University of Michigan's Survival Flight to take over air ambulance service for St. Joseph Mercy Health System
The University of Michigan Health System’s Survival Flight service will provide emergency medical helicopters for St. Joseph Mercy Health System’s seven southeastern Michigan hospitals, beginning in September, the health systems announced today.
The elimination of St. Joseph Mercy’s Medflight program means 18 full- and part-time employees, and another six contract employees, will lose their jobs.
“We’re looking for opportunities for staff at both health systems,” said Kevin DiCola, a spokesman for St. Joseph Mercy Health System.
University of Michigan photo
The move will save St. Joseph Mercy Health System $1.6 million per year.
Midwest Medflight operates one helicopter, which is leased, DiCola said. The helicopter made about 450 flights last year.
Survival Flight has three helicopters as well as a Cessna Citation fixed-wing aircraft.
Tony Denton, chief operating officer of the U-M Hospitals and Health Centers, said Survival Flight's existing staff and equipment can absorb the extra trips.
"It allows us to make the best use of our current resources," he said of the service arrangement.
Patients will continue to be billed for flights, Denton said. The cost of a Survival Flight trip varies, he said, declining to provide a range.
Denton said U-M Hospitals expect revenue gains with the expansion of Survival Flight.