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August 30, 2017

An Original ThedaStar Flight Nurse Retires

Pam Witt-Hillen was born at ThedaCare at Theda Clark Medical Center and retires after almost 40 years working at the hospital in her home town – 31 years flying with our air medical program. Facebook fans paid tribute to our last remaining original flight nurse:

Pam Witt-Hillen was born at ThedaCare at Theda Clark Medical Center and retires after almost 40 years working at the hospital in her home town – 31 years flying with our air medical program. Facebook fans paid tribute to our last remaining original flight nurse:

“Nine years ago at the end of this month, she saved my husband’s life! She was working the day he got in his horrible car accident and then was flown to Theda. He was dx with a TBI and multiple other broken bones and injuries. More than just that, she came to visit us EVERY day while we were there! She was more than just a nurse, she became part of our family. My daughter who was almost 3 at the time, was one of her biggest admirers! We have continued to stay in touch with Pam throughout the years, and wish her nothing but the best!!!” – Jenna A.

“Pam, you kept my 18-yr. old son alive until he was admitted for a traumatic brain injury 20 years ago. He now has a beautiful wife and 4 children. I met you as you and crew stopped by his room in ICU to check on us. Appreciate you from the bottom of my heart. Have a wonderful retirement. You will not be forgotten. You have touched so many lives. Bless you always.” – Mary B.

“3 years ago, I worked as a CNA in ThedClark's ICU. She was bringing in a patient and started to give me report. I told her “Oh, I'm just the CNA a nurse will be here soon”. She responded with “Oh! A CNA! You are the backbone of healthcare!”. It made me smile and reminded me of the importance of my job at the time. I will never forget her encouragement when CNA's so often feel overlooked.” – Rachel C.

“I flew with Pam with my unconscious 20 mo. old son from Waupaca to Milwaukee six years ago. Thank you for helping me keep it together and of course for the medication and monitoring of him during the flight. Pam even called to check in on us a few days later. Thank you and congratulations!!” – Sara P.

“Pam impacted so many lives in so many ways!!! Her hands-on flight nursing is the most visible but behind the scene she has also done amazing things. Pam is the one who went to British Columbia and was trained and brought the P.A.R.T.Y program back to Neenah. Then she trained the staff here and touched thousands of high schoolers lives over the years. P.A.R.T.Y=preventing alcohol and risk related trauma in youth. Thank you, Pam, and have a wonderful retirement!!!!” – Mary Beth H-P

“I call this woman my angel. I was so blessed to meet her –really wished it had been under different circumstances. She was so caring the day of my accident. She even came to my room in the hospital to see how I was doing. I will forever be grateful for her. The world is going to miss an awesome flight nurse I hope you enjoy your retirement, my friend and angel.” – Lori T-M

“Happy Retirement Pam!!! I'm a current ThedaCare employee and I have never met someone so caring and compassionate about their job. No matter what the circumstances are or how bad the situation is, Pam's patient care is top notch. Her compassion and dedication will definitely be missed!!! I wish you well and congratulations on your retirement!!!” – Rachel G.

“Pam was an angel for my son during a flight to Theda Clark when he had bacterial meningitis. 10 years later I can still feel the hug she gave me and can remember every word she had to say. She continued to follow up with his progress during his almost 6 month stay at Children's Hospital in Milwaukee. A couple years ago she asked to do a follow up story for the newsletter. Pam, you are amazing!!! It is no wonder there are so many amazing stories on here. Enjoy your retirement. You have earned it. I am so grateful you were with Zachary and will be forever. There are not words to express my deep appreciation!!” – Desiree R.

“I had the honor of flying with Pam from 2008-2012. She puts her heart into everything that she does, and she has made a tremendous impact on countless lives! Happy retirement, Pam!” – Erick P.

