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Monday, May 15, 2023

Last Regular Post for Air Medical Today - May 15, 2023


This is the last regular post for Air Medical Today. I am fully retiring after a wonderful career in the air medical field since the late 1980s. I have been touched by so many individuals over the years through several positions I have held around the country and for my work with both the Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS) and the Association of Critical Care Transport (ACCT). Stay tuned, however, as I still may post every once in a while, as well as put out a podcast or two.


I started Air Medical Today after I learned about and developed the use of Really Simple Syndication or RSS to find the stories I wanted to read and follow not only for air medical transport but other interests of mine. With social media, I found a way to post the stories that I was reading so that others could read them too. I also started podcasting, as I love learning about people not only for why they were in the news for but on their backgrounds and how they got into air medical transport. I thank all the followers I have gained on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest as well as the listeners of the many podcasts I have produced. This has all been a labor of love for me since 2009.


It is very concerning to me with the division that we have in the air medical community. Like with our country in general, we seem to be stuck in camps without the desire or even ability to compromise. It was always my goal to bring our community back together, but I leave that now for the leaders today and tomorrow. I wish them well as it will not be an easy task.


I had planned on retiring when I turned 70 last year. With the biggest public health epidemic still raging, however, I decided to continue with Air Medical Today posts given my public health background, and my keen interest in COVID-19 and the many changes it created not only for air medical transport but our entire healthcare system. It is my hope that we have learned a lot so that we are better prepared for future pandemics. I am somewhat skeptical. Remember also, that COVID-19 is not over. It is still mutating now with the XBB.1.16 variant. Be safe, not only for yourself, but for the patients we serve.


Now that I am 71, I have other interests that I am spending my time with, which include bicycling, Nordic skiing, and playing bass guitar. For the past 1 ½ years, I have been working part-time for Freewheel Bike, the largest bicycle store in the Twin Cities with nine locations and one of the largest Trek Bike Dealers in the world. I love helping people find the bike they want or need, and in just talking bicycling in general. Like anything, the more you learn, the more you realize how much you don’t know. Freewheel also has their employees attend Trek University, where I have achieved, and I am maintaining, my Trek Guide status.


I am also active in the Twin Cities Bicycle Club, where I serve as the chair of the Council of Regents for Bike University. We develop and put on programs about bicycling such as winter riding, electric bikes, fat bikes, the Minneapolis Public Schools Bike Education Program, and Ride with GPS, to name just a few. In addition, I developed the Green Miles program for the club, whereby there are incentives for our members to ride to our group rides rather than driving their car. In the first year alone in 2022 we saved approximately 315 gallons of gas which led to a reduction of 2.8 metric tons of CO2.


Nordic skiing has been a passion of mine since I switched from downhill skiing as a National Ski Patroller in the late 1970s. I have participated in several Nordic Ski Marathons and this past February completed my 35th American Birkebeiner Ski Race in Northern Wisconsin and 47th overall. The Birkie, as it is called, is the largest race in North America and one of the most difficult races in the world. This year in Minnesota, we have had great skiing from mid-December through the beginning of April.


I took up playing the bass guitar in 2012 as I always enjoyed music and wanted a way to relax and explore the right side of my brain, since those that know me well, know that I spend more time on the left side. I love all kinds of music but especially blues and rock.


Well, I am sure this is all way more than any of you wanted to know about me. I wish you all well. Take good care and be safe!