30 Years of Neonatal Transport

As a Level IV NICU, we are equipped to care for the sickest of newborns. For this reason, many around the region transfer neonatal patients to UMC for care. We are proud to say this year we are celebrating 30 years of neonatal transport!

Our neonatal transport team plays a critical role in providing optimal care to the sick infant as they are moved to UMC. Regular ambulance staff and their vehicles are not equipped to transport sick newborns, which is why we have special newborn transport teams established to serve the region.

UMC's first transport was on February 4, 1978, from St. Mary’s in Lubbock to pick up twin girls. In 1986, the team became airborne with Care Link fixed wing critical care transport service.

Neonatal Transport-inside

Last year, we transported from:

  • Amarillo, TX
  • Big Spring, TX
  • Carlsbad, NM
  • Childress, TX
  • Clovis, NM
  • Denver City, TX
  • Hobbs, NM
  • Lamesa, TX
  • Lockney, TX
  • Lovington, NM
  • Odessa, TX
  • Seminole, TX
Last year, we set a new record of 148 transports.

In 2017, thanks to the foundation started by Hollywood star, Chris Hemsworth and the Children’s Miracle Network, we were able to purchase a new helicopter incubator and one new incubator used for fixed air and ground transport. And last year, we set a new record of 148 transports.

Our neonatal transport team is made up of a flight medical director, one flight coordinator, nine nurses, eight respiratory therapists, and one physician who serves as transport medical director. Each transport team is staffed with one nurse and one respiratory therapist on call and ready to go at all times.

We are overjoyed to serve the region in this way for 30 years!

Neonatal transport team


  • Brittany Bentley
  • Victoria Charo
  • Tristan Flores
  • Kyra Newberry
  • Sam Perez
  • Courtney Pinkston
  • Carrie Reeves
  • Sheridan Strawn
  • Rafael Valdivia

Respiratory Therapists

  • Paula Brumley
  • Amy Baker
  • Kayla Clark
  • Joey Gloria
  • April Lambert
  • Ignacio Parra
  • Jonathan Vera
  • Marisol Zubia

Flight Coordinator

Kelly Disher

Flight Team Medical Director

Melissa Piepkorn, M.D.

Best Companies to Work for in Texas 2021
HG Outstanding Patient Experience Award Image 2021
Best Hospitals Women's Choice Award for Patient Experience, Mammogram center, Cancer Care, and Women's Services 2022
Magnet Recognition Logo CMYK [png]