Introducing SkyHealth - an ICU in the Sky


With the new SkyHealth Helicopter Emergency Medical Service in place, patients can access the sophisticated care offered at Lenox Hill Hospital even when medical needs arise well outside our typical service area.

In November 2014, the North Shore-LIJ Center for Emergency Medical Services began offering transportation via a specially equipped Eurocopter EC135 helicopter to patients in need of advanced intervention.

Meeting a Need

“There was a critical need for a faster transport option — traffic in New York can be unpredictable and drastically increase the amount of time it takes for patients to reach the help they need,” said Jonathan Washko, Assistant Vice President of Operations at the North Shore-LIJ Center for Emergency Medical Services. “SkyHealth reduces the time it takes to reach Lenox Hill Hospital from outlying areas. It can travel at 130 miles per hour and allows us to bring intensive care to patients.”

Reaching New Heights

SkyHealth is much more than a means of transportation. A certified critical care nurse and critical care paramedic staff each flight, and specialty care providers can be tapped to respond if the situation calls for them.

“The helicopter itself is outfitted with equipment beyond what you would find in a standard ambulance or even in many smaller community health care facilities,” Mr. Washko said. “We’re capable of continuing or initiating treatment as soon as we reach patients and rapidly transporting them to the North Shore-LIJ Health System facility of their choice.”

Specialty equipment and supplies found onboard the helicopter include a ventilator for those who have trouble breathing, a balloon pump to maintain the heart function of heart attack patients, medications that can be administered en route, and equipment specifically designed for pregnant women and young children, including a fetal heart rate monitor and a stand-alone incubator for premature infants.

Patients can request transport to the hospital of their choice. SkyHealth serves areas within 150 miles of New York City and can land at the 34th Street heliport in Manhattan for easy access to Lenox Hill Hospital. Qualifying flights are covered by insurance.

For more information about the SkyHealth program, visit flyskyhealth.com. Watch a video about SkyHealth below.

“If you are summering in the Hamptons, visiting upstate or staying in Connecticut, SkyHealth is a safe way to rapidly connect you to the specialty services and advanced lifesaving capabilities found at Lenox Hill Hospital.”

— Jonathan Washko, Assistant Vice President of Operations at the North Shore-LIJ Center for Emergency Medical Services

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