As a Summit resident and physician at Overlook Medical Center, I was encouraged to learn that the hospital has once again chosen to pursue the construction of a helipad at our facility. The discussion and debate over the helipad at Overlook has been a lengthy one. I believe it to be an extremely important upgrade to our Neuroscience department and the need for such a resource at our facility has not changed.
Many have pointed to other regional hospitals with helipads as reasonable alternatives for emergency neuroscience treatment of stroke victims. Overlook is responsible for treating four to five times as many stroke patients as any comparative hospital in our area. And these patients and their families rely on Overlook Medical Center specifically for the expertise that our leading neuroscience practitioners are able to provide at crucial, life-saving junctures for those suffering from stroke.
The Neuroscience department at Overlook Medical Center is an award winning and premier aspect of our wonderful hospital. To jeopardize the care that is currently available by making it harder to treat patients in a timely manner, or altogether denying the care of those doctors to those who cannot reach the facility by ambulance in time to make a difference, if not selfish, is at least irresponsible. To those who still stand steadfast in their opposition of the helipad, I ask you simply to think reasonably about the lives that could be saved and the families that stand to be impacted. Then, imagine yourself in their situation.
James Gardner, MD