October 28, 2005

LifeFlight nurses land top awards for medical service

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Jeanne Yeatman, R.N.

LifeFlight nurses land top awards for medical service

Lis Henley, R.N.

Lis Henley, R.N.

Two Vanderbilt LifeFlight nurses have been lauded by their peers, landing national honors at award ceremonies last week in Texas.

Jeanne Yeatman, R.N., M.B.A., program director for LifeFlight, has been selected as the Air Medical Program Director of the Year by the Association of Air Medical Services Air Medical Transportation Association. Lis Henley, R.N., a LifeFlight base manager, has been chosen by the Air Surface Transport Nurses Association as the recipient of the 2005 Katz-Mason Award, recognizing an individual who has had a significant impact on transport nursing.

Yeatman has been a flight nurse for more than 13 years and has served as program director for LifeFlight for the past three years, overseeing some of the most aggressive growth the program has seen since its inception in 1984. Under her leadership, LifeFlight has implemented a fixed-wing flight program, added two new bases outside of Nashville, and has purchased three state-of-the-art helicopters at a cost of $5.4 million each. She oversees a department with more than 100 employees that provides an integrated health care delivery system including emergency communications, rotor, fixed and ground transportation.

Kevin High, R.N., EMT, a flight nurse with LifeFlight, led the charge to nominate Yeatman.

“While all of her accomplishments in building the program are noteworthy; what makes Jeanne special are handwritten notes to employees and customers,” High wrote in his nomination. “There are many outstanding directors in the air medical industry but none more deserving than Jeanne for this outstanding award.”

Yeatman, who grew up in Williamson County, lives in Brentwood with her husband and 5-year-old daughter. She holds multiple degrees, including an M.B.A. from Trevecca Nazarene University.

“I am just truly blessed to have this job,” she said. “I can't imagine doing anything else. It is the most incredible job a nurse can have without having gone to medical school.”

Henley, who was also nominated by her co-workers at LifeFlight, is being recognized as the Katz Mason Award winner due to her significant contributions with flight programs in the air medical community. She is the second LifeFlight nurse to win this award, with Sandy Jones receiving it in 1999.

Henley is credited with taking on numerous leadership roles, acting as a mentor and preceptor for current and new employees, and, most notably, starting a new base for the program in Clarksville, Tenn.

She has been involved with emergency medical services in central and western Tennessee, southern Kentucky, and northern Alabama for many years.

“Her fellow team members describe her as, 'true to her principles and goals of the overall mission, which is quality, accessible patient care,” said Denise Treadwell, CRNP, on behalf of the ASTNA Nominating Committee and the Board of Directors. “I can think of no better descriptor for Elisabeth than the one bestowed upon her by colleagues at a recent community event. 'Lis is a one-in-a-million nurse who continues to contribute significantly to the betterment of her own community and the air medical transport community as a whole through hard work and great leadership.'"