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CVG educates workforce on travelers using heart health devices, in airport’s social inclusion program

The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG), is now collaborating with The Christ Hospital (TCH) to educate airport personnel on Ventricular Assistive Devices (VAD) – including its mechanical intricacies and implications to air travel.

The initiative is part of CVG’s social engagement and awareness program – LIFT (Leading Individuals Forward Together).

“We’re incredibly proud of how LIFT is transformative for customers and colleagues,” said Candace McGraw, chief executive officer, CVG. “What started as a program focused on inclusion and understanding through education about the Autism Spectrum, continues to expand to others in need of sensitivity and sensibility while traveling by air.”

CVG invited TCH and patient representatives to demonstrate what it’s like for a VAD patient to go through airport security and travel on an airplane.

“The Christ Hospital Health Network’s commitment to patient care and accessibility is honored to be in a position to partner with CVG, and its tenants to offer education supporting its LIFT mission of acceptance through education,” said Dr. Gregory Egnaczyk, Medical Director of the Advanced Heart Failure Program at The Christ Hospital.

Patient volunteers like Jim Collins (TCH VAD patient 2018) amplified the training by sharing first-hand experiences.

A VAD is an advanced treatment option for end-stage heart failure, where a mechanical pump is implanted in the heart to help it pump more effectively. A small hardware pack required for heart sustainability is carried on the outside of the patient’s body at all times.

Christ Hospital is number one in Cincinnati in terms of LVAD volume, implanting between 25 and 30 devices a year. They are also the only center to have a full time VAD Educator on staff, who facilitates training and education to patients, families and in the community with other organizations.

“LVAD is a life-improving and life-saving option for many patients, but we recognize that adjusting to life with an LVAD takes time,” said Dr. Egnacyzk. “Our team provides almost concierge-type medicine to ensure close follow-up and patient access to personalized care, and this partnership is an example of that commitment.”

CVG staff, first responders, airline and ground-handling partners, Customs and Border Protection and Transportation Security Administration were in attendance to gain understanding of the device and related equipment, as well as answers to common questions. 

Future trainings will take place on an as-needed basis.CVG offers more nonstop destinations than any airport in the region, including direct international service to Paris, Toronto, Cancun, Cozumel, Montego Bay, Grand Bahama Island and Punta Cana.

CVG is a top 10 cargo airport in North America, and home to one of three global super-hubs for DHL and Amazon Air’s cargo hub. CVG is the only airport in the country to receive Safety Act Designation and Certification from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), giving the airport the highest level of protections under the Act.

For more information on CVG, click here. 


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