Ascension Wisconsin Spirit Medical Transport to make ‘operational adjustments’
Wisconsin Spirit Medical Transport will discontinue service of the Spirit 2 Helicopter, based at Howard Young Medical Center, by the end of the year. Also ending is an operation agreement at the end of August for Spirit 3, a fixed-wing aircraft based at Lakeland Airport in Arbor Vitae.
“There are many changing dynamics in the delivery of healthcare services in the region that created the need for these difficult decisions,” said Stewart Watson, M.D., Vice President-Clinical, North Region, Ascension Wisconsin.
Watson said those dynamics include the current available medical transport services in northern and central Wisconsin and the ongoing realignment of healthcare facilities in the region and patient volumes.
A recently conducted extensive review of its operations focused on past, present and predicted patient volumes and transportation needs showed Ascension’s air medical transportation needs would be “best met” with a single helicopter stationed at the Central Wisconsin Airport (CWA) in Mosinee, Watson said.
Spirit will still maintain a critical care ground base and resources for transport out of Woodruff from Howard Young Medical Center. Additional Spirit ground bases are located in Rhinelander, Weston and Stevens Point.
“The response time with Spirit 1 from CWA to the Northwoods is consistent with the average time to diagnose and stabilize most patients in the emergency room prior to being ready to transport,” said Ted Ryan, Director, Ascension Wisconsin Spirit Medical Transport. “We will leverage the full resources of our dispatch center and the talents of our dedicated associates to continue to manage our patient transport needs safely and effectively.”
Ryan added that every effort will be made to transition affected Spirit associates into current open positions within Ascension Wisconsin that fall within their qualifications. “We will continue to monitor volumes and response times to ensure appropriate ground and air resources when needed,” said Ryan.
Spirit transports approximately 4,800 patients annually via ground and air across the region and holds the medical transport industry’s highest level of accreditation.