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When every second counts...Ornge helps SMH save lives.

The call could come from anywhere, anytime, anyplace. When seconds count, Ornge (Ontario’s provider of air ambulance and related services) will be there to help Stevenson Memorial Hospital (SMH) save lives.

As a small community hospital, I can’t stress enough the importance of our helipad and the vital service that Ornge provides to the people in our community,” says Jody Levac, President and CEO of Stevenson Memorial Hospital. If a patient is critically ill, we will perform the necessary critical interventions to stabilize them and contact CritiCall Ontario to assist us in providing access to urgent and emergency care at the next available ICU bed in a trauma centre or regional hospital. Ornge will then transport the patient to the appropriate facility.”  

Ornge is the largest air ambulance and critical care land ambulance fleet in Canada and performs over 21,000 patient-related transports per year.

At Stevenson Memorial Hospital:

  • Fifty-seven patients (21 by air) have been transported by Ornge to date in 2018, 115 (35 by air) in 2017 and 89 (33 by air) in 2016.
  • The top five types of patients being transported are Respiratory, Trauma, Neurologic or GI/Abdominal patients.
  • The top five receiving facilities of patients from SMH overall are Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Southlake Regional Health Centre, North York General Hospital, Saint Michael’s Hospital and The Hospital for Sick Children.

In 2018, SMH is grateful to have received a $200,000 Hospital Energy Efficiency Program (HEEP) grant, part of which was used to upgrade our helipad with a new lighting system. This fully automated in-ground light system can be controlled by the pilots and has replaced the manual system we had in place, thereby reducing overall labour costs and facilitating the faster and smoother transfer of critical patients.

Emergencies are unpredictable by nature, so depending on the circumstances, SMH may go a week or two without an air transport call or have multiple calls at the same time.

For example, on June 8th, there was a multiple vehicle accident in our region and the four drivers involved in the accident were transported to Stevenson, three of which were in critical condition. Within 90 minutes, all patients were stabilized and three patients were transported by air and land ambulance to available beds at Toronto trauma centres.

"In situations such as this, Sunnybrook is pleased to partner with community hospitals like Stevenson Memorial Hospital as they play such a critical role in our trauma system," says Dr. Avery Nathens, Medical Director of Sunnybrook's Tory Trauma Program. "Working together helps save lives and creates a safety net around the province; one that helps people get back to their communities and lives as soon as possible." 

“Bottom line, Ornge saves lives. If you or a loved one ever needs critical care, having a helipad at our hospital and access to Ornge could make all the difference,” says Jody Levac.