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Novant Health's EMS, AirLink/VitaLink departments roll out rebranded vehicles

Departments providing emergency/911 and critical care transport have aligned under a broader mission: Mobile Integrated Health

WILMINGTON, N.C. – The ambulances that provide 911 services in New Hanover County and serve critically ill and injured patients transferred between regional hospitals are sporting a new look.

The first of 50-plus ambulances have been repainted to reflect New Hanover Regional Medical Center joining Novant Health, and the exteriors include a phrase that may be new to the community: Mobile Integrated Health.

This umbrella term acknowledges the comprehensive patient care services provided by our award-winning Novant Health New Hanover EMS and Novant Health AirLink/VitaLink critical care transport teams. Through their affiliation with a health care system, our Mobile Integrated Health teams have grown their care capabilities and the scope of services. For example:

  • Mobile Integrated Health provides a robust community paramedics program, which offers care to eligible patients after they are discharged from the hospital. Community paramedics build relationships with patients with a new diagnosis or ongoing health challenges and ensure at-home access to care and resources to support their recovery and avoid preventable return trips to the hospital.
  • The team significantly expanded its telemedicine offerings during the COVID-19 pandemic. In partnership with hospital-based emergency medicine physicians, EMS teams began offering select patients the option to have a virtual visit with a hospital provider. These virtual visits, which follow a thorough assessment and are facilitated by the EMS team, ensure patients receive prompt care while avoiding unnecessary visits to the hospital. In certain cases involving children, AirLink and VitaLink teams also use telemedicine to connect with receiving hospital physicians to expedite the initiation of pediatric-ICU-level care.
  • Both EMS and AirLink/VitaLink have been recognized for their efforts to rapidly identify time-sensitive medical and traumatic emergencies. For example, the teams have systems of care to support rapid care of heart attack patients. As part of the protocol, our teams promptly notify the medical center and trigger a response from the awaiting hospital care team. Our EMS teams are a leader in cardiac arrest resuscitation. Meanwhile, AirLink helicopters continue to carry units of blood for patients experiencing hemorrhagic shock. And all critical care transport teams offer life-saving intravenous antibiotics to increase survival rates for patients with dangerous sepsis infections.

"Our paramedics, emergency medical technicians and nurses provide a phenomenal level of care to our community," said Rick O'Donnell, administrator of Novant Health's Mobile Integrated Health division. "Our professional, compassionate teams are caring for patients before and after hospital stays, and are supporting patients as part of their overall coordinated health care team. We are proud that our affiliation with a large health system helps us better meet the needs of our patients and the community."

Rebranding timeline

Over the coming months, all ambulances and critical care transport vehicles/aircraft, are being rebranded. All vehicles and aircraft are being updated on a schedule to ensure enough are operating to serve the community.

"These newly branded Mobile Integrated Health vehicles continue to be staffed by dedicated teams providing the same high level of care they always have," said O'Donnell. "We want the community to be familiar with the new look so they can get accustomed to seeing these vehicles on the road or responding to medical calls."

Mobile Integrated Health by the numbers

  • Combined, coastal region Mobile Integrated Health teams travel more than 2 million miles and respond to over 75,000 requests for service each year.
  • Throughout New Hanover County, New Hanover EMS deploys 18 ambulances and two quick response vehicles to respond to 911 calls at any given time, and five community paramedics are making house calls.
  • AirLink helicopters are stationed 24/7 in Brunswick, Columbus and Onslow counties. The teams are staffed by a pilot, critical care registered nurse, and a critical care paramedic.
  • An average of 20 VitaLink crews operate in the seven-county area in and around Wilmington each day, bringing high-quality care ranging from convalescent to intensive-level care to the patient’s bedside based on the individual’s specific needs.
Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2022