One such program — Mountain Area Medical Airlift (MAMA) in North Carolina – is now a wholly owned department of HCA Healthcare. Other operators have been long-term partners: These include AirLife Denver in Colorado; Medical City Healthcare, Methodist AirCare and HCA Houston Healthcare AIRLIFE in Texas; HealthStar One specialty transport team in Missouri; SkyLife in Tennessee; and AirCare Eagle in Virginia.
Staffed by more than 500 highly trained HCA Healthcare colleagues, from nurses to paramedics, these programs are responsible for transporting some 90,000 patients annually (combined air and ground). Patients often require critical care, from neonatal care to treatment for a heart attack.
“That, to me, is the true core of transport: moving super-sick patients who need extended quality of care in a safe and efficient manner,” says Brian M. Leonard, MBA, director, Business Operations, AirLife Denver, who has more than a decade of experience in the field. “That’s how I look at it.”
“My role on the operations side is to either find resources or remove obstacles to let our teams be successful,” Brian adds. “It’s really the people: the front-line clinicians, the EMTs, the pilots, the mechanics and the communications specialists.”
Based on the success of these programs, HCA Healthcare is exploring opportunities to expand its transport capabilities, says Jessica Layne Picanzo, MSN, EMT-P, CFRN, CMTE, the newly appointed director of Enterprise Emergency Operations and Medical Transport. “As we continue to grow, we continue to add different air medical programs as well as ground programs.”