(WOODRUFF, WI) – Approximately 200 people attended the Howard Young Medical Center (HYMC) Hangar/EMS Celebration on Sunday, May 18. The attendees included HYMC leaders and associates, Howard Young Foundation board members and donors, Spirit personnel, local and regional EMS personnel, members of the Woodruff Town Hall, and community supporters.
The attendees were treated to a delicious picnic lunch by Trig’s Catering, tours of the new hangar and the Spirit Air 2 helicopter, informational booths, several speakers, and a blessing of the building by Father Aaron Devett from Holy Family Catholic Church in Woodruff, and his special guest Bishop Peter F. Christensen from the Diocese of Superior.
For the blessing, Father Aaron and the Bishop utilized branches to dip in holy water from several trees on the HYMC property dedicated to former associates including Dr. Martin Klabacha, Marta Morford, Carol Woodzick and John Danielson.
The speakers included Laurie Oungst, vice president of Ministry Health Care’s northern region, Roderick Brodhead, MD, medical director of emergency services, Trig Solberg, Howard Young Foundation board president, Mike Gibbons, Howard Young Foundation president, Ted Ryan, system director of Ministry Spirit Transportation Services, Erick Johnson, Father Aaron Devett and Bishop Peter Christensen.
“We were honored to see so many community members attend the hangar celebration,” said Mike Gibbons, president, Howard Young Foundation, Inc. “It is always very rewarding when we can share these defining moments with the community and demonstrate what is possible with their continued generous support of the Howard Young Foundation, Inc.”
Data analysis from Spirit Air 2 transports showed that the best location, geographically, for a permanent hangar would be at HYMC. With its hangar more centrally located in Woodruff, the Spirit helicopter will be in close proximity to other Ministry hospitals in the Northwoods – Ministry Saint Mary’s, Rhinelander; Ministry Sacred Heart, Tomahawk; and Ministry Eagle River Memorial Hospital – and also to the smaller surrounding communities. Previously, the helicopter was stationed at the Oneida County Airport in Rhinelander.
Construction of the Ministry Spirit ambulance garage and helicopter hangar building on the HYMC campus was completed earlier this month and officially opened on May 13.