REACH Air Medical Services to station helicopter at Providence St. Mary

REACH Air Medical Services to station helicopter at Providence St. Mary

New home base will eliminate travel time, expedite care

APPLE VALLEY – Providence St. Mary Medical Center and REACH Air Medical Services are partnering to expedite care in the High Desert for patients needing emergency air medical transportation.

Starting Wednesday, June 16, REACH will station a helicopter at Providence St. Mary to help reduce travel time for patient transports to hospitals that provide higher levels of care.

“This is all about what’s best for our patients,” Providence St. Mary Chief Executive Randall Castillo said. “While we do everything we can to provide the best care possible here, there are some services and circumstances we aren’t equipped to handle. In those scenarios, we need to get our patients to an appropriate care setting in the fastest and safest manner. This partnership allows us to do exactly that.”

Ronald Taggart, program director for REACH, says strategically placing an aircraft at Providence St. Mary can potentially save up to 45 minutes depending on weather and traffic patterns. Although based at Providence St. Mary, REACH will continue serving other area hospitals.

“At the end of the day, minutes matter when it comes to patient care, especially with time-critical injuries and illnesses such as strokes and heart attacks,” Taggart said. “Any time you have a chance to enhance the continuity of care, you do it because it results in better outcomes, and ultimately, is what’s best for the patients we serve.”

With a helicopter stationed at the hospital, REACH staff can better develop relationships with hospital departments and staff that can lead to expedited care, Taggart said. The staff includes highly trained and experienced pilots, flight nurses and flight paramedics.  

“This is a highly beneficial partnership that will allow both organizations to share best practices and increase synergy,” Taggart said. “If we’re already there on the helipad and know there’s a possible patient needing transport, we’re already spinning up — we’re already ahead of the game. Through this partnership, time is on our side. We believe working together is what’s best for the patient.”

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