Construction of New Helipad Set to Begin at Howard Young Medical Center in June 2011

Leaders at Howard Young Medical Center have announced plans to build a new helicopter pad on the medical campus in Woodruff to better serve the needs of patients in the Northwoods. The announcement caps months of work and is part of the ongoing efforts to maintain and enhance the care provided to area patients.

The new helipad will be located adjacent to the Emergency Department on grounds that are currently being used for employee parking. The planned location allows for greater clearance established in the latest FAA guidelines and positions the flight crew much closer to the emergency department entrance - allowing for faster transfer of patients to the air ambulance.

Howard Young Vice President of Hospital Operations, Laurie Oungst has been leading this relocation effort working with a team of hospital and air transportation emergency leaders and personnel to assess potential helipad sites on the campus. “Our team reviewed alternatives for the helipad and concluded this space provides the best option. The new location meets safety requirements and also reduces the length of time required to get critical patients to the next level of care.”

“Getting a patient to emergency treatment as quickly as possible can mean the difference between life and death or more complete recovery,” stated Dr. Rick Brodhead, Medical Director of Emergency Services. “We often speak of the ‘golden hour’ in emergency care which can make all the difference. The entire Emergency Department staff and physicians at Howard Young Medical Center are pleased we are making this commitment to improve care for our patients," he noted.

This upgrade is one of several taking place in the coming weeks that will enhance emergency services in the Northwoods. In addition to a second Spirit helicopter that will be in service by the end of May, the emergency departments at Howard Young and Ministry Eagle River Memorial Hospital will soon be implementing a new technology called LIFENET which allows emergency room physicians access to “in the field” information regarding a patient’s condition meaning definitive treatment can be started while the patient is on the way.

Construction of the new helipad will begin in June with expected completion by mid-July.

helipad to be built at howard young medical center in june
Members of the team include Jeff Freese, EMS Manager; Charlie Kotke, Base Manager for Ministry Spirit Medical Transportation; Tony Nedbal, Director of Plant Maintenance & Operations; and Laurie Oungst, Vice President of Operations. Other members of the team not pictures included Dr. Rick Brodhead, Medical Director of the Emergency Department; Monty Gallegos, Director Spirit Medical Transportation Service; Grant Tarpinian, Spirit Pilot; and Sheila Meyer, Nurse Manager of the ER at Howard Young Medical Center
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