Meet our Leadership Team

Jeff Richey

Jeff Richey RN, MHA, FACHE
Executive Director - Airlift Northwest 
Associate Administrator- University of Washington Medical Center

Jeff has over 30 years of experience in healthcare, including eight years as senior executive for clinical and ancillary services, 12 years in leadership for air medical transport systems and 26 years as a flight/critical care nurse. Jeff received his Bachelors in Nursing from Pacific Lutheran University, Master in Health Administration from the University of Washington and is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Richard B. Utarnachitt

Richard B. Utarnachitt MD, MS
Medical Director

Richard B. Utarnachitt, MD, MS, is an ABEM board certified physician in both Emergency Medicine and Emergency Medical Services (EMS). He also serves as Medical Director and flight physician for Airlift Northwest, UW Medicine's air medical transport service. He is a Clinical Associate Professor in the UW Department of Emergency Medicine and core faculty in the UW Section of EMS.

Dr. Utarnachitt finds great satisfaction in the role UW Medicine fills as the regional institution that provides tertiary care, as well as serves as the safety net hospital for the underserved population. Any patient is accepted into the UW system regardless of socioeconomic status. Airlift Northwest is a direct extension of the world-class service that UW Medicine provides.

Dr. Utarnachitt earned his MD from Wayne State University in Detroit. His clinical and research interests include critical care transport, airway management, sepsis care, pre-hospital trauma care and pre-hospital cardiac dysrhythmias.

Dr. Utarnachitt has a keen interest in all things food related. He is also an avid stand-up paddle boarder.

Tony Woodward

George A. (Tony) Woodward, MD, MBA
Pediatric Medical Director

Dr. Woodward is the Chief of Emergency Medicine and Medical Director for Emergency and Transport Services at Seattle Children's, and a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Washington. He is the Pediatric Medical Director for Airlift Northwest.

Dr. Woodward received his MD from Temple University and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, after having completed a pediatric residency at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and Pediatric Emergency Medicine fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He served as the Medical Director for Transport Medicine at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (1993-2003), and the Co-Director of Pediatric Transport Medicine at Primary Children’s in Salt Lake City (1988-93).

His professional affiliations include the American Academy of Pediatrics (Chair of the Section on Transport Medicine, member of the Section on Emergency Medicine executive committee, PREP-EM and PREP-EMed committees). He is the immediate past chair for the Pediatric Emergency Medicine North America Chiefs (PEMNAC) committee of the AAP. He served on the subboard and as Chair of the American Board of Pediatrics subboard for Pediatric Emergency Medicine.

Other memberships/activities have included the American College of Emergency Physicians (WA State Treasurer, Board of Directors, Education-planning committees), charter member of the Air Medical Physician Association and National Association of EMS Physicians. He was the Editor-in-Chief of the AAP’s 3rd edition of Guidelines for Air and Ground Transport of Neonatal and Pediatric Patients, and currently serves on the senior editorial board for Pediatric Emergency Care as well as a pediatric emergency medicine section editor for UptoDate.

Andrew Latimer

Dr. Andrew Latimer
Associate Medical Director

Dr. Andrew Latimer is an Emergency Medicine Physician dual boarded in Emergency Medicine and EMS/Prehospital Medicine. He is the Associate Medical Director of Airlift Northwest and an active flight physician with the program. He is also the Assistant Medical Director of the Seattle Fire Department, the Associate Program Director of the EMS Medicine Fellowship at the University of Washington, and an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine in the University of Washington Department of Emergency Medicine. His clinical and research interests focus on pre-hospital airway management and the resuscitation of patients in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. He is currently grant funded by the US Department of Defense (DOD) studying a novel device that may improve the prehospital care of critically injured trauma patients. Dr. Latimer completed his undergraduate training at the University of Washington, attended Medical School at the University of Michigan prior to Residency in Emergency Medicine at the University of Cincinnati, and completed a two-year EMS medicine and prehospital care fellowship at the University of Washington before joining the faculty at UW.

