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Beacon Health Transport expands to meet increasing demand

SOUTH BEND — Growing demand for the highly skilled ambulance and MedFlight crews of Beacon Health Transport, which provide hospital-level care for patients transferring to Memorial Hospital from across the region, has resulted in the expansion of Beacon’s ambulance service.

“We’re currently seeing demand for more of our specialized teams and vehicles to meet the needs of our community,” said Larry Tracy, President, Memorial Hospital. “We expect that in a short amount of time, our interfacility transports will increase tenfold, from about 600 per year to 6,000. To enhance the quality, safety and timeliness of patient transport regionally, we are growing our Beacon Health Transport service.”

  • Five new ambulances will be put into service through October. Two of these ambulances will be housed at Beacon Granger Hospital, which opens this fall.
  • Beacon Health Transport will see a 73 percent increase in positions as new team members fill 60 new positions, adding to the current team of 82 people.
  • A new, adult critical care ground transport service will also be added.

“The adult critical care ambulance will be a new service for our community, allowing us to bring Intensive Care Unit-level services to the patient bedside, including any of our 35 referring hospitals in the region,” said Dr. Keith Sherry, Emergency Medicine Physician and Medical Director for Beacon Health Transport.

Currently, Beacon Health Transport includes:

  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Ground Transport
  • Pediatric Ground Transport
  • Maternal Ground Transport
  • MedFlight – Critical Care Air Transport for NICU, children and adults. In addition to interfacility patient transports, MedFlight crews also perform scene responses for motor vehicle collisions, falls and trauma.

Through the generosity of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, its Four Winds® Casinos and sponsors of the Four Winds Invitational for donations to Beacon Children’s Hospital and Beacon transport vehicles over the past eight years. Since the tournament began, it has raised over $600,000 for Beacon Children’s Hospital.

“A guiding principle of the Pokagon Band is its commitment to the health and security of families and children,” said Pokagon Chairman Matthew Wesaw. “Our long-term partnership with Beacon Health System aligns with our values, and we are proud to support their hard working, dedicated, and caring team.”

Thanks to the friendship and support of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and the all of the sponsors of the Four Winds Invitational, Beacon has significantly enhanced its ability to care for community transport patients, Tracy said.

“From a state-of-the-art Pediatric Ground Transport ambulance and advanced equipment for our vehicles – including power lifts for two ambulances and a NICU incubator, portable ultrasound, and radios for MedFlight – we are truly grateful,” he said.

On behalf of the entire Beacon Health System family, we want to congratulate the Pokagon Band citizens on the 25th anniversary of the reaffirmation of their sovereignty.