Ira Blumen, MD, professor of medicine, has been named  as Interim Chief for the Section of Emergency Medicine effective November 1, 2022. Dr. Blumen will assume the interim role following the appointment of Thomas Spiegel, MD as UCM Vice President and Health System Chief Quality Officer.

Dr. Blumen received his MD from the University of Health Sciences/The Chicago Medical School in 1981 and completed his emergency medicine residency training at the University of Illinois (U of I) affiliated hospitals in 1984, where he also served as chief resident. Following his residency training he served as a clinical instructor in the Division of Emergency Medicine in the Department of Surgery at the U of I for three years. In 1987 he joined the faculty in our Section of Emergency Medicine where he currently serves as professor of medicine. For the past 35 years he has served as the medical director and program director of the University of Chicago Aeromedical Network (UCAN).

Dr. Blumen is an expert in the area of air medical transport and critical care transport. For over 22 years, he has conducted unique helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) safety research where he was the lead researcher and author of “A Safety Review and Risk Assessment in Air Medical Transport,”   as a supplement to the Air Medical Physicians’ Handbook by the Air Medical Physician Association (November 2002). His research has resulted in dozens of presentations across the country and an invitation by the National Transportation Safety Board to present his findings at a Public Hearing on the “Safety of Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) Operations” in February 2009. He continues his research in this area and is currently leading a multi-discipline safety research project “Opportunities for Safety Improvement in Helicopter EMS.”  Dr. Blumen’s HEMS safety research also includes annual updates on HEMS accident rates, fatal accidents, and death rates for crewmembers and patients.

As an educator and mentor, Dr. Blumen is dedicated to training the next generation of emergency medicine & EMS physicians. He serves as one of the faculty for the EMS Fellowship Program and has mentored, supervised and training countless EM residents in the Adult ED and in their role as a UCAN flight physician over the past three plus decades.

Dr. Blumen is a recognized leader national and regionally where he served on the Board of Directors of Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS) and was a founding member, board member and past president of the Air Medical Physician Association (AMPA). He has received numerous awards in recognition of his significant contributions to air medical transport research, education and development or promotion of aviation and aviation safety. In 2013, Dr. Blumen received the AMPA Medical Director of the Year recognizing his contributions and achievements in the field of aeromedical transport and as medical director of the UCAN flight program. In 2020 he was elected as a fellow in the Air Medical Physician Association (FAMPA), recognizing his contributions to AMPA and the specialty of air and critical care transport medicine, recognizing experience, knowledge, and leadership.