EastCare's two helicopters serve eastern North Carolina. Photo by Cliff Hollis
(Dec. 5, 2000)
EastCare, the critical-care transport unit of Pitt County Memorial Hospital, has been named program of the year by the Association of Air Medical Services, the international body for air and ground medical transport systems.
This award recognizes the program that exemplifies the highest ideals of medical transport and demonstrates extraordinary commitment to meeting patient needs.
"This is the major award in our industry," said Dr. Ritu Sahni, EastCare medical director and assistant professor of emergency medicine at the Brody School of Medicine. "It speaks volumes about the commitment EastCare and our hospital have to providing care in the region. I'm really proud of our crew."
To be eligible, a program must have been in operation for at least five years in the air medical industry (rotor wing, fixed wing or both), be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems, be accident free for the previous 12 months and be a current voting member of AAMS.
EastCare met those criteria, and these additional milestones contributed to EastCare's selection: In 1993, EastCare was the fifth program in the nation and the first east of the Mississippi to be accredited by CAMTS.
In 1996, EastCare was the first program to be reaccredited by CAMTS for air medical services and was also the first program in the nation to be accredited for critical-care ground transport by CAMTS.
In 1999, EastCare flew more than 200 missions in a 10-day period following Hurricane Floyd. EastCare met regional needs for patients, staff, supply and equipment transport during the natural disaster.
This year, EastCare has received reaccreditation with commendation by CAMTS for air and ground transport.
EastCare began service in April 1985 and currently has two helicopters and five critical-care ground units in operation.
Pitt County Memorial Hospital, a 731-bed teaching hospital, is part of University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina and is affiliated with the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University.