ThedaStar Air Medical, based at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah, has recently completed an extensive reaccreditation process to ensure the continued safety and quality of care that is provided by the program. Completing this accreditation process demonstrates ThedaStar’s commitment to work collaboratively with ThedaCare, PHI Air Medical, LLC and regional partners to provide coordinated care to communities.
The Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems, also known as CAMTS,
evaluated the program’s compliance with established safety and quality standards.
“CAMTS is a voluntary peer-review organization,” explained Kirk Vandenberg, ThedaStar Manager. “CAMTS has established evidence-based standards of performance. These standards focus on improving the quality of patient care and providing a safe transport environment. They also ensure our team is well-trained and has the equipment they need to provide excellent care.”
The CAMTS accreditation is valid for up to a three-year period, and ThedaStar has earned accreditation certifications in 2015, 2018 and 2021. Vandenberg said the accreditation process holds ThedaStar accountable to the standards. Prior to CAMTS on-site review, the organization requests records from the past few years to better understand how a program is meeting or exceeding standards.
“These are standards we practice every day,” said Vandenberg. “We’re very proud of our team members for their dedication to best practices, allowing us to provide quality care for those in Northeast and Central Wisconsin.”
ThedaStar’s team consists of flight nurses, critical care paramedics, pilots, mechanics, and communications specialists. The nurses and paramedics have minimum pre-hire experience requirements, and require advanced certifications and education in critical care, trauma, and transport. Communications specialists receive training specific to air medical transport.
The pilots and mechanics are employed by PHI Air Medical, LLC, who provide the helicopter and aviation support. All team members are ready to respond at a moment’s notice, explained Vandenberg.
“ThedaStar’s success relies on a team approach,” he said. “We work closely with EMS, fire departments, law enforcement, and other health care systems. It takes a coordinated effort to provide patients with the best possible care, and we’re just one small part of the patient care continuum.”
Celebrating 35 Years of Care
The CAMTS reaccreditation comes the same year ThedaStar is also celebrating its 35th year of providing air medical care. Since 1986, ThedaStar has transported more than 15,000 patients while serving the communities throughout Northeast and Central Wisconsin.
“Thanks to hospital leaders, physicians and community support, ThedaCare established the ThedaStar program in June 1986,” said Vandenberg. “When ThedaStar launched, it was the third air ambulance program in the state and the only one north of Milwaukee or Madison.”
ThedaStar provides helicopter transports for critically ill or injured patients. The majority of patients are transported from local or regional hospitals to specialized care services at ThedaCare hospitals or other tertiary care centers. The smaller portion of patients are transferred directly from incident scenes to the closest appropriate hospital.
“Over the years there have been many advancements in equipment and technology, including the helicopter, that have improved safety for our team and the care we provide to our patients,” said Vandenberg. “Our team members are proud to offer coordinated care to improve patient outcomes.”
To learn more about ThedaStar, the aircraft, map of the service area and other information, please visit thedacare.org/about-us/thedastar/.
For more than 110 years, ThedaCare® has been committed to improving the health of the communities it serves in northeast and central Wisconsin. The organization delivers care to more than 600,000 residents in 17 counties and employs approximately 7,000 health care professionals. ThedaCare has 180 points of care, including seven hospitals. As an organization committed to being a leader in Population Health, team members are dedicated to empowering people to live their best lives through easy access to individualized care, supporting each person’s own health and wellbeing. ThedaCare also partners with communities to understand unique needs, finding solutions together, and encouraging health awareness and action. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care
Network Member, giving specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a not-for-profit health system with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs, as well as primary care.
For more information, visit thedacare.org or follow ThedaCare on social media. Members of the media should call Cassandra Wallace, Public and Media Relations Consultant at 920.442.0328 or the ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah switchboard at 920.729.3100 and ask for the marketing person on call.