Partnership aims to improve critical care for young patients

UW Medicine, MultiCare Health System designate Airlift Northwest to serve pediatric and newborn patients needing air transport. 

UW Medicine and MultiCare Health System have signed an agreement making Airlift Northwest the preferred air transport service for pediatric patients needing care at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital and neonatal patients needing care at MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital in Tacoma, Wash. 

As part of the agreement, Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital pediatric critical care transport team and Tacoma General Hospital’s neonatal critical care transport team will accompany Airlift Northwest staff to provide critical care on flights transporting pediatric and neonatal patients between hospitals across the state.

Airlift Northwest interim executive director Jeff Richey describes the partnership as being “the latest development in decades of collaboration between our organizations. Combining the expertise in neonatal clinical care and air medical transport means providing the most rapid, high quality care for those in greatest need. We are proud to work together to provide better outcomes for our pediatric patients in Western Washington and beyond.”

“Neonatal babies, children and adolescents across Washington will now have better and faster access to the specialized pediatric care at Mary Bridge Children’s,” said Jeff Poltawsky, president of Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital.

The Mary Bridge Children’s and Tacoma General transport teams currently provide ground transportation for pediatric and neonatal patients in Western Washington. The partnership with Airlift Northwest enhances Mary Bridge’s and Tacoma General’s ability to serve Washington and means families in Eastern Washington communities such as Yakima, Tri-Cities and Spokane can quickly access the expertise at Mary Bridge and Tacoma General hospitals. Tacoma General has the only Level IV NICU in Southwest Washington. 

“We are honored to expand our partnership with Airlift Northwest, which is similarly focused on ensuring kids in our communities get the health care services they need,” said Laureen Driscoll, RN, president of Tacoma General Hospital.

MultiCare recently signed a Preferred Provider Agreement with Airlift Northwest to ensure that patients who need care at a MultiCare hospital had appropriate transportation. This is one example of how UW Medicine and MultiCare Health System are working together as part of an alliance announced in 2017 to expand access to high-quality health care and allow the two organizations to engage in joint activities to further the mission of each organization. The two health systems also worked together to create clinically integrated network called Embright.

Media contacts:

  • UW Medicine - Susan Gregg, 206.616.6730 (office), 206.390.3226 (cell),
  • MultiCare Health System - Marce Edwards, 253.222.5850, 

[Editor's note: The original item incorrectly stated that the Mary Bridge Pediatric Transport team the only hospital-based, pediatric transport team in the state to offer ground and air transport. Seattle Children's also has this capability.]

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