Award-Winning Country Artist Performs for UNMH Lifeguard 20th Anniversary

The cowboy fundraiser "Happy Landings" celebration for UNMH Lifeguard Air Emergency Service's 20 years of service began with cocktails and Hors-d'oeurves with music by Children's Symphonic Band and local New Mexico artist Steve Chavez. A dinner and live auction was followed by a private performance by award-winning country artist, Randy Travis.

The exclusive gala on Thursday, October 2 was sponsored by the Junior League of Albuquerque and hosted by Seven Bar Aviation at the Albuquerque Sunport. The event was a fundraiser to help purchase two pieces of essential life-saving medical equipment for UNMH Lifeguard and Children's Hospital.

"The Junior League of Albuquerque wanted to give back to the UNM Hospital for everything they have done for New Mexico and the many lives they've touched," said Shannon Barnhill, president of Junior League of Albuquerque.

One of the pieces of life-saving medical equipment being funded by this event is a new $125,000 state-of-the-art radio dispatch system. The other is a much-needed infant transport incubator which costs $60,000.  "These two pieces are essential to continue to provide first-rate healthcare to the tiniest babies in New Mexico," Randy Gleason, director of Development at UNMH

Flight dispatchers in Lifeguard's Dispatch Center handle all flight details and arrangements 24 hours a day. Medical flight crews consist of experienced pilots and highly-trained flight nurses and flight paramedics. UNMH provides a physician to accompany the crew when the patient's condition requires it. Medical crews stay in constant radio contact with the medical control emergency physician before and during the flight.  "These professionals, along with the full complement of support services at UNM Hospital, provide the finest critical care available by the fastest means available, and I am glad the community is getting involved by supporting the healthcare given at UNMH," said Steve McKernan, CEO, UNMH.

"It is an honor and privilege to be associated with Lifeguard and to assist them in bringing first class medical service throughout the state of New Mexico," said Wade Black, owner of Seven Bar Aviation. "Those dedicated professionals are out there flying to save lives; I could not imagine doing it without the most up to date equipment such as the radio dispatch system."

Some silent and live auction items included Lasik corrective eye surgery by Dr. Donald Rodgers, a one-of-a-kind Michael Dawkins pearl necklace from Neiman Marcus, Dallas Cowboys Football box seat tickets, a three-night stay at the Savoy Hotel in London, England, a 14kt .35 diamond ring from Beauchamp & Co. Jewelers and many more exclusive quality items. Proceeds from the gala will benefit UNMH Lifeguard and Children's Hospital.

UNM Children's Hospital serves more than 50,000 New Mexico children every year.  The hospital offers the most comprehensive care for children, available in New Mexico, and has the highest level of intensive care for children suffering from an illness or injury.  Pediatric physicians specialize in many areas, including pediatric surgery, neonatology, oncology, cardiology, pulmonary and much more.

Contact: Jennifer Riordan, 272-3322

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