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Med Flight rescue helicopterBARABOO, Wis. – Two UW Health programs were recently recognized for their roles in improving traffic and automobile-passenger safety in Wisconsin.
Med Flight - UW Health's emergency-response helicopter that delivers critically injured patients to UW Hospital's Level I Trauma Center and to other hospitals in the state - and Nan Peterson, coordinator of Safe Kids, the child-safety advocacy organization based at American Family Children's Hospital, were honored at the 34th Annual Governor’s Conference on Highway Safety.
The conference was put on by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
The Med Flight team is comprised of specially trained physicians, flight nurses, dispatchers and pilots, and works within a 225-mile radius of Madison. Its medical compartment is essentially a flying emergency room, equipped with airway equipment including a ventilator, blood pressure and heart monitors, IV equipment, defibrillators and pacemaker equipment.
Med Flight manager Mark Hanson, RN, said his program's award stems from its work with scene flights, wherein Med Flight is called to serious accidents on the interstates or county trunks. He estimates that 15 percent – more than 200 per year – of Med Flight's missions are scene flights.
"We were recognized for our role in reducing mortality and morbidity of crash victims on the highways and working closely with the sheriff, state patrol, police and EMS – being part of that network," Hanson said.
Peterson was particularly pleased to receive the Beth Kindschi Wisconsin Child Passenger Safety Advocate Award, which recognizes the cornerstone of successful child passenger safety efforts in an individual in Wisconsin. Kindschi has served as her professional mentor for 10 years.

"(Kindschi) got child passenger safety started in Wisconsin and is a Safe Kids coordinator in the Monroe area," Peterson said. "She is the matriarch in the state for child passenger safety. It's really special because she's been a wonderful mentor over my career."

Peterson believes Safe Kids' effort to provide passenger safety assistance to low-income families in Dane County played a large part in the recognition. Safe Kids offers free child-safety seat adjustments at American Family Children's Hospital.
The organization has also been involved in local initiatives such as Safety Town, an annual event at Franklin Elementary School that instructs grade schoolers on a wide range of safety topics, and Safe Kids, Safe Cribs, which provides counsel for parents on crib safety.

Date Published: 08/29/2008

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