Huntington Hospital is flying high.
The town board on Tuesday approved a license agreement with the hospital to use a portion of the town’s parking facility adjoining Mill Dam Park as a helipad. The agreement spans from August to July 31, 2017.
With the helipad, the hospital will be air-transporting, via helicopter, patients in need of urgent or emergent care to the most appropriate health care facility to address their needs. The hospital will also transport “harvested organs to and from the Huntington Hospital,” according to the town board resolution.
“North Shore – LIJ Health System has developed a new air medical service program called SkyHealth, which is staffed by highly skilled medical professionals,” Randolph Howard, vice president of operations at Huntington Hospital said in a statement through a hospital spokeswoman. “Developing a heliport in Huntington provides a key location from which SkyHealth can transport critically ill patients who require immediate medical transportation. Through this heliport, SkyHealth will provide a vital service to the residents of the greater Huntington area.”
James Margolin, an attorney with the firm Margolin & Margolin, said the helipad already exists, but it is in need of an upgrade — one that the hospital will undertake.
“We thank the town board for its continuing commitment to getting the lifesaving community service into effect,” he said.
SkyHealth is a partnership with Yale New Haven Health in Connecticut and the North Shore- LIJ Health System. Patients of both health systems in need of lifesaving care for major traumas, heart attack, stroke and other life-threatening brain injuries will receive emergency medical care by helicopter and be quickly flown to the most appropriate hospital, according to the North Shore-LIJ Health System’s website.
The helicopter would be staffed with a nurse, a critical care paramedic, all certified in New York and Connecticut, and a pilot. That would be the “standard crew,” according to Gene Tangney, senior vice president and chief administrative officer of North Shore-LIJ in a SkyHealth promotional video.
Huntington Hospital will pay the town $14,062 upon the execution of the license agreement, and another $14,062 at the end of the agreement, according to the resolution.
Councilwoman Tracey Edwards (D) requested quarterly reports from the hospital to ensure the volume is “consistent with what we agreed upon.” Margolin agreed to the request.