UI to honor AirCare, Emergency Department milestones

UI to honor AirCare, Emergency Department milestones

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Public invited to Sept. 7 open house for state’s first hospital-based helicopter ambulance service
Air Care helicopterFile photo by Kirk Murray.

Iowa’s only comprehensive academic medical center will celebrate 35 years of service by AirCare, the state’s first hospital-based helicopter ambulance service, during a public open house from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 7, at the AirCare hangar, 385 Ruppert Road, near the Iowa City Airport.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will feature tours of two AirCare helicopters, displays of historic AirCare photos and equipment, commemorative 35-year AirCare pins, appearances by Herky and Perky, and light refreshments.

The event also marks the 10-year anniversary of the University of Iowa Department of Emergency Medicine becoming a formal academic department.

AirCare became the 11th helicopter ambulance service in the nation on April 1, 1979. Since then, more than 30,000 patients have flown with AirCare. University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics operates Iowa’s busiest helipad, with an average of 2,500 landings and takeoffs each year.

Newborn infants, just minutes after being born, make up AirCare’s smallest patients. Since 1979, AirCare has brought more than 3,000 infants to UI Children’s Hospital neonatal and pediatric intensive care units.

AirCare began with one aircraft in 1979 and AirCare 2 began service from Waterloo in 1988, which extended the service’s flying range to 180 miles from Iowa City. Over the years, a total of nine aircraft have carried the AirCare name.

This year, AirCare received designation by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS) for quality and safety practices. It is the first and only Iowa-based air ambulance service to receive CAMTS accreditation.

More information about AirCare’s history is available at the AirCare website.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to attend this open house, contact Tom Walljasper in advance at 319-384-1745 or at tom-walljasper@uiowa.edu.


Tom Moore, UI Health Care Marketing and Communications, 319-356-3945


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