Two of Michigan’s largest healthcare providers have partnered up to improve air ambulance operations in northern Michigan. Spectrum Health and Munson Healthcare have entered in to an agreement which will utilize both of its emergency flight services into a joint venture.
The agreement by Spectrum Health and Munson Healthcare will form a joint venture between Aero Med’s Northern Operations, and North Flight EMS. The new venture will be called North Flight Aero Med. Edwin Ness is the president and CEO for Munson Healthcare and said, “The collaboration is to make sure that we have a sustainable air ambulance and transportation service for northern michigan, that has a broader coverage and is available to fly in worse weather conditions.”
If it’s one thing that northern Michigan has, is rapidly changing weather conditions that can be a major deterrent in providing safe air transport during a medical emergency. Ness added that there have been many times where safe flight wasn’t possible through inclement weather conditions. But through the new venture, new equipment including larger and more powerful aircraft will play an important role in safely tackling poor weather.
The aircraft in which will be used for North Flight Aero Med will be a B-200 fixed wing twin turbo-prop airplane, and a Sikorsky S-76 helicopter. The joint venture will provide both emergency critical care air transport and non-emergent air medical charter services.
“Air ambulance is a very expensive but very necessary piece of our delivery system. And, we appreciate the opportunity to find a way to make that sustainable into the future while at the same time, increasing access especially in the bad weather conditions we have here in northern Michigan,” Ness stated. He also said that because of larger distance restrictions in northern Michigan, the venture will help decrease transport time.
Better response times, more powerful equipment, and decreased transport times will increase productivity and efficiency Ness said. The joint venture will take effect in early 2016.