As an emergency medicine and flight physician I am honored to serve on the MedEvac Foundation Board. From an early age I was mesmerized by flight and that passion has led me to my work in emergency medical services. I believe in the mission of the MedEvac Foundation. It is not an organization of hollow promises but rather one of action. I have a strong connection to the EMS community, and I want to ensure that we are looking after our own through outreach, safety, education and support. The MedEvac Foundation makes that all possible!Shannon Sovndal, MD, FACEPBoard Member, MedEvac Foundation Internationalwww.drsovndal.com
The honor of being involved with providing critical care for patients is not born lightly. I have been thankful to have been a care provider in many venues, and now to have been involved with an organization that is focused and dedicated to taking care of our own. The Medevac Foundation International is leading the charge in supporting critical care providers, both individuals and organizations in their lifesaving missions. This dedication means that caregivers, paramedics, nurse, physicians, pilots, mechanics EMTs and all others involved in the mission have someone working to provide resources that support, affirm the science, and is committed to ensuring the caregivers can continue to go forward and be stronger care giver providers. Supporting the Foundation has been one of my focuses for over a decade, I look for others to match this endeavor, join us!
I was so grateful when I was asked by the Medivac Foundation International to be a speaker for Taking Care of Our Own- Help is On the Way. Resilience and having compassion for our patients has been my true passion. Doctors, nurses, first responders and other healthcare providers have guidelines, policies, and protocols however there is diminutive education on Resilience. MFL acknowledged the suicide rate among care givers and made it their mission to bring mental health, wellness education and safety to our transport colleagues and first responders. Forever thankful to Medivac Foundation International.
Sharon J. Purdom, RN, BSN, CFRN, CEN, NREMT
The very first time I saw a medical helicopter, I was hooked! Almost 25 years later, I am still honored to be able to combine my love of aviation and patient care together. Ever thankful for the individual opportunities the air medical community has provided me, I am glad to now "pay it forward" in my role as a Medevac Foundation International Board Member. No other organization provides comparable research, education, or personal support for critical care transport providers. From scholarships for flight crew wanting to expand their knowledge in leadership and safety to scholarships for children who have lost a parent in the line of duty. From research on the best patient care to research on the best safety practices (over $1 million in funding since 2005!). From webinars on how we can better "take care of our own" when dealing with the age-old challenges of on-the-job stress to webinars on the more recent challenges of COVID-19. Medevac Foundation International serves the air medical and critical care ground community with head, hands, and heart!
Susan Rivers, RN, BSN, MBA, CMTE
Board Member, MedEvac Foundation International
I am proud to serve as a Board Member for MedEvac Foundation International. My father and I own a nearly 40 year-old part 135/145 aviation company, where we operate and maintain over 140 helicopters and airplanes for 36 different health systems across the country. In our wealth of experience in this vital industry, the Foundation has been there through thick and thin, supporting the air medical community through its education and research. MFI has provided funding of over $1 million in critical research centered on safety improvements and the health and wellbeing of our amazing clinical and aviation crew members and the patients they care for and transport on a daily basis. Most recently, our board realized a growing need within our transport community. The stress placed on these crew members in simply executing their duty is often overwhelming. In response, MFI instituted its “Taking Care of Our Own” campaign last year. This grassroots effort is focused on providing as many resources as possible to our transport teams to help them combat PTSD, suicides and other serious mental health concerns. We have been blessed to have highly skilled professionals volunteer their time and talent to that end and, we are proud to say that the campaign has been a huge success. Focusing on topics like resiliency and stress management, the feedback we are getting from the air medical community has been tremendous, and they want us to “keep it coming!” As such, the campaign – though slightly altered now as a result of COVID-19 – has continued in 2020 via webinars and other online tools. MFI and its board remains steadfast in its commitment to serve our teams, and we are humbled and honored to be able to do so.
