U-M Health System honors lost members of Survival Flight Team
On June 4, 2007, the U-M Health System lost six heroes.
These men, who died when their plane crashed into Lake Michigan, will always be remembered for their dedication and selflessness.
The group was traveling to U-M Hospitals and Health Centers after they procured a pair of lungs for transplantation. Among the men on the flight were David Ashburn, M.D. a fellow (physician-in-training) in cardiothoracic surgery; Richard Chenault ll, a transplant donation specialist with the U-M Transplant Program; Dennis Hoyes, a Marlin air pilot; Ricky (Rick) LePensee, a transplant donation specialist with the U-M Transplant Program; Bill Serra, a Marlin air pilot; and Martinus (Martin) Spoor, M.D., a cardiac surgeon who had been on the U-M faculty since 2003.
Each of these men was intimately involved in helping and giving to others. You can read their individual biographies and stories here.
In 2009, a sculpture was created by Ann Arbor native and University alum Douglas Hollis to memorialize the U-M transplant team. The sculpture was erected in a garden outside University Hospital to be a place of remembrance and rededication to the ongoing work of organ transplantation and health care.
You can watch a video about the memorial sculpture here.
From 8 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Monday, a remembrance event was held place at the Danto Auditorium. The event included speakers, prayer and a reception. For more information, view the flyer.
Also to remember the team and maintain the safety and success of the program, the annual Survival Flight Safety Day event was held Monday.
Safety Day is the Health System’s commitment to safety training in all modes of transportation. It includes didactic and practical sessions covering all emergency procedures and normal operations.
All members of the extended Survival Flight team are encouraged to attend, particularly any personnel who participate in transport of patients or organs. The specialty team members are important to this training and Survival Flight looks forward to their unique contribution to our safety efforts. For more information on this event, click here.