New helicopter landing pad opens at Asante Three Rivers Medical Center Emergency Department
Getting people to and from the hospital for emergency care in Josephine County is now more expedited with the opening of a new helicopter landing pad, also known as a helistop, at Asante Three Rivers Medical Center. The first helicopter to make its landing on the pad was Thursday, Aug. 5.
“We’ve always been able to land a helicopter at the hospital in the parking lot,” said David Kinyon, vice president of Operations at Asante Three Rivers. “However, it has required a great deal of logistics from our employees to make sure the area is clear and secure to land the aircraft.”
Now, with a dedicated place to land just outside the back-entrance doors to the Emergency Department near where ambulances arrive, the process is more streamlined. “With the helistop’s proximity to the Emergency Department’s ambulance entrance, getting the person from the helicopter into the ED for treatment is streamlined and more efficient.” Kinyon said.
Both Mercy Flights and REACH provide air medical services to the hospital to transport people to the medical center for emergency care, or from the hospital to another medical facility. As the second busiest Level III trauma center in Oregon, Asante Three Rivers Medical Center provides initial evaluation, stabilization and surgical intervention for severely injured adults and children.
“We see close to 600 trauma cases a year,” said Emergency Department Medical Director Chris David, MD. “For most traumas, time is critical to save a life. Having the helistop right outside our ED doors means we can start patient care faster.”
The size of the landing pad is 45’ x 45’ and took about six months to build at a cost of $500,000. A portion of the expense has been offset by donations from the community to Asante Foundation. “Philanthropy plays a critical role in Asante’s ability to invest in our community, and to provide vital and life-saving services,” said Andrea Reeder, the Foundation’s director of Campaign and Operations. “We are grateful for the community’s support of this project, which will help meet the demands of the growing population and provide Josephine County with the very best emergency care.”
Addition of the helipad is part of the expansion plan for emergency services at Asante Three Rivers. A year ago, the Emergency Department doubled in size with the completion of an expansion that added 11 beds for a total of 30. About 41,000 people visit the hospital’s Emergency Department each year.