On March 15, 1985, three forward-looking hospitals joined together to create Life Link III, one of the first non-profit consortiums in the country to transport critically ill patients by helicopter. Three decades of experience has transformed the unique collaboration of a private hospital, a county hospital, and an academic hospital, into a membership of nine leading healthcare organizations that comprise the Life Link III consortium. This year, Life Link III is celebrating its 30th anniversary and the many life-saving advances that have been made in achieving better outcomes for patients when time is critical.
The company has always focused on clinical excellence and is an early adopter in bringing new technology to critical care. In 1974, the company (then known as Bio Medical Research Associates, or BMRA), was a pioneer in the industry by providing intra-aortic balloon pump support, Swan-Ganz and other hemodynamic monitoring services to hospitals. Stemming from this experience, the company identified the need to design special mobile units to provide transportation for critically ill patients. In 1985, BMRA was purchased by Abbott Northwestern Hospital (Allina Health), St. Paul Ramsey Medical Center (HealthPartners®) and the University of Minnesota (Fairview Health Services), and became Life Link III.
“The patient comes first in everything we do,” stated Edward Eroe, president & CEO of Life Link III. That purpose is translated into action through the improvements in aviation and clinical equipment. In 2014, Life Link III replaced the entire fleet of aircraft with AgustaWestland119Kx helicopters that have the very latest in avionics and safety equipment. Life Link III also adopted Night Vision Goggles (NVGs) to provide the safest operations during night flight operations. The company also has its own dedicated communications center that is staffed twenty-four hours, seven days a week, coordinating both helicopter and airplane transports.
Dr. R.J. Frascone, chief medical officer, who has been involved in numerous research studies and clinical trials states, “We continue to be highly committed to clinical research and in delivering the very latest and best care of patients in the air medical setting.” Today the company carries the latest in pre-hospital clinical technology on board each flight with ready access to all critical medical equipment including:
1) Hamilton T-1 transport ventilators
2) Storz C-MAC® Video Laryngoscopes
3) LUCAS®2 CPR Device available in the patient cabin of each aircraft
4) Zoll X-series Cardiac Monitors
5) Maquet CARDIOSAVE® Intra-Aortic Balloon Pump
6) Multiple-Channel IV infusion pumps
7) 2 units of O-negative packed red blood cells
The company also provides exclusive air service for four neonatal transport teams.
“Today we are pleased to reflect on our company’s 30-year history and wish to thank our members for their partnership in serving patients in our region and around the country,” stated Eroe. To commemorate the 30th anniversary, the company has designed a special logo and will host a number of celebration events throughout the year.
About Life Link III
Life Link III operates five helicopter bases located throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Helicopter and airplane services are available 24/7, providing on-scene emergency response and inter-facility transport. Life Link III’s transportation services are accredited by CAMTS (Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transportation Services), ensuring the highest standards of quality and safety. Life Link III is a non-profit consortium company. Members include: Allina Health, CentraCare Health, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, Essentia Health, Fairview Health Services, HealthPartners®, Hennepin County Medical Center, St. Luke’s, St. Mary’s Medical Center, and Sacred Heart Hospital of Eau Claire, WI. www.lifelinkiii.com
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