Jessica Wall

Dr. Jessica Wall
Associate Pediatric Medical Director

Dr. Wall is trained in both emergency medicine and pediatric emergency medicine. She cares for patients in the emergency departments at Harborview Medical Center and Seattle Children’s Hospital, and she serves at the Associate Pediatric Medical Director for Airlift Northwest. Through her work with the Department of Emergency Medicine Pediatric Care and Readiness Council, the Seattle Children’s Transport Team and Airlift Northwest she strives to improve the care of pediatric patients in community emergency departments and during transport.

Research Interests: Pediatric community emergency care, pediatric access to care, and emergency medicine resident education. Clinical Interests: Pediatric care in the prehospital and transport setting.

Clinical Interests: Pediatric care in the prehospital and transport setting.

Brenda Nelson

Brenda Nelson RN CEN, CFRN
Chief Flight Nurse/Chief Quality Officer

Brenda Nelson started her nursing career in Montana after graduating from Montana State University, in December 1986. She then worked at the Community Hospital in Missoula in their Level III NICU and later moved to the ED, where she had previously been the ER secretary through nursing school.

Her first flight experience in 1988 with a fixed wing program out of Community Hospital in Missoula. She moved to the Seattle Area with a position in UW Medicine Neonatal Intensive care unit in 1990.

She worked briefly in Stamford Connecticut in the Emergency Department of St. Joseph’s in 1993/1994 before returning to the Pacific Northwest and back to UW Medicine ED/NICU, and also Group Health ED.

She landed her dream job with Airlift Northwest in February 1986 and has been firmly planted here since then.

Brenda moved to the Assistant Chief position after 10 years and then Chief Flight Nurse position in 2011. She has happily been at Airlift northwest for over 25 years.

Julie Hoffman

Mikaela Hagberg, RN, BSN, CEN
Assistant Chief Flight Nurse

Mikaela began her career in healthcare as a volunteer Firefighter/EMT. Working as a first responder, she fell in love with EMS which inspired her to pursue a career in emergency and critical care medicine. She worked at Valley Medical Center in Renton for eight years prior to getting hired at Airlift in 2014. Mikaela is also passionate about disaster medicine. She is a member of the NDMS Trauma Critical Care Team (TCCT), a Federal Disaster Response team that provides critical, operative, and emergency care to help people during disasters and public health emergencies.

Mikaela graduated from the University of Washington (UW) with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and is currently in the Master’s in Health Administration program at the UW. As an Assistant Chief at Airlift, she works hand-in-hand with EMS and hospitals to deliver exceptional clinical care to patients throughout the region.


L.T. Arnold

Pediatric Assistant Chief Flight Nurse

L.T. first began his career with Airlift Northwest as a dispatcher in 2001. His previous experience as an EMT and volunteer firefighter had provided some exposure to patient transport and flight nursing, but being around the team full time ignited desire to become a flight nurse. L.T. started his nursing career in neonatal and pediatric intensive care units, as well as in critical care ground transport, which he brought with him when he returned to Airlift Northwest as a flight nurse in 2010.

L.T. graduated with an Associate of Science in Emergency Medical Services from the American College of Prehospital Medicine, from the University of Phoenix with a Bachelor in Nursing, and is currently enrolled in graduate school at the University of Arizona working toward a Master’s in Healthcare Management. He continues to be passionate about connecting his neonatal and pediatric nursing experience with his prehospital roots, often focusing on education and training that helps providers of all levels feel more confident in taking care of our tiniest and most-vulnerable patient populations.

Kyle Danielson

Kyle Danielson, MPH, MN, ARNP
Director of Operations

Kyle Danielson came to ALNW with experience flying long-distance critical care transports in northern Canada. Before this, his experience as a volunteer firefighter and first responder sparked an interest in prehospital care. Now as a flight nurse he cares for critically ill and injured patients throughout the WWAMI region. He works closely with prehospital EMS providers and regional hospitals to deliver the highest level of prehospital and inter-facility critical care.

Kyle is a graduate of the University of Toronto, Master of Nursing Program with a specialization in resuscitation science (2016). Prior to this he completed a Master of Public Health from Simon Fraser University (2010) where his research focused on optimizing early activation of Helicopter EMS (HEMS) for major trauma. He continues to explore improvements to prehospital care in the areas of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, trauma care, and health systems.

