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LifeFlight Nurse named National Medical Crew Member of the Year

Nov. 3, 2003, 12:00 AM

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Vanderbilt LifeFlight nurse has been named National Medical Crew Member of the Year by the Association of Air Medical Services, one of the most prestigious awards to be given in the aeromedical field.

Kevin High, a flight nurse with Vanderbilt LifeFlight since 1993, was presented the surprise award during the Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS) annual awards banquet in Reno, Nevada for his outstanding contributions that "enhance the development or promote the improvement of patient care in the air medical transport community."

High was nominated for the award by fellow LifeFlight nurses Jeanne Yeatman and Sheldon Dreaddy. Yeatman, who serves as program director over Vanderbilt’s LifeFlight program, said the recognition for High was well deserved, and also reflected on the entire LifeFlight transportation program.

"It’s just an incredible award for Kevin to receive," Yeatman said. "And it’s an award that is reflective on the LifeFlight program that sets us apart from other air-medical programs as an industry leader."

Dreaddy nominated High because of the standards he helped set to make the LifeFlight program one of the best.

"I came to LifeFlight two years ago and I was instantly impressed by the caliber of the flight program," Dreaddy said. "I’ve observed that Kevin has been instrumental in the evolution of this program as a leader in air medical transport. I felt that both Kevin and this flight program deserved this national recognition."

High has been instrumental in Vanderbilt’s "EMS Night Out" program, which has provided training to more than 3,500 emergency medical technicians (EMTs), paramedics, first responders and nurses. Topics have ranged from treatment of the cardiac patient to the role of the Secret Service in providing patient care for the President.

"Kevin goes beyond the call of duty and spends countless hours off-duty to make our EMS outreach program successful," Yeatman said.

Dr. John A. Morris, Jr., professor of Surgery, director of the Division of Trauma and Surgical Critical Care and LifeFlight’s medical director was present when High received award.

"Kevin High is receiving the award because he is one of those rare individuals who set standards, clinical, educational and personal, for which the remainder of us aspire," Morris said. "It has been both a pleasure and a challenge to be associated with him."

High has been a RN for 18 years and an EMT for 15 years. He has an extensive background in the field of emergency care, including EMS, emergency nursing, and air medical transport. He served as an ALS provider for two 911 agencies in Middle Tennessee and also as an adjunct faculty member for local EMS education programs. He lectures and teaches on a local, state and national level and he has authored numerous articles in the Journal of Emergency Nursing, EMS Magazine, Air Med, Air Medical Journal, and Emergency Medicine.

A native Tennessean, High’s educational background includes an associate’s degree in nursing, a bachelors of science, and a master’s degree in public health.

LifeFlight averages more than 1,800 emergency patient transports each year, and has safely completed more than 20,000 flights in its 18-year-history, utilizing three American Eurocopter BK-117 twin-engine helicopters. LifeFlight I is based at Vanderbilt Medical Center’s rooftop Skyport, LifeFlight II is based at Bedford County Medical Center in Shelbyville, Tennessee and LifeFlight III is based at Gateway Medical Center in Clarksville, Tennessee.

LifeFlight’s aircraft, pilots, and mechanics are provided under contract from Air Methods Corporation from Denver, CO. VUMC’s LifeFlight helicopter program is the exclusive provider of air ambulance services for critical care patient transfers for the TriStar healthcare system.

Contact: Jerry Jones, (615) 322-4747

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