it’s great to see the entire community come out to find a cure, realizing that everyone has that same common goal.

As a Gold member sponsor of Anthem’s Relay for Life, Angel MedFlight is proud to stand with the American Cancer Society in its quest to find a cure.

Meet our team: Sharon Mico, Quality Assurance Director

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

Quality Assurance Director Sharon Mico

Quality Assurance Director Sharon Mico

At Angel MedFlight, it’s our mission to transport patients across the country or around the world while delivering the kind of quality care you will not get from any of our competitors. Angel MedFlight has many employees who work behind the scenes to make certain we exceed our patients’ expectations and take care of them every step of the way. One of these employees is Quality Assurance Director Sharon Mico.

A native of Kansas City, Mo., Sharon’s primary responsibility is to review patient transport charts to ensure accuracy and compliance of documents within the chart. The patients’ records are uploaded into our database and Sharon reviews all areas of the transport documentation, making sure the uploaded information is executed correctly.

Angel MedFlight promises Bedside-to-Bedside® service and Sharon plays a pivotal role in making sure that happens.

When our medical crew arrives at the patient’s bedside, the information is uploaded into the database. Our in-flight medical teams will send medical documents such as ECG strips, patient release forms and a transport summary. Sharon is at the receiving end, scanning and uploading those records. She maintains the locations of the physical charts from conception to completion.

Sharon’s responsibilities don’t end there. She also assists our Flight Coordination Department on a daily basis, creating and updating facility and physician accounts within our database.

Ask Sharon to pick out one patient story that stands out to her and she’ll tell you there are just too many memorable ones.
“I have read so many stories in my job that impact me every day,” says Sharon. “I can’t pick just one because they have all touched my heart in one way or another. I’m just thankful these patients and their families have Angel MedFlight to turn to when they are in need of air ambulance services.”

One of the keys to a successful organization like Angel MedFlight is having versatile team members. Sharon shows off that versatility completing projects from the Business Development/Marketing team as well as the Legal and Claims departments.

Sharon knows a great deal about teamwork having spent 10 years as a member of the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs organization. She fondly remembers working under Hall of Fame owner Lamar Hunt and watching the great teams of coach Hank Stram.

She began her career with Angel MedFlight in 2009 and her career also includes a stint with Sierra Pacific Airlines, a Part 125 charter.

She assures quality in her favorite travel destination as well. Sharon loves the warm turquoise water and sugar white sand beaches of St. Croix, Virgin Islands.

CMSA San Antonio: Rodeoin’, Riverwalkin’ and Red Hot!

A few of the lucky pardners at Angel MedFlight have just returned from the Case Management Society of America’s 21st Annual Conference and Expo held June 14-17 in San Antonio.

It was a blast – more than 2,200 case managers and health care industry professionals from across the country descended upon San Antonio, taking the city by storm.

The Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center was ideal for learning and conversation. The speakers were informative and inspiring. The events were fun and festive, and San Antonio itself was charming, with plenty of restaurants, sightseeing and activities to enjoy.

Some of the highlights:

Knibbe Ranch opening night: Rodeo, armadillos, longhorns and Texas-sized fun...

...pictures at the Angel MedFlight booth...

...catching up with CMSA trip winner Candy...

...and the best part - meeting all of you!

We tip our hats to CMSA, case managers, the city of San Antonio, and everyone who made CMSA 2011 such a fabulous time.

As we ride off into the sunset, we have fond memories of fun and friends to keep us company. We hope our trails cross again soon!

See you all at CMSA 2012 San Francisco!

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