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STARS News Release

Rod Gantefoer joins the STARS Team

November 17, 2011

Calgary, AB, November 17, 2011 - The Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society (STARS) is very pleased to announce that Mr. Rod Gantefoer has accepted the position of Executive Vice President for the STARS Foundation.

Reporting to STARS' Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Gantefoer will provide leadership to the STARS Foundation team and work to develop community partnerships and fundraising initiatives to enhance STARS' patient care and transport program. This role is essential as STARS continues to operate three bases in Alberta, build two new bases in Saskatchewan and provide service in Manitoba through an extended contract with the Manitoba Government.

“We are thrilled to have Rod join the STARS team,” says Dr. Greg Powell, CEO, STARS. “His strong leadership experience and history of public service will greatly benefit our organization, and ultimately our patients.”

This position will oversee all STARS fund development activities throughout Alberta and Saskatchewan. Mr. Gantefoer will primarily be located at the STARS base in Saskatoon.

“I am honoured to begin my new role with STARS, and to have an opportunity to continue in public service” says Mr. Gantefoer. “Every day I will be motivated by the knowledge that STARS is responding to critically injured and ill patients across Western Canada, and that my work will directly contribute to that important activity.”

Mr. Gantefoer's background includes 16 years as a member of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan, which included appointments to Minister of Finance and Government House Leader. He served on many committees during his time in government including health, finance, education, labour, economic development, environment and resource management. His experience as Finance Minister and many years of public service has earned him much recognition and respect in the community and corporate sector. His diverse background also includes farming and experience as an owner/operator of small businesses.

STARS provides a safe, rapid, highly specialized emergency medical transport system for critically ill and injured patients. STARS is a charitable, non-profit organization that has responded to more than 21,000 emergencies in Alberta and eastern British Columbia since it began in 1985. We currently provide service 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from bases in Calgary, Edmonton, and Grande Prairie. STARS also provides day-light hours service in Manitoba as part of an extended contract with the Manitoba Government, and will begin providing services in Saskatchewan in 2012.

For more information, please contact:

Cam Heke
Manager, Media & Public Relations/
External Affairs and Communications
Media Line: 1.866.966.8277


  • STARS signed a service agreement with the Government of Saskatchewan in April 2011 to provide helicopter air ambulance services from bases in Regina and Saskatoon.
  • The Regina base, to be located at the Regina International Airport, is scheduled to open in the spring of 2012.
  • A base in Saskatoon is anticipated to open in late 2012.
  • The province of Manitoba and STARS signed a memorandum of understanding on June 28, 2011 meant to facilitate future discussions and work toward a permanent helicopter air ambulance program in Manitoba.
  • STARS responded to 1,453 emergencies in Alberta in 2010, and more than 21,000 since it began in 1985.
  • STARS has operated from a Calgary base since 1985, Edmonton since 1991, and Grande Prairie since 2006.
  • STARS flight crews consist of a pilot, a co-pilot, and a nurse and paramedic experienced in critical care. The STARS team is supported on the ground with aircraft engineers. The team operates within an intensive care environment in the helicopter with equipment typically found in a hospital intensive care unit.
  • All STARS pilot captains have a minimum of 3,000 flight hours before they start with STARS. They also receive a full day of ground school learning to use night-vision goggles, which includes a simulator class. The pilots work full time at our bases and are Air Transport Licensed and all STARS pilots are Instrument Flying Rated.