“It was 20 years ago today that I started as a Mobile ICU paramedic for MedFlight…they had just acquired the Riverside Methodist Hospital Critical Care Transport team where I had previously worked. On October 20th, 1996, my last shift at Riverside, we were asked to bring the Mobile ICU vehicles to MedFlight as our final task.
I remember MedFlight leadership standing at the hangar door, welcoming us to MedFlight. I think all of us were excited about this new chapter in our careers.
I have seen many changes through the last 20 years and worked with so many talented people that it boggles my mind. Working for MedFlight has been awesome, and I wouldn’t have missed the experience for anything.”
~ Lou Hoyer, MedFlight Mobile ICU Paramedic for 20 Years
What a great resource our critical-care Mobile ICU teams have been for Ohio patients. This excellent division of MedFlight doesn’t get the limelight it deserves, but, without it, MedFlight would not be who we are today. To all of our partners that have served and continue to serve on the Mobile ICU teams…. THANK YOU. And congratulations on 20 great years of service.
~ Tom Allenstein, President and CEO of MedFlight
MedFlight is beginning an exciting new venture! Our Columbus-based Mobile ICU team, MedFlight 12, will be involved in a groundbreaking Critical-Care Transport Telemedicine trial.
For 60 days, our teams will partner with Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center physicians to further our over-arching goal of enhancing patient care. An interactive, handheld audio/visual device will be placed in the back of the Mobile ICU, and will be moved throughout the vehicle to test to effectiveness of the device on our transports. Each time the Mobile ICU team contacts MedComm to be connected with the on-call Medical Control Physician (MCP), the physician at Wexner Medical Center will log into a computer and “beam in” to the telemedicine device. The physician will get to see the patient in real-time and help guide the care based on both what the MedFlight team tells them and also what they visualize.
“Historically, when physician medical direction is needed, the physician speaks to the transport crew either on the phone or on the radio, limiting our patient assessment to a mental picture and voice communication,” states MedFlight Medical Director Dr. Howie Werman. “This telemedicine device allows the physician to see the patient, their symptoms, and their reaction to treatment, allowing for a better overall assessment during the transport phase.”
We will be tracking and surveying transports that include transport telemedicine with our transport debrief system that occurs at the completion of each MedFlight patient transport. This quick and easy 10-question survey will help the Telemedicine team at Wexner Medical Center evaluate the usefulness of this device in the intra-hospital transport setting.
We’re proud to work with The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center on this venture. This effort is only part of our constant drive to enhance patient care and recovery. Partners for Life.
MedFlight is proudly owned and preferred by both The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and OhioHealth.
– Caitlin Mazer, MedFlight Mobile ICU RN
By Tom Allenstein, President and Chief Executive Officer
This past April marked MedFlight’s 20th anniversary of serving Ohio! Entering this milestone gives us a time to reflect on all that has been accomplished since our two founding helicopter organizations, OSU SkyMed and GrantLifeFlight, merged in 1995.
Since that merger, we have seen expansion, contraction and changes in response to the needs of the communities we serve….
- We’ve seen the addition of Mobile Intensive Care Units (MICUs) to complement our helicopter fleet.
- We were invited into new markets outside of Central Ohio, including Akron and Cleveland, and we grew into eastern, southern, western, and northern Ohio.
- We added helicopters to serve our requestors better, with a total of 10 now based across Ohio.
- We entered into the 911 service arena, assisting Coshocton County EMS for nearly 10 years. We now fill service voids with MedCare, our own ALS/BLS ambulance service partnership.
- We developed our MedComm Communications Center to meet the need for highly professionalized dispatching needs across Ohio. MedComm has grown to also serve air medical transport programs in Indiana and West Virginia.
- Our education programs have grown to provide advanced training to thousands of paramedics, nurses and EMS workers across Ohio.
- We’ve seen the addition and then subsequent subtraction of a regional/national fixed-wing program, so we could better focus our assets in Ohio.
- We adopted the single-engine EC 130 helicopter fleet-wide, and entered into a new helicopter service partnership with Metro Aviation, Inc. This standardization increases safety, conserves precious healthcare dollars and positions us responsibly for the future.
Successfully executing our mission requires that we continuously earn and keep the trust of local firefighters, EMTs, law enforcement, hospital staff and the patients they serve. This trust has been validated by our daily work and our award-winning operations. In 2014 MedFlight was recognized as Program of the Year by the Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS). In 2012 we received the Vision Zero Safety Award , the highest industry award for air and ground critical care safety. Both awards are a testament to the dedication of the crewmembers, communicators, administrators and partner vendors that make up MedFlight.
To say the last 20 years have been an “up and down ride” would be an understatement. However, MedFlight has always responded to the ever-changing healthcare transport environment with an eye on excellence and professionalism, and we will continue to seek out new service opportunities that support our Patients Firstmission.
Long-time MedFlight Chief Operating Officer Tom Allenstein was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer upon the retirement of former President and CEO Rod Crane in December 2014.