The first helicopter arrived at LewisGale Medical Center this week and landed on its newly constructed rooftop helipad. While no patients were transported during the first flight, Healthnet Aeromedical Services Base 9 flew LewisGale Regional Health System’s Chief of Staff, Steve Pasternak, M.D., from the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport to LewisGale Medical Center located on Electric Road in Salem.
“The new rooftop helipad at LewisGale Medical Center will enable our patients to receive more expedited care since travel via ambulance can be eliminated between our existing helipad and the emergency room entrance,” explains Pasternak. “This is another way we are able to demonstrate our commitment to exceptional quality care for our patients.”
The initial helipad was a concrete slab built when the hospital was constructed in 1972. The latest $3 million investment includes a three-story elevator shaft that accesses the Emergency Department, the Operating Room and another floor containing storage space and additional offices on the first floor.
Charles Perry Partners, Inc. (CPPI) started construction on the project during April 2018. Final approval was granted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) last week.
“As we continue to expand our services at LewisGale Medical Center to accommodate those patients throughout Southwest Virginia with more severe medical needs, we are seeing increased helicopter traffic at LewisGale,” according to Lance Jones, CEO and Market President.of LewisGale Regional Health System.
HealthNet is just one of the services that will frequent the new landing pad. Life-Guard, Wings Air Rescue, Air Evac Lifeteam, Pegasus, and Centra One will also use the rooftop landing area as the number of flights is expected to increase now that LewisGale can more easily accept Field responses.