Julie Nordstrom

Jacinda (Cindy) McFeely
Director of Finance and Membership

Cindy received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and Business Administration from Mount Mercy University, Cedar Rapids, IA. She has spent her entire career in various healthcare arenas from a healthcare expert in a Certified Public Accounting (CPA) firm, to health insurance companies and the last several years with health care providers. Cindy is passionate about the healthcare industry and the mission and strategic visions of Airlift Northwest.

Sean Bacon

Sean Bacon
Communications Center Manager

Sean Bacon is the Manager of Program Operations for Airlift Northwest. He has worked at ALNW for over 10 years both as a communication specialist and communication supervisor. Sean brings extensive knowledge, skills and abilities gained from over 20 years' experience working in EMS communications. His ability to innovate new tools that improve operations are helping to propel ALNW operations to another level.

David Manley

David Manley, BHS, EMT-P
Safety Officer

David Manley has lived local his entire life in the Seattle area. He was a Washington state paramedic and state EMS evaluator with critical care focus, specializing in safety system development and clinical strategy since 2012. He started in EMS in 2006. He earned a Bachelor's of Health Sciences with focus in disaster and Emergency Response from Walden University. He volunteers with Red Cross, Team Rubicon, various local MRCs. Currently completing AAMS' SMTA. He is a NAEMT Regional Faculty member for trauma programs.

Steve LeMay

Steve LeMay
Director Business Development and Strategy

Steve LeMay leads business development and outreach for Airlift Northwest. Steve’s experience includes managing all aspects of EMS operations including sales team direction, acquisitions, proposals, as well as building and executing growth strategies for multiple regions.

In his spare time, Steve enjoys competitive sailboat racing and flying hot air balloons.

Matt Plourde

Matthew Plourde, MS, BSN, RN, CCRN
Education Manager

Matthew was previously a Nurse Educator and Program Nurse Manager in the Cardiothoracic ICU at the University of Washington Medical Center. He was an EMT until he graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2006 with his Bachelor of Science in Nursing. He recently obtained a Masters degree in clinical informatics in 2020. He started his nursing career in the cardiothoracic ICU at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore Maryland. He has helped develop and grow the Extracorporeal Life Support program at the UWMC since its inception in 2012, he officially took the role as ECMO Educator in 2015 with the start of the ECMO Specialist program at UWMC and HMC. He transitioned to the ECMO program nurse manager role in 2017.

Additionally, he has a passion for international nursing education, having worked in and taught in Peru, India, Tanzania, Brazil and Nepal.

Jess Hopson

Jess Hopson, RN/BSN, CCRN, CFRN, EMT-P
Assistant Director of Operations – Eastern Washington

Jess has a wide range of HEMS and critical care experience with multiple air medical programs over the last 13 years. His background before his flight career was in level one trauma ICU care, emergency, and ground CCT. His career has mostly been in the Inland Northwest, and as a UW Alumni he is happy to be in an Airlift Northwest leadership role serving his home area of Eastern Washington as the Assistant Director of Operations for Eastern Washington.

Colleen Records

Colleen Records BSN, CCRN, CFRN
Assistant Director of Operations for Western WA

Colleen brings over 20+ nursing career experience to the Airlift team. A BSN graduate of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT she focused on emergency room nursing for 10 years. Eventually she made her way to Airlift in 2012, starting in Juneau, AK. In her first year she joined the Clinical Practice Committee which focuses on exploring and operationalizing all the latest evidence-based practice and how to get it done safety and effectively in our challenging environment in the air. Colleen is currently enrolled in a Master of Healthcare Management program at the University of Arizona's Eller College of Business and will graduate in May 2023. As Assistant Director of Operations for Western Washington, Colleen oversees the day-to-day workings of our Puget Sound bases and helps ensure that we can get where we need, with who we need and what we need when the call comes in.

Elise Blasco

Elise Blasco, RN, CFRN, CEN
Assistant Director of Operations – Alaska

Elise graduated from the University of Washington in 2004 with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She worked in community health and then the emergency department both in Washington and internationally. She transitioned to flight nursing when she joined the Airlift Northwest team in 2011 and moved to Juneau, Alaska. She has served as the Juneau base manager since 2015 and was promoted to the assistant director of operations – Alaska in 2022. She is currently working on her MBA in Healthcare Management.

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