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News: Flight For Life – 25th Anniversary

Centegra is proud to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Flight For Life – Northern Illinois. Flight For Life, which began in May 1987 at Northern Illinois Medical Center in McHenry, provides quick-response air transportation for emergency situations.

When the program began, it consisted of only a Bell 206 Long Ranger helicopter with a small flight office connected to the Emergency Department. Now, the base boasts a separate, state-of-the-art facility, as well as an impressive BK 117 A-4 aircrafts, which will be in service in 2008.

The nonprofit emergency helicopter program serves residents of McHenry, Lake and DuPage counties, as well as southeastern Wisconsin. Centegra is only one of seven hospital systems in Illinois to have an on-site air medical transport helicopter service.

“Flight For Life is an integral part of the services that Centegra provides because it allows patients to get emergency care quickly,” says Laura Preston, executive director of Emergency Services for Centegra. “It may take an hour or more to get to an emergency care facility via ground transport that can be reached by air in a matter of minutes.”

The success of Flight For Life has been achieved through the hard work and dedication of staff, crew and partnership agencies.

“Several people within Centegra, including emergency physician George Gallant, MD, and Bill Riggs, director of security, had the vision and determination to bring this vital service to the community, and their hard work has impacted and saved many lives over the past 20 years,” says Michael S. Eesley, Centegra president and CEO.