Mercy Flight is pleased to announce that Margaret A. Ferrentino has been elected President of Mercy Flight, Inc. Ms. Ferrentino, who has been with the organization since its inception in 1981, will be filling the role that has been held for more than 40 years by its Founding President, Douglas H. Baker. Mr. Baker has been appointed to the honorary position of President Emeritus and will remain involved in an advisory role, assisting with leadership transitions and providing a historical perspective in the decision-making process. According to Baker, “Mercy Flight’s legacy
of compassionate medical care is in the best of hands. The success of this nonprofit has been the result of 40 years of Margie’s hard work and dedication, and I have no doubt that Mercy Flight will continue to be a Beacon of Hope to those in need for many, many more years to come.”
Ms. Ferrentino has dedicated her life to helping others, starting her EMS career working at LaSalle Ambulance Service as an Emergency Medical Technician in 1977. Shortly thereafter she became Western New York’s first female Paramedic and in 1981 one of Mercy Flight’s first Flight Paramedics. In 1986, she was promoted to General Manager of LaSalle Ambulance, overseeing an operation with hundreds of employees and dozens of ambulances.
Despite her humble nature, Ms. Ferrentino’s illustrious EMS career has garnered much due respect and many accolades, including being a member of a LaSalle Ambulance team that received the American Ambulance Association’s first International Community Service Award, Business First Magazine’s 40 Under 40 recognition, and the NYS Veterans of Foreign Wars Paramedic Award. According to Ms. Ferrentino, “The awards and recognition are truly an honor, but at the end of the day what really matters is that our efforts result in all of our patients receiving the high quality and compassionate care that everyone deserves. Sister Sheila Marie Walsh and Doug Baker have always emphasized patient care above all else, and that guiding light hasn’t steered us wrong in over 40 years. I’m blessed to have been a part of this organization ever since it was just a concept. I’m incredibly honored to become its newly-elected President and will remain forever grateful to many who have mentored, supported and worked beside me over the years.”
Filling Ms. Ferrentino’s previous role of Executive Vice President is Mercy Flight’s former Vice President-Finance, Scott P. Wooton, CPA. Wooton’s involvement with the organization began in 2006 when he was an auditor at a local public accounting firm, and Mercy Flight was one of his clients. Joining the nonprofit organization as Staff
Accountant in 2008, Wooton has since contributed positively to its growth, having
overseen the financial aspects of the $30 million-dollar acquisition of four new Bell 429 helicopters, the construction of a $2.5 million-dollar ground ambulance facility in Batavia, NY, and a roughly 350% increase in the company’s overall budget over the last 13 years.
Wooton states, “The EMS industry as a whole is facing several significant challenges, including shortages in its workforce and major shortfalls in the reimbursement necessary to recruit and retain employees from a shrinking talent pool. Our employees in the air, on the ground, and behind the scenes are special people that have proven they can rise to meet all manner of challenges. My job as their Executive Vice President will be to continue to advocate on their behalf in order to give them the tools they need to continue to do that.” Wooton, a 2005 graduate of the University at Buffalo’s School of Management, resides with his wife, Michelle, and their four children in Alden, NY.
Additionally, the Mercy Flight Board of Directors has elected Director of Finance, Joseph
C. Czyrny, to fill the role of the 501(c)(3)’s Corporate Secretary. Mr. Czyrny joined the Mercy Flight team in 2015, and has played a vital role in navigating the ever-changing landscape of compliance and regulation. Czyrny is looking forward to continuing to support the mission of Mercy Flight in his expanded role. “Mercy Flight is not only a great asset to the people of Western New York, but it’s also a great place to work. The team here is second-to-none. We take great care of our patients, and we take great care of each other” says Czyrny. Also a UB School of Management alumnus, Czyrny and his wife, Donette, live in Grand Island, NY with their two daughters.
Mercy Flight’s re-elected Board Chairman, Michael A. Bolas, CPA, Esq. adds, “I’m so proud of what this group has accomplished. In the coming months, we’ll reach 30,000 completed air-ambulance missions since inception, and we’re well over that number in ground ambulance transports. On behalf of our Board, I would like to express our sincere gratitude to the Mercy Flight team for all they do. Personally, I am honored to be associated with such a skilled, dedicated, and compassionate group of professionals,
and I look forward to continuing to serve the organization alongside our re-elected Vice-Chairperson and Past Patient, Eileen Kelchlin.”