Lloydminster — Patients requiring urgent transfers from Lloydminster Hospital will benefit from a more timely response, thanks to Husky Energy’s support for construction of a helicopter landing pad adjacent to the hospital.
Husky is contributing land, financial and other in-kind support. The Lloydminster Region Health Foundation (LRHF) is leading a fundraising campaign to pay for the remaining costs of about $200,000 for the nearly $350,000 project.
“The most significant impact of this project will be on the patients who are able to benefit from a more timely transfer with fewer handovers along the way,” said Scott Livingstone, chief executive officer of the Saskatchewan Health Authority on April 20.
“Thank you to Husky for its leadership in not only donating to the project, but in having the foresight and determination to plan, coordinate, and execute from beginning to end. We appreciate the work of the Lloydminster Region Health Foundation and community partners who are also pivotal in making this possible.”
Livingstone said the helipad will reduce the number of patient handovers between referring and receiving health care teams. While best efforts are made by the professionals involved in handing care of the patient to another team, the process carries inherent risks for the patient in the areas of communication between care teams and continuity of care for a critical patient. STARS transport via the helipad would reduce these risks to the patient and improve patient stability.
“In an emergency, time can be the difference between life and death. This helipad will provide a critical service to the people of Lloydminster and the surrounding area, allowing health care professionals to treat patients more quickly,” said Paul Zorgdrager, vice president of heavy oil operations. “We live and work in this community. We want to support initiatives like this that will help so many of our neighbours.”
An additional benefit from the project is that EMS ground ambulance crews will no longer need to transport aircrews to and from the Lloydminster airport, which is located 10 kilometers from the hospital. There will also be reduced time associated with ground transport to/from the hospital that will free up STARS crews for other priorities.
The Lloydminster Hospital is a 66-bed acute care hospital serving a referral population of approximately 72,000 people. The facility currently does not have a heliport; all patient transfers occur by ground EMS directly or by ground EMS to and from Lloydminster Airport, connecting to fixed wing air ambulance or STARS service.