Board Member, MedEvac Foundation International
When contributing to a non-profit organization, I need to believe my donations make a difference in someone's life. As a busy professional, I thoughtfully choose how to spend the time I have available for volunteer activities and want to ensure the cause is worthy. In both of these scenarios, MedEvac Foundation International (MFI) hits the mark. Whether it's education, research or supporting air medical crew members and their families, the donation are utilized in a way that supports the people who provide life saving care.
Jared Hughes 06/19/2020
Many thanks Rene for your kind words, time and treasure! We are looking forward to growing with your leadership!
Action makes the biggest difference!
I joined MedEvac Foundation International’s board and have served as a Board Member, Treasurer and Chair during my nearly 20 years of combined service. I survived an Air Medical Helicopter crash in 1996, and lost a partner in the line of duty in 1992, while responding to Hurricane Andrew. I uniquely know the challenges survivors and families face after these gut-wrenching moments. I have spoken with patients and families who are well-aware that were it not for the medical transport professional’s calm, caring and expertise they would not have survived. We know those positive outcomes happen most often when our first-responders are in top form – mentally, physically and emotionally and feel supported as professionals and has human beings by their own community. The Foundation helps cultivate that energy by promoting mental health and wellness best-practices, funding actionable research on crew safety and clinical practice guidelines ensuring increasingly positive outcomes for patients in our care and by encouraging continued medical education, identifying and cultivating new leaders through scholarship awards and finally, when tragedy strikes and we lose colleagues to a crash, we take care of our own with direct financial support to their surviving families.
Can we can do better? Of course.
I serve in short - because we can always do better!
I have proudly served off and on as a MedEvac Foundation International Board Member and Officer for my over 20 years during my 35 year career in the medical transport field. The Foundation sponsors several continuing medical education scholarships, grants to surviving families following a line of duty death, and has funded more than $1M in important research that improves safety for medical transport teams and organizations and outcomes for the patients they serve. For the past several years, the Foundation has focused on our signature "Taking Care Of Our Own – Help Is On The Way" mental health / safety / wellness educational programs. Emergency Medical Transport personnel and First Responders are repeatedly exposed to traumatic events in their day-to-day work lives. That constant exposure can become cumulative stress, which, when compounded without benefit of coping skills and mental health resources, far too often leads to PTSD and, the current crisis of suicides as a result of their profession. The Foundation has specifically worked with subject matter experts to present in-person (in 2019) and now in our Covid-19 environment (2020) through webinars on Resiliency, Stress, and other Mental Health topics. MFI is committed to serving the medical transport community with it’s one full time employee, several part-time employees and dozens of volunteers – who are all dedicated to serving our colleagues who are saving patient lives on the front lines with Covid-19 and their normal daily work life which is traumatic at best.
Connie Eastlee, BSN, MS, CMTE
Vice Chair, MedEvac Foundation International
I have been in the transport medicine business for over 40 years and a supporter or Board Member of the MedEvac Foundation International MFI (and its various evolutions) most of that time. Critical Care Transport Medicine, ground and air, is a unique discipline within medicine requiring its own training, research and specialized equipment.
MFI provides the focus and funding to allow the continuous improvement of this essential service for the health and safety of society.
Additionally, MFI provides support for those providing these services through their “Taking Care of Our Own” programs. These programs teach resilience and provide coping skills to support the emotional health of the caregivers.
This foundation is essential to support those we count on being there during our own moment of greatest need.
I support the Medevac Foundation because it is the one organisation which advocates for and raises money for research, support of our own and enhancement of safety in the aeromedical transport world. While the ways services vary in their scope and the way they operate, are staffed and funded, we all share a common interest in making this aspect of health care effective, affordable and accessible.
Giving whether large or small, much like voting your donations make a difference. The Medevac Foundation has done tremendous good for the front line Pre Hospital Critical Care workers saving lives everyday. The dollars donated have lead to safety enhancing procedures, improved patient care, and not the health of our coworkers, based on fact and data. Data and safety costs real dollars and without them we will never improve what we do. Keep up the great work and thank you Medevac. I challenge others to give within our industry to give to this worthy cause.