Health care options are improving

Published 10:25 am Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Health care in Lawrence County took a big step forward earlier this year when St. Mary’s Medical Center opened its Ironton campus. Now the community took another leap — or, more precisely, a flight — with the addition of a new helicopter service.

Air Evac Lifeteam, touted as the nation’s largest independently-owned and operated air ambulance service, will have a new base near the St. Mary’s center. Air Evac’s crews provide on-the-scene medical care, rapid medical transport and transfers between medical facilities.

The Ironton helicopter base is expected to employ 12 to 15 people and serve communities within a 70-mile radius.

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Having this service here in Lawrence County will, without question, save lives. Providing quality care in the most dire of situations and having access to the fastest and best transportation is absolutely vital.

It may sound cliche, but seconds could be the difference between life and death.

When Ironton and Lawrence County lost its only hospital more than 10 years ago, it was a huge blow for the community’s pride as well as the quality of health care available right here in the county.

Both of those are improving almost daily as a variety of agencies focus on offering options and care.