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The moment plays like a movie loop, around and around in Wayne Skaley’s head. “The van turned across two lanes of...

STARS News Release

STARS Air Ambulance leadership change

April 4, 2012

Visionary leader Dr. Gregory Powell continues his work as STARS founder; Andrea Robertson becomes president and CEO

Calgary, AB - April 4, 2012: More than 25 years after founding STARS to provide emergency medical transport and help save the lives of the critically ill and injured, Dr. Gregory Powell is continuing his work as founder of the non-profit, charitable organization, while Andrea Robertson takes on the responsibilities of president and CEO.

“Dr. Powell has made an incredible contribution to critical care in Western Canada, while also shaping a standard of excellence in air medical transport internationally,” said Brian Vaasjo, board chair, STARS Society. “Dr. Powell and the Board have been planning for this transition for over a year now and we have complete confidence in Ms. Robertson’s ability to inspire and lead the dedicated STARS team.”

Robertson joined STARS as president and COO in 2011 and her appointment as CEO is effective today. Prior to STARS, Robertson served in a variety of health-care leadership roles including senior vice president and chief nursing officer at Alberta Health Services and vice president for the Foothills Medical Centre and Alberta Children’s Hospital.

“Over the last nine months, Andrea has proven she has the ability, experience and passion to lead STARS through the next stage of growth and development,” explained Powell. “This is a new era for STARS and I am excited to have Andrea at the helm. She has my full support and the support of the STARS team.”

In addition to its ongoing work in Alberta, STARS is currently building the STARS program in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, working with the provincial governments and other key partners in those areas to enhance access to critical care. The governments of both Saskatchewan and Manitoba have recently signed 10-year agreements with STARS to provide helicopter emergency medical services.

“In all of our work and efforts, we will continue to fulfill Dr. Powell’s vision of saving lives through partnership, innovation and leadership,” said Robertson. “I am honoured to take on the responsibility of guiding the passionate and dedicated STARS team.”

Dr. Powell is a recognized leader in critical patient care, air medical transportation and emergency medical training and education. In 2006, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.

As founder, Dr. Powell will continue to be an ambassador for STARS, focusing on fundraising activities and community engagement. He will also be a source of knowledge and inspiration for STARS employees and the emergency medical transportation community.

“When we founded this organization, we were fortunate to have people who believed in and supported our dream of a specialized emergency medical transport system,” said Powell. “I am extremely privileged to be part of the STARS team and am excited to focus on connecting with our many supporters and patients in the communities we serve.”

For more information:

Cam Heke
Manager, Media & Public Relations


STARS is a charitable, non-profit organization that provides rapid and specialized emergency medical care and transportation for critically ill and injured patients. STARS has flown more than 22,000 missions across Alberta and eastern British Columbia since 1985 from bases in Calgary, Edmonton and Grande Prairie. In 2011 STARS began responding to medical emergencies in Manitoba from a new base located in Winnipeg, and in 2012 will begin providing services in Saskatchewan from bases in Regina and Saskatoon.