CareFlight Outreach Manager receives National AAMS Award


DAYTON — The Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS) has announced that Amanda (Mandy) Via, CareFlight Air and Mobile Outreach Manager, as the 2017 recipient of the AAMS Excellence in Community Service Award.

CareFlight Air and Mobile Services is a part of Miami Valley Hospital and the Premier Health system. AAMS presents this award annually to an emergency medical transport organization or individual that demonstrates broad-based continuing commitment to the communities they serve. Via receives the award for her work on CareFlight’s “Drive Smart” mock crash program.

The Drive Smart mock crash program provides mock crash scenarios to high schools to give students a real-life look at the consequences of poor choices before getting behind the wheel of a car. In collaboration with multiple agencies, the Drive Smart mock crash involves a scenario with two wrecked cars that are staged to represent a crash scene immediately following a motor vehicle accident. Four students play roles in the crash – one who is deceased, one who is removed by ambulance, one who is removed by a CareFlight helicopter, and one is a relatively uninjured intoxicated driver.

“Unfortunately, too often a community finds itself mourning a young person who has been severely injured or even killed in a motor vehicle accident,” says AAMS President and CEO, Rick Sherlock. “We see huge value in CareFlight’s “Drive Smart” program, and we’re extremely impressed by the considerable effort that Mandy puts into this program to discourage risky behaviors behind the wheel.”

The Drive Smart mock crash program is the most involved, collaborative and far-reaching of all the community outreach programs offered through Miami Valley Hospital’s CareFlight Air and Mobile Services, with 25 to 30 Drive Smart’s events each year. During her tenure as Outreach Manager, Mandy has revamped CareFlight’s outreach program.

“Drive Smart season is very labor intensive. Literally, fake blood, real sweat and tears. It is a collaboration of first responders and communities to try and save lives,” said Via. “After every Drive Smart event, all the first responders gather and we always say the same thing…’if we just save one life’.”

In 2017 to date, she has dedicated more than 400 hours and has driven approximately 2,000 miles to execute 28 separate Drive Smart events. In 2016, she coordinated more than 600 total outreach events, including free community and continuing education that strengthens the relationship with outside organizations and creates better overall collaboration and patient care and outcomes.

The AAMS Excellence in Community Service Award, sponsored by PHI Air Medical, will be presented on Sunday, October 15 at 4 p.m. during the AAMS Membership Meeting at the Air Medical Transport Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

Staff report

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