Brandy­wine Hospi­tal to un­veil new ser­vice

The Jef­fSTAT Hangar will of­fi­cially open Mon­day, giv­ing the re­gion a hub for air trans­port

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Brian McCul­lough bm­c­cul­lough@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @wc­dai­ly­lo­cal on Twit­ter

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.

To con­tact Busi­ness Ed­i­tor Brian McCul­lough, call 610235-2655 or send an email to bm­c­cul­lough@dailylocal.com.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

A new Jef­fSTAT heli­copter will be housed at Brandy­wine Hospi­tal.

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