Brandywine Hospital to unveil new service
The JeffSTAT Hangar will officially open Monday, giving the region a hub for air transport
CALN » Brandywine Hospital will dedicate a new helicopter hangar next week, a development that will save lives in Chester County, executives said Wednesday.
The ceremony on Monday is being termed a “rededication” because Brandywine had a hangar for years but discontinued it in 2011.
Service was resumed about a year ago but it will be upgraded with the renovated hangar, said Brandywine CEO Jeff Hunt.
“We had the hangar here from when we were a trauma center,” Hunt explained. “I know EMS is excited about it. This will be a regional hub servicing the entire region. We’re one of the few in (the suburban Philadelphia counties) to have one.”
The updated hangar will be unveiled as the JeffSTAT Hangar at Brandywine Hospital.
“This additional location will bring life-saving care to residents of Chester County and the surrounding area,” the hospital said in a statement.
In 1983, the flight program AeroMedix, one of the first air medical programs in southeastern Pennsylvania, was established at Brandywine. It was renamed and reinvented in the late ‘80s as SkyFlight Care. The hospital said it closed its helicopter operation due to the growth of air medical programs throughout the area after it stopped being a trauma center.
In 2014, JeffSTAT, the medical transportation service owned and operated by Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, approached Brandywine to re-establish a regional helicopter service. Since then, the quarters and operations center of the hangar were renovated and the facility was modified to meet the new code specifications.
Brandywine, Air Methods, the owner of the helicopter, and Jefferson Health, the provider of the medical crew, policies and procedures, “have developed a strong, collaborative relationship in support of the hangar services,” this hospital said in its statement.
The hospital spent “several hundreds of thousands” to make the upgrades, Hunt added.
“We’re thrilled to be able to provide support in bringing the hangar service back to our campus,” Hunt said “Should anyone in the area require medical air flight, we’ll be able to get there quickly, increasing one’s chance of survival.” A JeffSTAT executive agreed. “We are delighted to be part of this new and exciting chapter in Chester County. Working closely with our partners in both the public safety and hospital-based sectors, we are able to collaborate and ensure patients are receiving rapid critical care transport services,” said Guy Barber, director of JeffSTAT. “Our new base was designed and constructed to support our flight teams and ensure we are well positioned to respond immediately when requested. Furthermore, our new hanger has meeting and education space which will be used to host educational events with our partners throughout the region.”
The new service will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Hunt said, adding that the helicopter being housed in the hangar is an upgrade from what has been used.
Brandywine Hospital is owned by Franklin, Tennessee-based Community Health Systems. The parent company recently said it is doing an internal study into its finances and is considering alternatives, including putting itself up for sale.
Brandywine, a 169-bed acute care medical facility, last week opened its new Women’s Imaging Center for mammograms and other breast health services.
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A new JeffSTAT helicopter will be housed at Brandywine Hospital.