Before COVID-19, Vice President for Rural Health and Hospitals at the Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) Benjamin Anderson had a personal relationship with Angel Flight after using AF Central to fly his son to the Mayo clinic. So, when the COVID crisis hit, and the Colorado Governor’s Task Force connected to Project C.U.R.E. to procure PPE for rural hospitals, Benjamin knew that AFW would help deliver them. Sixty-two AFW pilots flew 115 flights to 32 of the 43 rural hospitals in the hardest hit rural areas of Colorado. Benjamin says: “Rural hospitals are at the end of the supply chain with needs that go beyond just during the COVID crisis. AFW helped prevent hospital closures and save lives by getting health care workers what they needed.” Supplies are still needed and Benjamin thinks “this may be a one-to-two-year problem because of future outbreaks.”
Our CO pilots have all loved these flights with some flying on multiple days and to multiple airports. CO Wing Leader Bill Snodgrass and Wing Leadership Team Member Phil Rosnik provided much needed local support to the AFW office.
CHA Meeting and Events Coordinator Peggy McCreary worked hard to help arrange the AFW flights. She says that not only did she learn some new aviation terminology, but also the experience has been “very personally rewarding.”
The recipient hospitals were extremely grateful for the supplies. Peggy quotes one hospital representative as saying how “all the pilots are so thoughtful to combine their love of flying” with doing good. AFW has also flown a few PPE missions to Idaho and Kansas serving communities in three states.