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STARS Academy Graduates Take Flight

Final case study in Small Town, Big Sky series highlights importance of critical care and transport medicine education for rural health professionals

Edmonton, AB – Rural Alberta Development Fund applauds the success of the STARS Critical Care and Transport Medicine Academy, whose fall 2011 class graduates on December 8. Held at the STARS Calgary airbase, the graduation will celebrate the highly specialized skills and knowledge the graduates can now take back and implement in their rural communities.

With the fall class comprising 80 per cent rural health practitioners, graduates from all corners of the province – Peace River, Tofield, Grande Prairie and Claresholm – will join in sharing their experiences and achievements gained through the Academy.

STARS prides itself in saving lives through partnership, innovation and leadership, and with $577,676 in funding support from the Rural Alberta Development Fund, STARS was able to bring its world-class expertise to rural health professionals. Providing travel bursaries has helped offset travel costs for rural learners who need to drive or fly in to take part in the hands-on components of the training, opening up the STARS critical care and transport training to even more rural practitioners. With STARS providing crucial services province-wide, RADF launched a case study and video highlighting the impact STARS training has on rural health practitioners.

The STARS Academy delivers advanced skills and training related to critical care and transport medicine, rolled out in a blended format, which includes online distance learning, face-to-face teaching and human-patient simulation. The case study and video offer a  snapshot into the lives of those making a difference in rural health care.

“The Academy is the next big step in transport medicine. The strength of the academy students is evident in their enthusiasm and commitment to learning and participation in Critical Care and Transport Medicine,” says Howard Koch, Flight Paramedic and Academy Instructor, STARS. “The knowledge and skills they learn in the academy will benefit not only the patients they care for, but will improve the skills and knowledge of the health care providers they work with.”

As with the successful STARS project, RADF continually looks for ways to shine a light on Alberta’s rural success stories. The STARS Academy continues to fly high, as they aim to train up to 75 per cent of Alberta’s rural health practitioners and get the program accredited nationwide.

Check out the video and the complete STARS story along with the rest of the Small Town, Big Sky features at www.radf.ca/be_inspired

Background on the Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society (STARS):

For over 25 years, STARS has been dedicated to providing a safe, rapid, highly specialized emergency medical transport system for the critically ill and injured. As a charitable, non-profit organization, 75 per cent of STARS funding needs are met through private donations from individuals, service clubs and the business community, as well as 25 per cent operational funding through a collaborative agreement with Alberta Health Services. STARS currently provides service 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from bases in Calgary, Edmonton and Grande Prairie.

Rural Alberta Development Fund is a not-for-profit company that inspires innovation, collaboration and growth across rural Alberta. In 2007, it was capitalized with $100 million by the Government of Alberta as part of its Rural Development Strategy. So far, $93.4 million has been committed to 79 projects. The remaining funds will be committed by March 31, 2012. Expressions of Interest are no longer being accepted.

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For more information, contact:

Gitte Sorensen
Communications & Program Coordinator
Rural Alberta Development Fund
780.436.9585 office
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)