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Mills-Peninsula Begins Construction of Replacement Helipad

Sutter Health’s Mills-Peninsula Health Services has begun construction of a helipad to replace the one demolished during construction of Mills-Peninsula Medical Center, which opened in May 2011.

Once constructed, the helipad will facilitate transport of critically ill patients and enhance Mills-Peninsula’s participation in the newly-launched Sutter Health medical transport network. Via air ambulance, critically ill patients will be transported more quickly and efficiently – both within the Sutter Health network and outside of it.

The helipad will also help ensure residents continue to have access to emergency care in the event a disaster, such as an earthquake, renders roadways impassable.

“We’re making this investment in a helipad to enhance the health and safety of our community,” Mills-Peninsula Health Services CEO Janet Wagner said. “We expect it to greatly improve our ability to quickly transport patients who need immediate medical treatment.”

The $2.5 million dollar helipad is being built in the parking lot adjacent to Mills-Peninsula’s Emergency Department.

Technically, the 65-foot square helipad is a helideck because of its tabletop design: the landing area will be on a raised and lighted platform, 12 feet above ground level, with a gurney ramp for entry and exit. Beneath the landing surface, Mills-Peninsula will store disaster supplies.

Mills-Peninsula’s helipad will accommodate two types of helicopters: Lifeflight emergency air ambulance service and Jayhawks, which are typically used in Coast Guard rescue operations.

Plans for the replacement helipad, along with those for the medical center and adjacent medical office building, were originally approved by the City of Burlingame in 2004. Escalating construction costs for the medical center necessitated postponement of the helipad construction, but now, Wagner said the time is right to complete the last phase of the original master construction plan and fulfill Mills-Peninsula’s commitment to the community.

“There are situations when an extremely fragile or sick patient, such as someone who has had a stroke, must be brought very quickly to the hospital and because of traffic, ground transport by ambulance won’t be fast enough. The helipad will allow us to get those patients to the hospital much faster. In the case of a stroke patient, we know faster treatment means better odds for survival and full recovery,” Wagner said.

Construction of the helipad is scheduled to be completed later this fall.

About Mills-Peninsula Health Services

Founded in 1908, Mills-Peninsula Health Services, is a Sutter Health affiliate providing top ranked, patient centered medical care and health care innovation at inpatient and outpatient facilities in Burlingame and San Mateo, California. For more information, visit millspeninsula.org.