Oregon-based Life Flight Network takes over Northwest MedStar

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Life Flight Network, an Oregon-based air ambulance company, has purchased Northwest MedStar, a nonprofit air ambulance company run by Inland Northwest Heath Services in Spokane.

The merger of the two air ambulance companies gives Life Flight Network a monopoly on helicopter medical transport in Eastern Washing and North Idaho.

The financial terms of the merger, which was complete as of April 1, were not released.

Northwest MedStar has bases in Spokane, Tri-Cities, Moses Lake, Pullman and Brewster and in Missoula, Mont. All of its flights are conducted by Metro Aviation, Inc., which also has operational control of all Northwest MedStar aircraft.

Life Flight Network, which is the largest non-for-profit air medical service in the nation, is owned by a consortium of Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, Oregon Health & Science University, Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center and Providence Health & Services. Life Flight’s helicopter services are provided by Life Flight Network and its fixed-wing services are provided by Life Flight Network and Jackson Jet Center. Life Flight has 16 bases across Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana.

Aviation Services provided by Metro Aviation to existing Northwest MedStar bases will continue through a transition period, officials said.

With the merger, Providence, which owns Inland Northwest Heath Services in Spokane, will increase its stake in Life Flight as one of the four nonprofit hospitals to own the service.

Officials said the collaboration will create an expanded, hospital-owned and community-based company built on a foundation of safety, customer service and clinical excellence.

“Similar to how Northwest MedStar was formed more than two decades ago, this collaboration takes best practices from each program to create a broader, more comprehensive air medical service,” said Nancy Vorhees, chief administrative officer for MedStar and INHS.

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Mary Coffman

Mary Coffman

Mary Coffman has been a reporter for more than two decades, winning numerous journalism awards throughout her career. She was the editor at Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business for 8 years.

View all posts by Mary Coffman