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Tulsa Life Flight honored with special award 

Air Methods Press Release | September 19, 2023

Estimated reading time 4 minutes, 8 seconds.

Tulsa Life Flight employees pose at a ceremony for the C.T. Thompson Award for Excellence in Trauma Care by St. Francis Hospital. Air Methods Photo

The Tulsa Life Flight teams in Okmulgee and Pryor, Oklahoma, were honored to receive the C.T. Thompson Award for Excellence in Trauma Care by St. Francis Hospital.

This was a special honor for the team because their program was the vision of the late Dr. C.T. Thompson, along with Dr. Jerry Gustafson.

The annual award recognizes medical professionals who provide outstanding trauma care while treating their patients with the utmost compassion and dedication. The awards ceremony was held on Thursday, Sept. 14, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Tulsa – Warren Place in conjunction with the Trauma and Stroke Symposium. 

“We strive to operate with the highest standards and provide quality prehospital care,” said Teresa Snell, area manager with Air Methods. “Currently exceeding the National Air Medical Physicians guidelines for clinical excellence and quality, this operation is not just about quality clinical care but also providing outstanding safety in aviation operations and maintenance standards.” 

Established in 1979, Tulsa Life Flight was the first air ambulance program in Oklahoma and the 13th in the nation. It was originally established to bring a higher level of trauma care to those returning from war, and now provides critical emergency care to Oklahomans suffering from traumatic injuries, heart attacks, strokes, and many other acute medical conditions.

Their service is particularly valuable in rural areas with limited access to hospitals, and their industry-leading nurses and paramedics carry blood on board the aircraft and can administer it in flight to patients at risk of severe blood loss and hemorrhagic shock. Tulsa Life Flight is part of Air Methods, the air medical service provider. 

Tulsa Life Flight employs 45 pilots, nurses, paramedics, and mechanics, and has three aircraft and a heavy maintenance facility in the area. Since its inception, they have performed over 54,000 safe patient transports. 

“We are extremely proud of our record,” said Snell. “It is a testament to the dedication of the entire team that has made this possible, from the management team to the flight crews, to the mechanics who work tirelessly to keep our helicopters flying.”  

Membership is not required with Air Methods, or with any air medical provider. The Federal “No Surprises Act” went into effect on Jan. 1, 2022, and eliminated any need for memberships. Under this Act, patients are only responsible for their copay/coinsurance or deductible as outlined in their insurance policy, regardless of which company handles the transport.

Air Methods is in network with most insurance companies and their patient advocates work with individuals to ensure affordability.

This press release was prepared and distributed by Air Methods.

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