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Health Care

Health Care Heroes: First Responder

By Staff Reports, posted Oct 16, 2020

Honors a first responder whose performance is considered exemplary by patients, peers and other health care providers. 


Bethany Hart

Title: Flight paramedic 

Organization: NHRMC AirLink/VitaLink Critical Care Transport 

What the nominator said: “Bethany Hart is an accomplished patient-centered flight paramedic who’s loved by her patients, peers, community, and recognized as a national leader. During her eight years in prehospital care, the last three of which were as a critical care flight paramedic for AirLink/ VitaLink Critical Care Transport, Bethany has continuously sought to improve herself, her peers and her community. 

“Bethany brings an energy to every project in which she’s involved. She is the only provider on our team that has received compliments from her patient’s families during phone calls with our reimbursement team. 

“One of these stories stands out. Bethany and her partner had flown to a request to aid for a child who had been seriously injured. Bethany found her patient extremely anxious but needing urgent air medical transport to the trauma center. The patient’s mother waited worriedly outside the ambulance while Bethany and her partner tended to her child. After calming the patient, Bethany took the time to calm and reassure the mother while explaining her care plan for the transport. Bethany held the patient’s hand during flight and became the highlight of her hospitalization experience. 

“During Hurricane Florence, Bethany observed that fellow first responders could benefit from better personal preparedness. In response, Bethany prepared, applied and was accepted to present on ‘a staff member’s preparedness for storm response’ at the international Air Medical Transport Conference in the fall of 2019. 

“During the same conference, Bethany noticed that she was one of less than a few dozen African Americans at the conference. Rather than become upset, she connected with the conference sponsors and asked to become involved in improving diversity within the air medical transport profession. As a result, Bethany became an inaugural member on the Association of Air Medical Service’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee for the Critical Care Transport Industry!” 

- Kevin Collopy, supervisor 


Jim Mistovich

Title: Community paramedic 

Organization: NHRMC EMS 

What the nominator said: “Jim has worked for New Hanover Regional EMS since 2008 and is a consistent high performer. Jim has worked as paramedic, field training officer, a member of the EMS Water Rescue Team, Bike Team and New Hanover County Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team. He currently serves as a community paramedic, providing mobile integrated healthcare resources to at risk patients in the Cape Fear region. 

“In his role as community paramedic, Jim works with patients in their homes providing access to acute and preventative healthcare, while helping patients find ways to better manage their medical conditions and navigate community resources. Jim has excelled at collaboration, fostering relationships and patient-centered care. 

“Jim cared for a woman living in a second-story apartment, which required her to navigate multiple stairs and thus prevented her from leaving her apartment in six months. The woman had physical limitations and mental health concerns contributing to her situation. She was unable to keep her medical appointments, fill her prescriptions or even grocery shop. 

“She often refused outside assistance and had strained relationships with her medical home, friends and family. At times, she refused to see Jim, but he continued to visit. He collaborated with the patient, property owner and community resources to renovate the property making it safer for the patient and medical transport to use. 

“He advocated and arranged in-home physician visits, access to mental health, prescription delivery, access to food and collaborated with social work to find alternate living arrangements. This is one example where Jim’s dedication and service created opportunities to help patients live a healthier and happy life. 

“During the current COVID-19 pandemic, Jim’s role as a community paramedic has additional importance. He has visited and cared for high-risk patients in their homes who are at risk for contracting COVID-19.” 

- Timothy Corbett, manager/division chief


Read more about all of the 2020 Health Care Heroes finalists here.

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