Dustin Windle, RN, CMTE
Region 2 Director
Program Director, Northern Arizona Healthcare
Obtaining my RN in 2005 was to serve one purpose…flight nursing. I worked in Wyoming Medical Center’s E.D. for a couple of years, and was picked up by Wyoming Life Flight in 2008. I worked there as a Flight Nurse and eventually the Chief Flight Nurse until 2011. In 2011 I was hired by Guardian Air in Flagstaff Arizona as a Clinical Manager/Chief Flight Nurse. In 2016 I transitioned into the Interim Program Director and became the permanent Program Director in 2017. The lessons learned from both hospital based air medical programs has been invaluable. Along the way, I’ve participated in the Arizona Ambulance Association (Air Director) and the Arizona chapter of AAMS (current president).
Q: Tell us about your job and what you love most about it.
A: Helicopters and airplanes have the uncanny ability of getting into your blood. The dynamic environments encountered by flight crews make it the coolest job in the planet. Now that my role is non-clinical, I have the honor of leading those that still make impactful changes in the worst day of a patients’ life.
Q: What / Who inspired you to follow an air medical / critical care transport career path and how did you break into it?
A: As a severe asthmatic, I spent far too much time on the Pediatric floor. However, hearing and watching a Bell 222 landing and taking off was the highlight of that time. From the moment I knew Nurses and Paramedics were doing that for a living, I knew what I wanted to do.
Q: What is your proudest career-defining moment that best represents your overall professional expertise and experience?
A: Although it happens less and less (teenagers and adult children) when one of my kids tells someone what their dad does for a living with a smile on their face.
Q: What inspired you to join the AAMS Board?
A: Although it was a long-term goal of mine, I didn’t think I was ready until Chris Hall encouraged me to run. After he encouraged me, I though it rude not to try :). In all seriousness, I’m humbled and honored to sit with the caliber of professionals on the board as long as possible.
Q: What are your top three impact goals you plan to achieve as a board member?
1) I believe a unified voice is the only way to move legislation efforts forward. Aligning efforts wherever possible with other associations will make us better together.
2) I want to connect with my region. Phone, web, and in person meetings with the department leaders for each member in Region 2 is a high priority.
3) Ensuring that AAMS is the clear pathway for sharing best practices in safety. Although I believe this to be the current state, we can always improve.
Q: What do you see as the future of our industry and what is the best way to adapt to a changing landscape; and given that, what are the role do you see AAMS play in that change?
A: As the purse strings tighten from payers, and the cost of operating increases, collaboration is the only way to survive. I see strategic partnerships as a must, and believe AAMS can remain a neutral area for information sharing. Regardless of the brand we fly for, we are all here to what’s needed for our patients and staff.
Q: What’s your favorite book / movie / movie quote and why?
“They may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom!” (Brave Heart)
No matter what someone can do to you, or take from you your values and principles stand long after your gone.