LIFE FORCE Adds 6th Helicopter In North Carolina; Erlanger Signs Letter Of Intent With Murphy Medical Center

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Erlanger Health System officials announced on Tuesday that the Chattanooga-based health system plans to add a sixth LIFE FORCE helicopter to its fleet of air ambulances in August. The new LIFE FORCE air ambulance, operated by Med-Trans Corporation, will be based in Andrews, N.C. at the Western Carolina Regional Airport outside of Murphy, N.C. Erlanger officials also announced they have signed a Letter of Intent with Murphy Medical Center. 

 

"We are extremely pleased that LIFE FORCE is now expanding 'critical care in the air' services even further into the western North Carolina region," said Kevin M.

Spiegel, FACHE, president and CEO of the Erlanger Health System. "Placement of this air ambulance in North Carolina is the result of working closely with surrounding hospitals, state and elected officials for several years. Their overwhelming support has enabled thousands of residents to have quicker access to the region’s trauma center when they need it most."

 

LIFE FORCE 6 is expected to begin accepting patient flights on Aug. 15, and the letter of intent is in response to a business relationship being discussed between Erlanger Health System and Murphy Medical Center. The due diligence process required by the letter of intent should take both organizations approximately 90 days to complete, with the goal of reaching a definitive agreement on a future relationship by September or October of this year. 

 

"Erlanger Health System and Murphy Medical Center have signed an exclusive Letter of Intent to explore how our organizations can partner more closely to enhance and grow medical services already offered by Murphy Medical Center," said Robert M. Brooks, Erlanger executive VP and chief operating officer. "This Letter of Intent is the first step in the process of exploring what the best structure could be for both Murphy Medical Center and Erlanger Health System." 

 

The addition of this air ambulance brings the LIFE FORCE fleet to a total of six helicopters - four dual-engine aircraft equipped with Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) and two single-engine aircraft that use visual flight rules, or VFR. In mountainous regions, aircraft not equipped with IFR can frequently get fogged in at their bases and are unable to respond to patient transport requests. With an IFR aircraft now based in that region, area residents will have quicker access to a higher level of care with increased safety, particularly when outside visual references are obscured due to weather conditions.

 

“Med-Trans Corporation is pleased to be able to support the Erlanger Health System in providing this criticalservice to the community” said Med-Trans President Rob Hamilton.   

 

Erlanger's LIFE FORCE provides the medical team for the six air ambulances and Med Trans Corporation provides pilots and mechanics for the aeromedical service, and owns the aircraft. Med Trans equips the LIFE FORCE fleet with Airbus H135 helicopters and Bell 407 helicopters. The H135 model will be stationed at the Andrews base. 

 

"Since 1988, LIFE FORCE has been bringing the hospital to the patient and this is something that communities have come to rely on," said Robbie Tester, Erlanger VP of Operations. "We are pleased to be able to expand that service further into the Western Carolina region to continue serving the residents, hospitals, and local EMS agencies. The IFR components certainly increase safety and efficiency for the crews as well as those living or visiting in that region,” he said.

 

LIFE FORCE is accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems and is nationally ranked as one of the highest performing air medical services in the country. LIFE FORCE is the only air ambulance program in the region that carries ultrasound, blood and plasma products and is credentialed by physicians at Erlanger to perform emergency surgical airway procedures while in-flight, LIFE FORCE also provides on-the-scene and in-flight critical care treatment such as trauma service, heart and stroke intervention, cutting edge pediatric care and high-risk labor services to the patients in the aircraft. 

 


Memorial's Mobile Lung CT Coach To Visit Homeless Health Care Of Chattanooga

Board Certified Neurosurgeon David Wiles, MD Joins Parkridge Medical Center

Morning Pointe Recognizes Excellence In 5 Senior Living Communities At Christmas Banquet


CHI Memorial’s mobile lung CT coach will provide computerized tomography (CT) screenings at Homeless Health Care of Chattanooga on Friday, Dec. 21, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Lung cancer screening ... (click for more)

David Wiles, MD, a board-certified neurosurgeon with Southeastern Spine and Neurosurgery, has joined the medical staff at Parkridge Medical Center. "The level of neurosurgical expertise he brings ... (click for more)

Independent Healthcare Properties and Morning Pointe Senior Living recognized five of its assisted living and Alzheimer’s memory care communities for "exemplifying a unique dedication to residents ... (click for more)


Living Well

Memorial's Mobile Lung CT Coach To Visit Homeless Health Care Of Chattanooga

CHI Memorial’s mobile lung CT coach will provide computerized tomography (CT) screenings at Homeless Health Care of Chattanooga on Friday, Dec. 21, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Lung cancer screening is a test to look for signs of lung cancer in otherwise healthy people. The low-dose CT scan shows a 3-D image of your lungs that is clearer and more detailed than regular x-rays, allowing ... (click for more)

Board Certified Neurosurgeon David Wiles, MD Joins Parkridge Medical Center

David Wiles, MD, a board-certified neurosurgeon with Southeastern Spine and Neurosurgery, has joined the medical staff at Parkridge Medical Center. "The level of neurosurgical expertise he brings to Parkridge Medical Center will allow the facility to offer an increasing number of surgical treatment options for people suffering from brain and spine disorders," officials said. ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Earthquakes Hit Tennessee Valley Early Wednesday Morning

Two earthquakes happened early Wednesday morning in the area. The earthquakes registered at 4.4 and 3.3 magnitudes at 4:27 a.m. Some people felt them in North Chattanooga and Ooltewah. The epicenters were at Spring City and Ten Mile. (click for more)

Henderson, Mitchell Ask Council To Consider Language On Preserving Steep Slopes And Floodplains

City Council members Chip Henderson and Jerry Mitchell said they want the council to consider language on preserving steep slopes and floodplains. They said they want to go further than Councilman Darrin Ledford, who is proposing new curbs on erosion control and reducing stormwater runoff. Councilman Ledford on Tuesday presented a proposed new ordinance that adds a section ... (click for more)

Opinion

Alstom And Tubman: A Tale Of Two Sites

The former Alstom industrial site on the riverfront and the former Harriett Tubman housing site in East Chattanooga both have a lot of redevelopment potential. And yet the city of Chattanooga seems to view them quite differently. Alstom is the fair-haired child; Tubman is the forgotten child. The Alstom area was recently designated as an "opportunity zone" in a new program ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: We're Torturing Millions

I’ll admit it – I would rather hurt than take an opioid pain pill. Hydrocodone and its cousins scare the willies out of me because once when I was ‘drug sick,’ it was the worst sickness I have ever known. For somebody who always has somewhere that it hurts, I know that opioids are wonderful when used properly but because they are increasingly abused by society, there are now over ... (click for more)