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helicopter and crew physi- cally based at Greenville Memorial paves the way for tighter clinical integration, training and teamwork led by GHS board-certified physicians.

“As a tertiary medical center, it’s our responsi- bility to provide care for the area’s most critically ill and injured patients,” said GHS President and CEO Michael Riordan. “This enhanced partnership will not only help patients get care faster but will make sure the care received en route is the best it can be.” The service will be par- ticularly critical in the care of heart attack, stroke and trauma patients. GHS has one of the nation’s best treatment times for heart- attack patients, and Greenville Memorial Hospital is ranked among the nation’s top 50 hospi- tals in heart care and heart surgeries in U.S. News’ America’s Best Hospitals. The dedicated helicopter will also be a lifesaver for children en route to the regional pediatric intensive

care unit at GHS Children’s Hospital. Air travel cuts transit time by more than two-thirds, turning a 40-minute drive into a 12-minute flight. The Bell 407 heli- copter’s flight crew includes a pilot, flight paramedic and critical-care flight nurse. The crew and helicopter can be en route to an emergency within 3½ minutes of the initial call. The helicopter service area will typically be a 100-mile radius, but it can accept service requests for as far as 200 miles.

“GHS Med Trans will be

a tremendous regional asset, providing indispensi- ble critical care to patients in need when time is of the essence,” said Med-Trans Corp. CEO Fred Buttrell. “GHS Med Trans will focus on excellent patient care, working with GHS to pro- vide cohesive clinical inte- gration.” Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Med-Trans is a leading provider of air ambulance programs throughout the U.S. GHS Med Trans will

also work closely with GHS’ 10 Mobile Care ambu- lances, which carry equip- ment similar to the heli- copter’s critical care equip- ment. Mobile Care ambu- lances transport approxi- mately 15,000 patients annually and are rated for advanced life-support care. Community hospitals and their patients will be some of the biggest benefi- ciaries of the new program. “We provide excellent

care here, but there are times when patients need the services that only a Level 1 trauma center can provide,” said Oconee Medical Center President and CEO Jeanne Ward. “We’re already exploring more ways we can leverage the unique resources of a tertiary care center to help our own patients.”

A few minutes can make

the difference between whether a patient survives a car accident or can recover from a heart attack or stroke, said Martin Lutz, M.D., the medical director of GHS’ emergency med- ical services. ◆


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