My Price County

My Price County
My Price County

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My Price County


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SPIRIT 2 RESTRUCTURED HELICOPTER SERVICES IN NORTHWOODS [Article #1]

According to Ascension Wisconsin Spirit Medical Transport, they have been the region’s leading transport of more than 70,000 critical care patients since 1993. Their Spirit 2 helicopter is one of a few air services that serves the Northwoods with this critical need bringing residents to enhanced medical care more quickly than via ground transport.

However, Ascension made the decision to discontinue having Spirit 2 located at the Howard Young Medical Center in Woodruff. This decision was made this summer and put into effect this fall. According to Ascension's press release this summer, "These adjustments will allow Spirit to efficiently continue comprehensive medical transport services for the benefit of patients and communities served in the region."

Since this change, Spirit 2 is now based out of the Central Wisconsin Airport (CWA) in Mosinee, Wisconsin. Some residents of the northwoods are concerned that there will be an increased amount of time for a helicopter to get a patient to the necessary hospital. This feared extra time could be a life or death matter for a critical patient.

A concerned reader, who prefers to be anonymous, cited concerns about this decision, and stated, "Ascension states they will still be able to provide quick flight service to the north and that their flight time is 35 minutes from Mosinee; however, these times do not include the time it takes to get the aircraft out of the hangar and get airborne, which will add twenty minutes, so it won’t be a rapid response by any means. A transfer to Milwaukee or Madison will tie a crew up for nine to ten hours, and when Spirit only has an ambulance or two available, people will wait a long time."

Ted Ryan, Director at Ascension Wisconsin Spirit Medial Transport stated, “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. 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.”

Furthermore, Spirit stated, "Our review concluded that our air medical transport needs would be best met with a single helicopter strategically placed at the Central Wisconsin Airport at Mosinee.” There are critical care bases in the area, including one still in Woodruff, Rhinelander, Weston, and Stevens Point.

According to Stewart Watson, M.D., Vice President Clinical of the North Region for Ascension Wisconsin, “There are many changing dynamics in the delivery of healthcare services in the region that created the need for these difficult decisions.” Those 'changing dynamics' include the number of patients, current landscape of medical transportation services offered in northern Wisconsin, and the realignment of healthcare facilities in the region."

When asked how the public could encourage Ascension to bring the aircraft back closer to home, our concerned reader replied, "I don’t know that there is changing Ascension’s stance, but there is hope that LifeLink or even better, Aspirus, would move their aircraft up north or add an additional one as they also have hospitals and clinics in the upper peninsula that would benefit from an air service."

According to Andrew Krauss of Aspirus, "Aspirus is continuing to add to our services in Northern Wisconsin to ensure patients can receive local quality care. Examples of this include the expansion of clinics and specialty services in Woodruff and Rhinelander. We currently have our helicopter based in Wausau and we have served Northern Wisconsin and the UP with critical care transport for over a decade. We will continue to provide this critical service to all in these areas moving forward. We also have eight ground ambulance base locations in Wisconsin and Michigan's upper peninsula. Additionally, we have agreements in place with Ascension to address certain acute/specialty needs at our hospital in Wausau. We will continue to evaluate the need to expand coverage to better serve the community."

For residents in Price County, the Marshfield Clinic Health System with Flambeau Hospital is equipped to handle critical care needs with Life Link III. According to Anne Knudson, Communications Specialist, “Marshfield Clinic Health System will provide emergency air transport in Park Falls for patients requiring critical care through our Life Link III helicopters. Life Link III has helicopters in Marshfield and Rice Lake with 24-hour, on-site medical staff, giving the system the capability to meet the air transport needs of our critically ill patients throughout the regions we serve. Life Link III also has a one-call system, meaning they can dispatch the closest and most appropriate air transport service to the area."

Furthermore, Life Link III announced on December 21, 2020 that they have plans to place a new air medical base in Rhinelander, Wisconsin at the Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport. “Our new base in Rhinelander, Wisconsin will bring much-needed air medical resources to this region and surrounding communities,” said Lee McCammon, Vice President of Operations. "Rhinelander is an ideal location for our new base as it allows us to serve both the needs of northern Wisconsin as well as support our Life Link III consortium members, which include Marshfield Clinic Health System and HSHS Sacred Heart/St. Joseph’s.”

“This is welcome news for our patients in the Northwoods. Having a Life Link III base in close proximity to our hospitals in Park Falls and Minocqua strengthens our ability to meet the air transport needs of our critically ill patients across the region,” said Dr. Susan Turney, Marshfield Clinic Health System CEO. “It also offers our patients and their families reassurance that their care needs will be met as timely and efficiently as possible.”

[Edited by My Price County on Dec 21, 2020 at 06:42 PM]


Dec 19, 2020
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SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESSES - SHOP PRICE COUNTY FIRST [Article #2]

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Dec 19, 2020
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