Ministry Health Care Announces Plans to Upgrade Medical Transport Services

Ministry Health Care has announced two major efforts to boost its medical transportation service in central and northern Wisconsin to better meet the health care needs of the residents of the region.

First, Ministry's Saint Joseph's Hospital has announced the purchase of a new state of the art helicopter to replace the current airship. This is part of a long-term plan to assure the availability of high quality medical transportation that is necessary to offer patients access to needed medical care.

Rich DeJarlais, Director of Medical Transportation Services for Ministry stated that, "the new instrument flight rules (IFR) aircraft will be outfitted with the latest technologies including but not limited to night vision goggles, terrain avoidance warning systems, weather radar, autopilot, and wire strike protection to enhance the level of safety during flights."

Spirit Medical Transportation Services' helicopter has been providing air transportation services from its base at Saint Joseph's Hospital in Marshfield for 15 years," stated Theresa Richards, the Executive Vice President of Saint Joseph's. "Annually the medical fight team provides services to over 600 patients getting them safely and quickly to the appropriate level of care within the Ministry system or to other facilities as required."

Since 1993, Ministry Health Care has completed more than 7500 adult, pediatric and neonatal aeromedical missions involving a wide variety of cardiac, trauma, respiratory, high-risk obstetrical and other medical emergencies.Ministry Health Care continues to work closely with AirMethods, the nation's leading provider of air medical transport services.

In addition, Ministry Health Care announced that it recently placed a locally based interfacility critical care ambulance at Saint Mary's Hospital in Rhinelander. Brian Kief, Ministry Health Care's Northern Region CEO, noted that this service will be an extension of the current Northwoods Transportation program based at Howard Young Medical Center. This interfacility critical care ambulance provides service to all areas of the Northwoods with equipment and crews based in both Rhinelander and Woodruff. The service will be coordinated with Ministry ground ambulance service in Weston and Marshfield. Kief further advised that Ministry is committed to ground service too and advised that an effective ground transport system is the heart and soul of an effective transportation system.

Ministry's Spirit Medical Transportation Services has been a leader in serving patients through various initiatives, including:

  • Air Transport with a state of the art helicopter based in Marshfield that will serve all patients needs, but especially neonates, cardiac,and trauma patients, throughout the entire service area, including the Northwoods
  • Ground critical care ambulances based in Marshfield, Weston, Minocqua and Rhinelander
  • Continued support of the Rescue One program that is designed to increase heart attack survival rates by reducing the time from the onset of symptoms to definitive treatment
  • Skilled transport of neonatal patients in distress to the region'slargest neonatal intensive care nursery located at Saint Joseph's Children's Hospital in Marshfield
  • Transport of adults and children trauma victims to the region's only ACS Level II Trauma center at Saint Joseph's Hospital in Marshfield.

Ministry Health Care continues to evaluate how to best meet the medical transportation needs of the residents of North Central Wisconsin, carefully balancing the need for technology and access against the cost of health care.

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