ATLANTA, Ga. (January 7, 2011) – Piedmont Fayette Hospital’s Jeff Wilson, R.N., was awarded the prestigious Georgia Hospital Heroes Award at the Georgia Hospital Association’s (GHA) annual Hospital Heroes Awards luncheon Dec. 7 in Atlanta. Wilson, who was one of only 10 individuals statewide to receive the award, was recognized for his role in medically treating Haitian earthquake victims as well as soldiers in Iraq.
As the hospital’s education program manager, Jeff Wilson, RN, BSN, is responsible for optimizing employee performance, effectiveness and teamwork through educational opportunities and consultation with staff and departments. He also manages an academic affiliation program, which has placed over 100 metro-Atlanta college and university students from multiple disciplines into clinical rotations within the hospital.
Jeff is a dedicated, passionate nurse, but he is also just as devoted to his other profession, a captain in the Air Force. A member of the 94th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron at Dobbins Air Force Base, he has flown over 1,000 hours on Air Force C-141, C-9, C-130 and C-17 aircrafts as an aeromedical evacuation crew member. He was recently deployed to Iraq to lead teams of nurses and technicians who were responsible for transporting injured soldiers from the battlefield to a military hospital. They also transported the soldiers to a military hospital in Germany.
He and four crew members recently traveled to Haiti on a C-130H aircraft after the earthquake. With five hours’ notice, he had just a short time to prepare, pack and notify his family of his departure.
The crew’s mission was to pick up four patients and treat them 30,000 feet up in the air, in the plane’s cargo bay on their flight to Florida hospitals. Upon arrival in Haiti, they were unexpectedly met with 18 urgent care patients; four critical-care patients; two eight-day old twins, born 10 weeks prematurely; and 26 accompanying family members. The injuries were extensive – skull fractures, spinal cord injuries, burns and some patients were amputees.
The powerful vibrations and loud noises of the flight intensified the already-frightened patients’ experience. Jeff helped provide excellent treatment and comforting words, helping to make the grueling trip easier for the patients. Six hours after the first patient was brought on board, four critical care patients were off-loaded at Miami International Airport to awaiting emergency medical teams. The rest of the patients were flown to Fort Lauderdale.
“Jeff Wilson’s willingness to aid people in need at practically a moment’s notice is extremely admirable,” said Joseph Parker, president of GHA. “He is an integral part of his hospital and has sacrificed so much for our country. He is an ideal recipient of this award.”
GHA’s Hospital Heroes Awards are presented every year to 10 individuals who display outstanding service to the health care field; in addition, one individual is presented with a Lifetime Achievement award, signifying at least 30 years of service.