Atlas Donates Airplane-Shaped Ice Packs to Soothe Injured and Recovering Children

Ice/warming packs shaped like Atlas airplanes.

Ice/warming packs shaped like Atlas airplanes.

Atlas employees work every day to make a difference in their jobs, but sometimes their work has an impact far beyond all expectations.

That was the case this summer, when the Atlas Benefits Team sent a mailer to employees’ homes. These mailers, along with webinars and other communication outreach, are intended to inform employees about the many Benefits programs and health and wellness offerings available to them and their families.

This particular mailer, focused on skin cancer awareness, contained sunscreen and an ice pack in the shape of an airplane with an Atlas Air logo. When the package arrived at the Des Moines, Iowa home of 767 Captain David Cameron and his wife Ronda, what began as a clever piece of promotional merchandise turned into something more.

Ronda, a Registered Nurse, works in the Ambulatory Surgery Center at the Mercy One Medical Center in Des Moines. Half of the patients served at the surgery center are children. Procedures range from emergency surgeries following accidents and dog bites, plastic surgery for cleft lips and innovative new therapies for children with Cerebral Palsy. For those pediatric patients, many of the post-procedure protocols call for ice to be applied to the area where the surgery or procedure took place. So when Ronda opened the Atlas Air airplane-shaped ice packs, she was inspired.

“Traditional hospital ice packs can be scary for children,” Ronda said. “They are large and present one more time when the patient has to be touched. When I saw the plane-shaped ice pack that arrived from Atlas, it was a real ah-ha moment. I immediately thought that these would be a wonderful way to connect with patients in a less intimidating way.”

Ronda reached out to the Benefits team to inquire about how she could get similar ice packs sent to Mercy One Medical Center.  Members of Atlas’ Benefits team thought this might be an appropriate time to pivot and coordinated the donation of the Human Resource Department’s remaining quantity of ice packs to the children at Mercy One Medical Center.

Within a week, 1,600 ice/warming packs shaped like Atlas airplanes arrived at the Ambulatory Surgery Center.

“Because we received so many ice packs, we shared them with our Pediatric Emergency Room, Child Life Specialists, Pediatric In-Patient Unit and the Mercy One Main Operating Room (OR), as they too serve a number of children with conditions more serious in nature,” Ronda said.

Ronda thanked Atlas on behalf of her team and colleagues, knowing the positive impacts these small, cheerfully shaped ice packs would have on patients while at the hospital and at home.

As David listened to his wife talk about the donation to Mercy One, he reflected on his own family and said, “Over the years we have had a couple of medical issues ourselves, and Atlas has always taken care of us. We’ve seen a real commitment from the Company to take care of their people.” When asked for a photo of Ronda and her team with the donated ice packs, David, an 11-year employee with Atlas, said of his wife, “You will have to work hard to get Ronda in the photo, because she prefers to remain in the background.”

Ronda just smiled.