State Grants WakeMed Approval for Air Ambulance Service

Executive from New Hanover hospital is hired to direct WakeMed's emergency services.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — WakeMed Health & Hospitals will soon be in the business of providing air ambulance service.

The state’s Division of Facility Services approved WakeMed’s certificate of need application for the service on Thursday. The hospital had filed for approval of the service in June of 2006.

WakeMed’s Raleigh Campus has the top-level designation for trauma services from the North Carolina Emergency Medical Systems Advisory Council.

According to the hospital, the air ambulance service will be focused on nine counties – Wake, Sampson, Harnett, Wilson, Wayne, Nash, Johnston, Franklin and Lee.

WakeMed plans to launch the service before the end of the year and projects more than 530 flights in the first year of operation.

The hospital network treats more than 1,000 critically ill or injured patients per month. It has a fleet of 14 vehicles and is adding another five this year.

To direct the growing emergency services, WakeMed has hired J. Edwin Woodard, Jr. as executive director and chief of emergency response services. He most recently was vice president and chief of emergency response services at New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington.

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