Novant Health Med Flight takes to the air

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Health system adds its first critical care transport helicopter, connecting patients to advanced care.

Novant Health announced a new transport helicopter will join its critical care transport services. With this new aircraft, the Novant Health critical care transport fleet is poised to increase care to rural communities, connecting them with the fastest access to needed advanced care.

“In a critical situation, especially with trauma, heart attacks or strokes, minutes matter,” said Dr. Tom Zweng, chief medical officer for Novant Health. “As a trauma-ready acute care system, the addition of a helicopter will help us make those minutes life-changing and, possibly, lifesaving for more than 300 people each year. Novant Health is committed to getting patients the help they need in the most critical situations.”

Novant Health is expanding its critical care transportation services with Novant Health Med Flight, a state-of-the-art helicopter, to airlift patients so they can get the advanced care that they need. As leaders in critical care, Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center and Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center are both advanced comprehensive stroke centers, providing the highest level of care for stroke patients, and offer advanced care for heart and vascular patients.

In addition, Presbyterian Medical Center is a level III trauma center. Care for the most critical infants is provided at Novant Health Hemby Children’s Hospital Emergency Department and the hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit. Novant Health also has the only fellowship-trained pediatric neurosurgeon in Charlotte.

“Our communities deserve the highest quality of care, and we have seen an increased need for specialized services,” said Zweng. “The critical care transport additions will ensure we are connecting our communities to the care we can provide.”

Based at Novant Health Rowan Medical Center in Salisbury, North Carolina, Novant Health Med Flight will serve communities and medical facilities within a 150-mile radius, including Charlotte and Winston-Salem. Patients will be able to receive advanced care from a specially trained team, including a flight registered nurse and a certified flight paramedic, while en route from the scene of an accident or being transferred between facilities.

With a cruising speed of 158 mph, transportation via helicopter also minimizes the time a patient spends out of a hospital. Novant Health estimates the helicopter will transport 300 to 400 people in its first year in service. The helicopter joins the existing Novant Health critical care transportation fleet of 13 ambulances.

About Novant Health: Novant Health is an integrated network of physician clinics, outpatient facilities and hospitals that delivers a seamless and convenient healthcare experience to communities in Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia. Named in 2016 by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of the nation’s 150 best places to work in healthcare, Novant Health network consists of more than 1,500 physicians and over 26,000 employees that provide care at over 470 locations, including 14 medical centers and hundreds of outpatient facilities and physician clinics. Headquartered in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the health system serves more than 4.4 million patients annually and in 2016 provided more than $725.5 million in community benefit, including charity care and services. Diversity MBA has recognized the organization as one of the 50 best places for women and managers of diverse background to work and SK&A ranks Novant Health among the top 25 integrated health systems in the nation. Novant Health provides care in Virginia under the joint operating company, Novant Health UVA Health System.

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