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Bell 407 will support Mercy Flights on Pacific US
Hospital systems in southern Oregon are providing more advanced care, so patients are staying local for treatment. This puts pressure on transport, now partly alleviated by a Bell 407 based with Mercy Flights.
The Bell 407 GXi will support medical transport operations in southern Oregon.

US aeromedical non-profit organisation Mercy Flights has purchased a new helicopter to support the growing medical transportation needs in southern Oregon and northern California. The new Bell 407 GXi aircraft will commence patient transport operations from Mercy Flights headquarters in Medford by the beginning of February, pending FAA approval.

The decision to add a rotor wing aircraft to the Mercy Flights fleet followed an extensive community needs assessment, including input from the flight team and healthcare and community partners, as well as access to a special non-profit financing option from the Oregon Facilities Authority.

“When we looked carefully at the current and future needs of our neighbours and our health care partners, it was clear that a new helicopter was the answer to enhance the care and service we provide for our communities," says CEO Sheila Clough. "The special loan rates will allow us to expand our fleet while maintaining affordable memberships and services."

According to Clough, who served as CEO for Asante Ashland before joining Mercy Flights in June 2020, southern Oregon hospital systems are becoming more advanced in the level of care they provide.

“More patients are staying in southern Oregon for advanced or tertiary hospital care. This is incredibly good news for all of us who live here. It also means that the demand for medical transports is changing," she continues. "We anticipate, in the near future, fewer flights to bigger cities like Portland and Seattle because our local healthcare partners are providing incredible care right here at home. What we need in our region is additional capacity for transport to and between facilities.”

Due the rural nature of southern Oregon, Clough explains that an additional helicopter is the best solution for responding to more remote medical transport requests. And to honour the company's southern Oregon roots, and founder George Milligan, Clough partnered with board member and Milligan's granddaughter Pirkko Terao and her family to select tail number N973MF to signify George's year of retirement with the FAA.

Mercy Flights continues to invest in the health and wellbeing of our southern Oregon and northern California communities," says Clough. “As the only non-profit air and ground medical transport company in Oregon, our decisions to invest in new equipment and technology are measured and thoughtful. We don't make them alone, we collaborate with our skilled team members, our board of directors and our valued community to grow with the needs of our neighbours, friends and families. We're here for the long haul.”

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