“Pam was with my mom May 12, 1995 … my mom was in a horrific car/train accident … Pam and her fellow coworkers went above and beyond that day … the train pushed my mom’s car a mile down the track before it came to a stop… ThedaStar had to be landed on the tracks to get to her … I'm so glad she had Pam with her in her final hours … about 10+ years later my friend and I were playing dodgeball and she said her friend was going to come watch … my friend introduced me to Pam and Pam said, ‘I know who you are, honey. I was the ThedaStar nurse with your mom that day…’ Pam has now become a friend who I admire very much … I have been to a few Packer games with her since and taken a trip to New Orleans with her as well… she is so kind and caring … I don't think it was an accident she came into my life years after my mom passed … Congrats Pam!! You deserve to relax and enjoy the little things!” – Amy B. B.

“We love Pam! She was with our 12-year-old son Seth the night of his horrible ski accident back in January 2009. The accident had left him unconscious with a shattered collarbone. This picture is of them three months later when we went back to thank them for all that they did for him that night. Pam was more than happy to see him again. He didn't remember anything about the flight so she gladly showed him around the helicopter that brought him safely to the hospital. She will be happy to know Seth is a thriving young man going into his junior year at UW-Eau Claire. We wish Pam all the best in her retirement.” – Carla A.

“Wow! It hardly seems like 40 years Pam! I met you way back when ThedaStar was first being introduced. And we worked in the ER of TCMC! You were always an amazing woman with great compassion for others! Congratulations on a marvelous career and I know you'll enjoy retirement! Blessings!” – Pam F. K.

“Pam is an amazing…strong, yet gentle, kind and confident!! I will always remember how she went above and beyond to care for “Kiki” and his family!! I hope your retirement is a blessed one!” – Larie W. T.

“In 1993, ThedaStar flew me from Marinette, WI to Theda Clark after a severe car accident. Most likely saved my life. Thank you for your service and happy retirement. You deserve it!” – Jim G.

“Working at ThedaCare-Neenah/Shawano/Berlin, and First Responder for Bear Creek I can't say enough about Pam. To see her show up on scene at a few traumas is a very comforting feeling and to tell family that their loved one is in safe hands is so true! Pam, you have been an awesome nurse with ThedaCare and an asset to everyone from coworker, fellow RN to patient. I wish you the best in retirement. I for one will miss you deeply as I have learned so much from you. Godspeed, my friend!” – Heidi M.

“Pam – I want to thank you for being at the ThedaCare emergency room entrance and whisking me away to the third floor to deliver my third child – 13 years ago on July 29!! She was a week early, and I remember being a little scared and not prepared, but you helped calm me down and I appreciate how sweet you were to me in that situation…Thank you for all that you've done over the years, and for helping my cousins – Parker and Levi Cummings. All the best to you!!” – Liz L.

“From a young, college student working security at Theda Clark and clearing the ducks off the pad in the 90's to working crash scenes and securing landing zones as a fellow professional in the field today; it's been a pleasure. Enjoy retirement!” – Chris W.

“I started working EMS in the Valley the same year ThedaStar went active and have known Pam all of those 31 years. She is professional, compassionate, and both respected and was respected by all of her co-workers both at ThedaCare and in the field. She truly was an asset to ThedaCare and ThedaStar and to all the people she interacted with in her career. Pam, from an old retired medic, you will be missed but never forgotten. “Thank you” somehow seems inadequate when it comes to all you've meant to emergency medicine. Truly enjoy your well-earned retirement.” – Randy B.

“Pam was part of the flight crew that helped save my mother-in-law’s life. My in-laws were involved in a terrible car accident. Without ThedaStar and its professional people, she would not be here today. Thanks so much for your service.” – Wayne S.

“Wow! When I think of ThedaStar I think of you Pam! Enjoy this next chapter of your life!” – Tammy M.

“Words cannot express the thanks Pam is due for her caring and compassionate service to our community. I was fortunate to work with Pam for a few years. Of all the wonderful caregivers I've met over my career, I've encountered no one more loving, caring, and giving than Pam. God bless you Pam!” – Mike R.

“Pam, you came and spoke to our nursing class about what it meant to be a flight nurse. Your passion, enormous heart and genuine compassion for your patients, your team and your community were palpable. While I didn't follow in your footsteps, your dedication inspired me on my journey as a nurse. Thank you and I hope your retirement is as amazing as you!!!” – Jennifer E.