CALGARY – Helicopters travelling to the Foothills Medical Centre will now be touching down on the newly named Dr. Gregory Powell Helipad.
The helipad was officially named Tuesday in recognition of Powell, who founded of STARS Air Ambulance and the STARS Foundation.
Powell retired as STARS President and CEO in March 2012, but continues to volunteer as an ambassador for the organization and provide advisory expertise in the area of international air medicine.
“The newly named helipad recognizes Dr. Powell’s tremendous leadership in the fields of critical care, aviation medicine, medical training and education,” said Minister of Health Sarah Hoffman in a news release.
“With his years of service and contributions in the course of his career to the lives of countless patients, Dr. Powell is truly deserving of this recognition.”
STARS has flown over 30,000 missions in 30 years, according to STARS president and CEO Andrea Robertson.
“This would not have been possible without Dr. Powell’s vision, hard work and passion for improving the care of critically ill and injured patients.”
Dr. Powell, who was inducted into the Order of Canada in 2006, said there could be “no greater honour.”
“The naming of the helipad was a complete surprise and is a very special and humbling honour,” said Dr. Powell. “I hope that this is viewed as a recognition of those collaborative efforts over the past 30 years. Ultimately, it is about the patients and their care.”
The helipad, located on the roof of Foothills Medical Centre’s McCaig Tower, began operations in February 2014.
The original helipad was located on the ground in front of the facility’s emergency department.