Air Methods, an air medical service provider in the U.S., and Borrego Health, one of the nation’s largest Federally Qualified Health Centers, announced the opening of a new Mercy Air base at the Borrego Medical Clinic in Borrego Springs, California on September 1st. The base will support the care and transportation of critically ill and injured patients throughout rural northeast San Diego County, and become the twenty-first Air Methods-owned base in California.
Along with key medical personnel, Mercy Air employs certified pilots and mechanics to ensure the safe arrival of all patients. Known as “flying ICUs,” these aircraft feature state-of-the-art equipment and highly trained flight nurses and paramedics to provide the best possible prehospital care for patients during transport.
Officials from Borrego Health have long recognized the need for an air medical service in this remote desert region, where it can take more than an hour via ground transport to get critically ill or injured patients to a trauma center. Borrego Health began advocating for an air ambulance base in Borrego Springs three years ago, and has worked closely with Mercy Air and others to bring this critically needed service to Borrego Springs. The new base will enable a faster response to medical emergencies in the region. Air Methods has also entered into a community partnership agreement with the Borrego Valley Endowment Fund, a nonprofit organization dedicated to investing in high-quality, affordable healthcare, to deliver such care.
At a time when more than 85 million Americans live more than an hour’s drive from Level-1 or -2 trauma centers, there is an increasing demand for air medical services to ensure that patients have access to necessary care centers. With the continued consolidation of hospitals and the trend towards centers with specialized heart or neurological care, the clinical support and speed of missions is critical to giving patients the best possible outcomes.
“Establishing this base in Borrego Springs furthers our mission to provide critical care in the air for anyone who needs it,” said, William C. Hinton, RN, Area Manager with Air Methods - PacWest. “That need is apparent in Borrego Springs, and we are proud to partner with one of the nation’s largest and highest quality health care providers, Borrego Health, as well as the Borrego Valley Endowment Fund, to better serve the residents of this region.”
“Building a medical air base in Borrego Springs has been a long time passion project for Borrego Health. That’s why we’re so pleased to partner with Mercy Air in doubling down on our commitment to providing the highest quality of health care to our Borrego-based patients, with the addition of this game-changing, life-saving service,” said Mikia Wallis, CEO of Borrego Health.