Spectrum Health and Munson Healthcare officials today signed an agreement to form a joint venture between Aero Med’s northern operations and North Flight EMS Air Division.
The new organization will enhance critical care air emergency transport services in northern Michigan. Aero Med will continue to serve West Michigan from its operations based at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids. North Flight’s fleet of ground ambulances in northern Michigan will continue to operate as North Flight EMS.
The joint venture, called North Flight Aero Med, is expected to begin operations in early 2016. It will operate from a base located in Traverse City with two aircraft, a King Air B200 airplane acquired from Munson Healthcare and a Sikorsky S-76 helicopter acquired from Spectrum Health. The joint venture will provide both emergency critical care air transport and non-emergent air medical charter services.
The collaboration brings together the expertise of two excellent health systems to provide high quality air EMS services to the region. Both organizations believe the joint venture will:
•Enhance service, capacity, and access in northern Michigan
•Improve operational and service efficiencies
•Maintain a longstanding tradition of quality and safety
•Provide enriched education and training for crews
“North Flight and Aero Med have provided care to residents in northern Michigan for many years. Our goal is to ensure this tradition of quality care is maintained as well as enhance our air ambulance services and access,” said Christina Freese-Decker, president, Spectrum Health Hospital Group.
“Munson Healthcare continues to look for ways to ensure access to care as close to home as possible,” said Ed Ness, president and CEO of Munson Healthcare. “We are excited about this new collaboration because we believe it is the best way to ensure high quality air EMS services continue to be available to the people of northern Michigan for years to come.”
Munson Healthcare is a non-profit network of hospitals and related organizations delivering a broad array of health care services to Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula and eastern Upper Peninsula. Munson Healthcare includes eight community hospitals committed to the well-being of the each patient and to delivering high quality, safe, affordable health care close to home. Eight supporting organizations contribute to regional health care through coordinated services that result in quality, convenient, easy to use care for patients and their families. Munson Healthcare hospitals include Charlevoix Area Hospital, Kalkaska Memorial Health Center, Munson Healthcare Cadillac Hospital, Munson Healthcare Grayling Hospital, Munson Medical Center, Otsego Memorial Hospital, Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital, and West Shore Medical Center. Partner organizations include Kalkaska & Munson Dialysis Centers, Great Lakes Mobile PET, Munson Healthcare Foundations, Munson Home Health, Munson Mobile Imaging, North Flight EMS, Northern Michigan Supply Alliance, Northwest Michigan Surgery Center. munsonhealthcare.org.
Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit health system based in West Michigan, offering a full continuum of care through the Spectrum Health Hospital Group, which is comprised of 12 hospitals, including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital; 180 ambulatory and service sites; 1,300 physicians and advanced practice providers, which include 1,100 members of the Spectrum Health Medical Group; and Priority Health, a health plan with more than 648,000 members. Spectrum Health is West Michigan’s largest employer, with 22,600 employees. The organization provided $294.6 million in community benefit during its 2014 fiscal year. Spectrum Health is the only health system in Michigan to be named one of the nation’s 15 Top Health Systems® by Truven Health Analytics for 2015. This is the fourth time the organization has received this recognition. spectrumhealth.org
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