Sparrow Hosts Tours of Michigan Medicine’s Survival Flight

Published: June 1, 2023

LANSING, MI – Sparrow and University of Michigan Health recently offered a special tour to state lawmakers and other officials of U-M’s life-saving Survival Flight helicopter and the helipad atop E.W. Sparrow Hospital.

The engagement from legislators underscores the importance of the Survival Flight fleet, which is 15 years old and nearing the end of its useful age, and the new partnership between Sparrow and U-M Health. The helicopters are vitally important in transporting critically ill and injured patients to the hospital, the region’s only Level 1 Trauma Center.

“As partners in the continuity of care, this was a great opportunity for Sparrow staff and members of the Survival Flight team to connect and share stories, experiences and care initiatives that will set the stage for a great relationship moving forward,” said Donna Robinson, MSA, BSN, RN, Clinical Nursing Director, Critical Care Transport, Survival Flight and SWAT, Michigan Medicine.

UM Survival Flight Helicopter - June 2023

The Survival Flight serves all 83 Michigan counties

Flying at an average speed of 175 miles per hour, the life-saving helicopters provide rapid and safe transport of patients from the scene of an accident or Sparrow’s community hospitals. The intensive care unit in the sky can also take Sparrow patients in need of highly specialized care from Lansing to U-M Health in Ann Arbor in less than 30 minutes.

“With the use of Survival Flight, Sparrow can transfer our patients needing the most urgent access to pediatric or neonatal intensive care, cardiology services, or highly specialized care needs resulting from traumatic injuries, to University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor without any delays,” said Denny Martin, D.O., E.W. Sparrow Hospital’s Chief Medical Officer. “This is an incredibly valuable service not only to us a Sparrow, but to the entire State of Michigan.”

Senator Roger Victory UM Survival Flight - June 2023

State Sen. Roger Victory (right) learns more about Survival Flight services from one of the chopper’s pilots.

Jenita Moore - UM Survival Flight - June 2023

Jenita Moore, Chief of Staff for State Sen. Sarah Anthony, sits in the cockpit of the Survival Flight helicopter atop E.W. Sparrow Hospital.

The fleet serves all 83 counties in Michigan and has transported patients, regardless of health insurance or if they can pay for the service, in an incredible 800 of Michigan’s 925 ZIP codes.

“Since its inception 40 years ago, Survival Flight’s nationally recognized flight crews, trained by Michigan Medicine physicians, have brought state-of-the-art medical care to patients’ bedsides throughout the state,” said Mark Lowell, M.D., Clinical Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, Director of Survival Flight, Michigan Medicine.

To learn more about Sparrow’s Level 1 Trauma Center, visit For more information about the critical care transport program or if you would like to give to the Survival Flight Gift Fund used for staff education, visit Med.UMich.Edu/SurvivalFlight.


Sparrow is Mid-Michigan’s premier healthcare organization and includes hospitals in Lansing, Carson City, Charlotte, Ionia and St. John, as well as Sparrow Specialty Hospital, Physicians Health Plan, Sparrow Care Network, Sparrow Medical Group, the Michigan Athletic Club, and AL!VE. Sparrow is part of University of Michigan Health. Through the dedication of our 10,000 caregivers, Sparrow pursues a vision to be nationally recognized as a leader in quality and patient experience. For more information, visit