YNHH nurse recognized for her actions in the air

At the ED presentation were (l-r): D'Aquila; Cunningham; Gail D'Onofrio, MD, chief of Emergency Medicine; Mark Sevilla, RN, director, Emergency Services; Lisa Maciejak, RN, assistant patient service manager, Adult ED; and Michael Holmes, senior vice president, Operations.

Mary Cunningham, RN, Adult Emergency Department, was flying from Florida to Hartford April 22 when she assisted a passenger who had lost consciousness. When another passenger near the first also lost consciousness, Cunningham recommended that the pilot land the plane. By the time the pilot made an emergency landing in Buffalo, three of the 75 passengers aboard had lost consciousness, the cause of which has not been determined.

In recognition of Cunningham's actions to help her fellow passengers and protect everyone on the plane, YNHH President Richard D'Aquila visited the ED to thank Cunningham and presented her with a framed copy of a newspaper article about the incident.

"Mary demonstrated one of the core elements of our Yale New Haven pledge — she took action when things went wrong," D'Aquila said. "Her actions, and the incredible recognition she got in the press, spoke volumes for our organization and her professionalism as a registered nurse."