A new heliport on top of Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital in Saskatoon has opened ahead of schedule and became operational on Thursday, July 25 at 8 a.m.
Emergency personnel from Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service (STARS) will now be able to land at the site, which received its certification from Transport Canada on Wednesday, July 24. This technical review and certification process ensures that the new heliport meets Transport Canada’s regulations and guidelines to support safe helicopter operations on the new hospital.
“This heliport will greatly enhance emergency services for Saskatchewan residents by allowing rapid transportation and transfer of patients in life-threatening situations,” Health Minister Jim Reiter said. “Landing directly at the hospital will save lives when every second counts.”
Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital (JPCH) will be home to new Royal University Hospital Adult Emergency Department and a new Children’s Emergency Department, which will open in the fall.
STARS transports about 300 patients to RUH each year.
Previously, STARS landed at Innovation Place and patients were transported via ground ambulance to RUH, which took up to 25 minutes. With the heliport now operational, patients will be inside RUH about five minutes after landing. Once the new Emergency Departments (EDs) open this fall, patients will arrive at EDs within about three minutes of landing at the heliport.
“This is a critical piece of infrastructure to ensure timely access to advanced medical care for the health of Saskatchewan patients,” said Corey Miller, Vice-President of Provincial Programs with the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA). “On behalf of the Saskatchewan Health Authority, we would like to thank our staff, project team, and partners for all of their efforts in getting us to the point of opening this heliport earlier than originally scheduled. These efforts will have positive impacts on patients by reducing transfer times and providing quicker access to our clinical teams.”
In anticipation of the potential that the heliport could be operational before opening of JPCH, staff and physicians have been finalizing processes and routes, and conducting mock moves from the heliport to both the existing Emergency Department in RUH, and the new Emergency Departments located in JPCH.
The total capital budget for the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital was $285.9 million, which included $257.6 million from the Province of Saskatchewan. Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation has fundraised over $75 million ($28.3 million for capital costs and $46.6 million for furniture and equipment). The Royal University Hospital Foundation fundraised $5 million for equipment and furniture in the new adult Emergency Department.
The 2019-20 Provincial Budget also provided $9.6 million to finalize information technology needs at JPCH and an increase of $23 million to support operations when the hospital opens this fall.
Located in Saskatoon next to the Royal University Hospital, Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital will care for pediatric and maternal patients. All patient rooms in the 176-bed hospital are private, and designed for families. Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital will have leading-edge equipment and will host ground-breaking research and innovation.