MedStar Health celebrates 40 years of MedStar Transport Air Medical Services.


In the year Expanding since 1983, the hospital-based transport service has rounded up and transported nearly 100,000 patients by air and ground ambulance in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Columbia, MD., June 28, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — MedStar Health is celebrating the foundational and enduring legacy of MedStar Transport, which pioneered life-saving air medivac service 40 years ago.

It’s on July 3, 1983, MedSTAR Transport Pioneering hospital-based air medical services at Washington DCFlying from the area of ​​the first critical care patient Prince William County, Virginiafor the hospital now known as MedStar Washington Hospital Center. Since then, the program has grown to four air ambulance helicopters, ten ground ambulance fleets, a dedicated communications center, and approximately 120 medical providers, flight crew members, communications specialists and other patient care teams. – Atlantic region and more for 40 years.

“It’s an amazing development and an amazing achievement,” he said. M. Joy DrassMD, executive vice president and chief operating officer of MedStar Health, who also served as the program’s first medical director and flew with the crew on the first MedSTAR transport flight. According to Dr. Drass, the first patient suffered a spinal cord injury and required urgent intervention at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and later rehabilitation services at what is now MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital.

“It’s really a good example of how Medstar transport goes beyond ambulances and helicopters,” Dr. Drass said. “It’s a system of care that gives patients hope for everything they need for their journey.”

“As medical director of our air and ground teams, I am thrilled to be a part of this critical service that continues to grow with MedStar Health’s full support so patients can get the care they need, when they need it,” he said. MedSTAR Transport Medical Director J. Matthew SasserMD. “Long before I started working for MedStar Health, I asked MedStar Transport to transport critical patients who needed more intensive care than my hospitals could provide. Their teams demonstrated professionalism then and we still do today.”

The cornerstone of care

Today, the service cares for about 6,000 patients a year, most of whom start at community hospitals in the region and require a high level of care. In addition to MedStar Washington Hospital Center and local community hospitals, MedStar Health hospitals with helipads where MedSTAR transports can land and take off with patients include:

  • MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
  • MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
  • MedStar Montgomery Medical Center
  • MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center
  • MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital
  • MedStar Union Memorial Hospital

Because MedStar Health relies on MedStar Transport – a 40% increase in transport volume – patient transport has become critical during the Covid-19 pandemic to distribute critically ill patients across the health system. The service’s sophisticated communication and transfer center and the newly appointed triple officer system have ensured that all patients with medical conditions receive the necessary support by preventing any individual hospitals from being overburdened. As a result, MedStar Health cares for one in four of the region’s Covid-19 patients.

“The pandemic was the best we’ve ever seen, but it stretched us to be better,” Dr. Drass said. “Today, health care is delivered in many different places. MedSTAR Transport is a safety net that allows us to move patients, if necessary, even when they need higher care. It is a distributed care delivery network and an integral part. The foundations of our MedStar Health System.”

The light of hope

Initially, MedSTAR Transport emphasized the response to critical accident and injury scenes to treat and transport trauma patients. Washington DC, location. Four decades later, the program still transfers patients from emergency situations to nearby Level 1 trauma. The most famous example of this was when the Medstar Transport Air Ambulance was one of the first medvac helicopters to land at the Pentagon during the 9/11 attacks to rescue injured personnel. Medstar Transport was the only civilian medivac program allowed to continue its critical mission in this region during the national airspace shutdown.

Over the years, thousands of patients have loved it Kevin Brooks69, of Annapolis, give thanks to the now familiar blue and yellow air and ground transport vehicles, as well as the brave healthcare heroes who use them to provide life-saving services. In the year In 2021, when a local musician suffered a heart attack on a boat during a Fourth of July celebration on the Chesapeake Bay, MedSTAR Transport took him to MedStar Washington Hospital Center, where he received critical care.

“When you see that yellow and blue, helicopter, you know somebody’s lucky out there,” Brooks said. “I want to say thank you to the staff – Ron, Mike and Scott – for helping us get through those difficult times. MedSTAR Transport is the reason I am able to get the care I need when I need it. From the bottom of my healing heart, thank you.”

Devon Hall, 29, was transported to MedStar Health’s Curtis National Hand Center, the state’s only hand trauma center, after a machine accident at work left his hand ‘dislocated’ and three fingers amputated. There, from the 9th floor helipad at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, he can reach the operating room in critical minutes.

“They were focused on taking care of me and getting me there as quickly as possible,” Hall said. “I can’t imagine how long it would take to drive to Curtis National Hand Center or what my recovery would be like. I want to thank the staff.”

Industrial creator

The standard configuration of a MedSTAR Transport crew consists of a pilot, a critical care nurse and a critical care paramedic trained to provide full critical care and comprehensive patient services. Additional staff – including a physician and respiratory therapist – may be added as needed.

As healthcare technology has improved since 1983, MedStar Transportation staff now require higher levels of training to provide the highest standards of care by air and road. For example, MedSTAR Transport now routinely manages patients requiring advanced respiratory therapy such as high-flow nasal oxygen and APRV, Intra-Aortic Balloon Pumps, Ventricular Assist Devices, Impellas, ECMO and more. Adapting these traditionally hospital-based transport therapies has translated into better care for patients suffering from severe respiratory illness during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I came to MedSTAR Transportation because it’s a unique environment that allows for the opportunity to grow in many different directions,” he said. Kayla Lynch, RN, BSN, Director of Nursing Professional Development for MedSTAR Transportation. “Educationally and professionally, you’re working with clinicians who challenge you to do better and provide better care, which is a really great service to our community. MedSTAR Transport has a very strong legacy, and that will be very important as we begin to figure out how to build a bigger and better MedSTAR Transport in the future.” look at.

Going forward, MedSTAR Transportation plans to realize the full and growing potential of medical transportation by expanding its ground medvac program, maintaining its historic air service, ensuring new career advancement opportunities for its employees, and providing even higher standards to regional communities. Service.

Whether its employees save lives in the air, on the ground or elsewhere, MedStar Transportation knows that the next 40 years of continued success will begin with professionals willing to do what it takes to push the boundaries of mobile healthcare – the same spirit that transformed the healthcare industry in 1983.

“It was a very exciting time,” he said Wade SmithA 40-year-old former flight paramedic who served on the first flight of the MedSTAR transport. “They’re still fun times. That’s why I’m still doing it.”

Visit This link MedSTAR Transport video package featuring aerial and ground b-roll footage and interviews for download.

Visit This link To download historical photos for use in publications.

For more information about MedSTAR Transport, visit:

Source MedStar Health


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