Meeting the Challenge: Gratitude in the skies over Northern Arizona Healthcare

On Thursday, May 7, The Air National Guard performed an afternoon training exercise flyover in Flagstaff, with Sedona and Cottonwood also on the flight path. 

This flyover was dedicated to honor caregivers and providers, as well as express solidarity for patients, families and those struggling with COVID-19 or grieving losses related to the illness.  

The flight included a KC-135 tanker from the 161st Air Refueling Wing at Goldwater Air National Guard Base in Phoenix and three F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 162nd Wing at Morris Air National Guard Base in Tucson. 

Accompanying pilot Major General Michael T. McGuire was Arizona National Guard State Surgeon Tom Leaper and acting Director of the Arizona Division of Emergency Management Anthony Cox. 

Attending from Northern Arizona Healthcare was NAH President and CEO Flo Spyrow; Chief Financial Officer Cliff Loader; Chief Quality Officer and NAH Hospitalist Medical Director John Mougin, MD; and FMC Chief Administrative Officer Josh Tinkle. 

“I’m here to tell Flo (Spyrow) how awesome Flagstaff Medical Center has been as a community partner,” McGuire said. “They have been on the front line of this thing since the beginning. FMC is the primary trauma center and triaging site for all those patients who need a higher level of care and we couldn’t have made it through without them.”  

“We appreciate the recognition of our staff,” said Flo Spyrow of the flyover. “It’s such an honor to have (McGuire) come and to be able to thank him for all of the support that they’ve given us in getting supplies and assistance to us throughout this pandemic.” 

“You can’t see because I have the mask on,” Gen. McGuire said, “but I’m totally smiling.”  

Watch the flyover video