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Mount St. Mary’s opens new helipad

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Bishop Michael W. Fisher speaks of St. Luke, himself a physician, as he blesses the new helipad at Mount St. Mary’s Hospital in Lewiston.

The faster a stroke victim gets to the hospital the better. Mount St. Mary Hospital’s new partnership with Mercy Flight speed up the response time for victims, improving chances for recovery.

 On Dec. 17, Bishop Michael W. Fisher blessed the new helipad at Mount St. Mary’s Hospital in Lewiston. The dedicated space in the parking lot will allow Mercy Flight to bring in patients in a fraction of the time an ambulance would take.

“Congratulations to Catholic Health, to Mount St. Mary’s Hospital here and Mercy Flight for this wonderful gift. We’re in the season of gift giving, particularly as we wait for that greatest gift – our Lord. What a gift to the community – the gift of life,” Bishop Fisher said.

In his blessing, the bishop quoted from Luke’s parable of the paralytic being lowered from a roof.

“I think we see in this Gospel narrative for us today it’s appropriate to our gathering. Here we have people who have always watched over the good and the care of others and that’s what we’re called to do as people of God. That’s why this hospital exists. And we give thanks for all of those who make it happen, particularly our doctors, our nurses, our technicians, our pilots. They have such difficult jobs these days and what we have here now is a path to life,” the bishop said.

Bishop Michael W. Fisher takes a peak inside the Mercy Flight helicopter which will be used to bring patients into Mount St. Mary Hospital faster than by car or ambulance.

Mount St. Mary’s has been named a Designated Stroke Center by the New York State Department of Health. Three neurologists trained in epilepsy and seizure work cover Mount St. Mary’s and Eastern Niagara Hospital 24/7. This is unprecedented in Catholic Health.

“Today is a great day for patients of Niagara County,” said Dr. Lee Gutterman, medical director of the neuroscience services for Catholic Health. “This really is a special place, and it’s becoming better in each passing week.” Gutterman said the helicopter services also allows patients to travel to other Catholic Health facilities if needed.

The helipad and Mount St. Mary’s new health center in Lockport increase Catholic Health’s services to Niagara County.

“This is going to be a wonderful addition to health care in Niagara County, helping to bring emergency services to a new level, and therefore be able to serve, not only the people here in Niagara County, but also to help to preserve jobs here in Niagara County too,” said Msgr. Robert Zapfel, chair of Catholic Health corporate members and religious sponsors.

Mercy Flight is an independent, not-for-profit provider of emergency and non-emergency air and ground medical transport and supporting services; ensuring rapid, safe and cost-effective delivery of expert response teams. Established in 1981, Mercy Flight has safely completed more than 26,000 patient missions over the last 36 years servicing all of Western New York, Northwestern Pennsylvania, Canada and beyond.

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