Louisville health leader jumps into action during in-flight emergency

Dr. SarahBeth Hartlage has overseen the COVID-19 vaccine rollout throughout the city, including at the American World Center in South Louisville.  Translators and transportation to the vaccine centers has helped those with limited means or a possible language barrier.

The cabin was still dark Tuesday morning on Dr. SarahBeth Hartlage’s Florida-bound flight when an attendant spoke over the intercom: “Is there a doctor on the plane?”

“I’ve seen (it) on TV but that’s never happened to me in real life before,” Hartlage told The Courier Journal.

The cabin lights flipped on and the associate medical director for the Louisville health department got out of her seat and headed to the back of the plane, joined by a nurse and another doctor.

“We didn’t know each other at all,” Hartlage said, but the trio quickly got to work examining a man who’d had a medical emergency near the craft’s kitchen and bathroom area.


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