Thirty years ago, Dr. Greg Powell’s vision for STARS was spurred while working at Foothills Medical Centre.

Today, the helipad at that same hospital bears his name.

This past fall, Dr. Powell received a congratulatory call informing him that the helipad in Calgary was going to be named after him. Dr. Powell’s peers had nominated him in recognition of his exemplary career in medicine.

“To say I am emotionally and professionally impacted by the naming of the helipad in my honour is a profound understatement,” said Dr. Powell. “There is no greater recognition, apart from those special visits from patients and families coming back to STARS to meet the team.”

In November 2015, an official ceremony was held at the McCaig Tower with Dr. Powell’s family, friends, colleagues and government and hospital representatives present.

“My emergency medicine career started at FMC,” said Dr. Powell. “To learn that the idea of the naming was put forward by my colleagues means so much.”

Dr. Powell’s background as a physician, pilot and business leader has built STARS into one of the most renowned air medical organizations in the world. With that success, there have also been many accolades. Having the helipad named after him ranks high, he said.

“I have been blessed with many humbling recognition ceremonies and awards over the years and the Order of Canada and the naming of the helipad are two very special points in my and my family’s lives,” he said.

“There have been many people and organizations that have helped make air medical transport a reality. I hope that this is viewed as recognition of those collaborative efforts over the past 30 years.”

Alberta’s minister of health congratulated Dr. Powell on the recognition.

“The newly named helipad recognizes Dr. Powell’s tremendous leadership in the fields of critical care, aviation medicine, medical training and education,” said Sarah Hoffman. “With his years of service and the contributions he’s made over the course of his career to the lives of countless patients, Dr. Powell is truly deserving of this recognition.”