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IU Health LifeLine celebrates 35 years of safe medical transports

IU Health LifeLine – Indiana's largest air and ground medical transport service – celebrates its 35th year and more than 100,000 safe transports

  • IU Health LifeLine celebrates 35 years of safe medical transports
  • IU Health LifeLine celebrates 35 years of safe medical transports
  • IU Health LifeLine celebrates 35 years of safe medical transports
  • IU Health LifeLine celebrates 35 years of safe medical transports

| IndianapolisTo celebrate three-and-a-half decades and its record of 100,000 lifesaving emergency transports, Indiana University Health LifeLine has invited the community to a special celebration on Wednesday, October 29, featuring a blood drive, an interactive open house and a special dedication ceremony.

The celebration is taking place at the IU Health and IU School of Medicine Simulation Center at Fairbanks Hall, located at 340 W. 10th Street in Indianapolis. The event, which runs from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., will be comprised of interactive tours of IU Health LifeLine’s newest vehicles and training areas, a blood drive and a special dedication ceremony beginning at 2:15 p.m. 

The dedication ceremony will feature remarks from patients, medical staff and hospital leaders who will discuss IU Health LifeLine's past, present and future. The ceremony will also feature a ribbon-cutting, unveiling one of the emergency transport service’s newest vehicles – a mobile intensive care unit donated by special guest and renowned philanthropist Myrta Pulliam. “Collectively, donors have contributed nearly $1 million to the LifeLine program over the years,” says Kevin Armstrong, president of Methodist Health Foundation. “This is a great time to recognize our donors and to be able to see, touch and learn about the impact of their gifts.”

The interactive open house portion of the event will give attendees an opportunity to tour IU Health LifeLine's air and ground medical transport vehicles and to participate in demonstrations and simulated training exercises showing how the medical transport service uses next-generation mobile emergency tracking apps, ultrasound technology and audio-visual tools like Google Glass to assist communication between emergency transport crews in the field and medical teams based at the hospital. 

The October 29 event is the grand finale of a series of community celebrations IU Health LifeLine has hosted during the month of October at some of its bases across the state. The goal for each celebration is to educate the public about IU Health LifeLine, to thank the community for their support and to generate donations to Methodist Health Foundation to help equip the service's transport vehicles with the latest technologies to better serve patients within its coverage area. 

"We're celebrating 35 years of IU Health LifeLine's service to the community. But we're also expressing our gratitude to everyone who has supported IU Health LifeLine, helping us to grow and evolve over the years to better meet the needs of patients," said Teri Grau, director of IU Health LifeLine.

IU Health LifeLine—one of the nation's largest hospital-based medical transport services—originally took flight in 1979, becoming Indiana's first established air medical transportation service provider. IU Health Methodist Hospital created the LifeLine emergency service in response to the need to transport individuals with serious injuries from the scene to a hospital as quickly and as safely as possible. A few years prior, in 1977, Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health launched the state’s first ground transport service dedicated to transporting pediatric critical care patients. The two programs came together in 2005 to form what is now known as IU Health LifeLine, which cares for critical care patients of all ages, by air and ground.

Now, 35 years and 100,000 safe transports later, IU Health LifeLine has expanded to a fleet of six of the industry's most advanced air medical helicopters and several mobile intensive care units located at five bases strategically placed across the state. IU Health LifeLine covers a 40,000 square mile area—including all of Indiana and portions of surrounding states—and serves nearly 4,000 patients each year.

IU Health LifeLine transports the most complex cases and specializes in neonatal and pediatrics, cardiovascular, neuroscience and high-risk obstetrics and trauma. The service also provides preeminent critical care transportation and is the first point of contact with Indiana’s largest adult Level I trauma center at IU Health Methodist Hospital and the state’s only pediatric Level I trauma center at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health.

For more pictures and quotes celebrating 35 years of IU Health LifeLine, follow @IU_Health on Twitter and search for the hashtag #LifeLine35.

Go to IU Health Newsroom