Kaweah Delta to host May 16 helipad completion celebration

VISALIA – Kaweah Delta Health Care District will celebrate the completion of its helipad on Thursday, May 16, in Visalia.  

The event will take place from 10-11:30 a.m. under the helipad in the main parking lot at Kaweah Delta Medical Center, 400 W. Mineral King Ave. The $2.7 million helipad is expected to be fully operational by late summer. Currently, Kaweah Delta staff are undergoing several months of intensive training to access patients who arrive by helicopter, said Dr. Nichole Meissner, Director of Trauma at Kaweah Delta.  

“The helipad’s installation will have far reaching effects for the region,” Dr. Meissner said. “It will help trauma victims get treatment faster and treatment in the first hour has a significant impact on survival, especially when it comes to trauma.”  

With the helipad, a person who is traumatically injured in Springville could land at Kaweah Delta in just 12 minutes. A newborn in need of a higher level of care could be at Children’s Hospital Central California in just 18 minutes or Stanford Medical Center in 69 minutes.  

The community, which helped bring the helipad to Kaweah Delta through $2.3 million in donations to Kaweah Delta Hospital Foundation, will benefit greatly from the helipad, said Dena Cochran, Vice President of Development at Kaweah Delta. The foundation fundraises money to raise the level of patient care at Kaweah Delta.  

Kaweah Delta has one of the busiest emergency departments in the state and treated 86,000 patients this past year. It is also the only level III trauma center in Tulare and Kings counties. Since the designation in 2011, the number of trauma patients has increased over 200 percent to over 1,000 trauma patients each year.  

Established in 1963, Kaweah Delta Health Care District celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2013. Kaweah Delta is a 581-bed district and is the only level III trauma center serving Tulare and Kings counties. The district offers a comprehensive scope of services including everything from a well-respected pediatric hospitalist program to nationally-recognized orthopedic and cancer programs. For more information, visit www.kaweahdelta.org or follow Kaweah Delta on Twitter and Facebook.  
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