For Immediate Release: 7/30/2010 Contact: David Cross (304) 549-5698, Marty Delaney (607) 725-2565, Teresa McCabe (304) 264-1223
HealthNet Aeromedical Services to Open Eighth Base
Joint effort of HealthNet, Air Methods, West Virginia University Hospitals/WVUH-East
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - HealthNet Aeromedical Services announced today it will open its eighth medical helicopter base to be located in Martinsburg, W.Va., serving West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle and surrounding areas.
This new air medical base is a joint effort between HealthNet, Air Methods, West Virginia University Hospitals and West Virginia University Hospitals-East. The base will be located at the regional airport and will serve as the primary medical helicopter service for WVUH-East’s City Hospital and Jefferson Memorial Hospital.
“Along with Air Methods and West Virginia University Hospitals/WVU Hospitals-East, we have been looking at the feasibility of having a base in the Martinsburg area for some time,” said Chip Sovick, president and CEO of HealthNet. “We have determined that there is an immediate and long-term need and are pleased that we are able to offer this service.”
The new base will be serviced with an Eurocopter EC130 that will be equipped with the latest technologies like Helicopter Terrain Avoidance Warning System (HTAWS), Night Vision Goggles (NVG), and real-time color weather radar. This base is anticipated to be operational in approximately ninety days allowing time for in-depth training for the medical crew as well as their obtaining WV licensure and certifications.
“Previously, we had to rely on out-of-state medical helicopter providers for emergency air flight services,” stated Anthony Zelenka, chief administrative officer at City Hospital. “This will certainly make a difference in providing more immediate EMS services in our area communities,” he added.
In addition to transporting patients between hospitals, the service will also be available to respond directly to accident scenes. Because the service is based in the Eastern Panhandle, response time will be quicker and the medical crew will be able to reach patients faster. This will assure that patients can then be transported more quickly to area hospitals for definitive care.
According to David Poulsen, NE Regional Vice President for Air Methods, his company has had a long and productive relationship with HealthNet for many years in several different markets. “We are looking forward to furthering our partnership by working with HealthNet and WVUH-East to bring a helicopter service to the Martinsburg market which will ultimately enhance the air medical services available to the Eastern Panhandle communities and the surrounding areas," he said.
HealthNet Aeromedical Services was formed in 1986 and has safely completed more than 55,000 patient missions. Headquartered in Charleston, W.Va., HealthNet operates/and or is affiliated with seven helicopter bases serving West Virginia and significant portions of Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Tennessee. Sponsor hospitals of the HealthNet system include Cabell Huntington Hospital in Huntington, Charleston Area Medical Center in Charleston and West Virginia University Hospitals in Morgantown. For more information regarding HealthNet and its services, visit www.healthnetaeromedical.com.
Air Methods Corporation (www.airmethods.com) is a leader in emergency air medical transportation and medical services. The Hospital-Based Services Division is the largest provider of air medical transport services for hospitals. The Community-Based Services Division is one of the largest community-based providers of air medical services. The Products Division specializes in the design and manufacture of aeromedical and aerospace technology. The Company's fleet of owned, leased or maintained aircraft features over 300 helicopters and fixed wing aircraft.
WVUH-East is a regional, not-for-profit, healthcare system serving the Eastern Panhandle. The system includes City Hospital, Jefferson Memorial Hospital and all related entities of both hospitals. The parent company of WVUH-East, West Virginia University Hospitals in Morgantown, is a member of the Fairmont-based West Virginia United Health System, the state’s largest healthcare network.