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CHI St. Joseph’s secures new medical helicopter

A Valley Med Flight helicopter is shown in this undated photo. The medical helicopter service is scheduled to begin operating at CHI St. Joseph's Health on Oct. 1.

It didn’t take long for CHI St. Joseph’s Health to find a replacement for its medical helicopter service.

Grand Forks-based Valley Med Flight agreed Tuesday to base a medical helicopter at the helipad of the new St. Joseph’s hospital under construction in Dickinson. Valley Med Flight will also provide fixed-wing aircraft support.

“Our No. 1 concern is access for our patients,” said Reed Reyman, president of CHI St. Joseph’s Health. “We just know that a helicopter needs to be based here and we know we have to have access to fixed wing, so we did all we could to get this in place.”

The agreement comes one week after Med-Trans Corp. announced it was terminating service of its Spirit Lifeline helicopter that had been based at the site of the hospital after a year here.

Valley Med Flight is expected to have a Eurocopter AS350 B3e helicopter operating from the St. Joseph’s helipad by Oct. 1, Reyman said.

The medical service already has a footprint in western North Dakota, with a helicopter based at CHI Mercy Medical Center in Williston and with fixed-wing aircraft bases in Williston and Sidney, Mont.

Dustin Monke

Monke came to The Dickinson Press in July 2006 as the newspaper's sports editor and was hired as its managing editor in March 2013. During his tenure at The Press, Monke has won multiple awards for sports reporting, feature reporting, column writing, page design and photography. He was a key part of The Press winning the North Dakota Newspaper Association's General Excellence and Sweepstakes awards in 2009 and 2012, and oversaw The Press' Sweepstakes and General Excellence wins in 2014, as well as its national first-place honors for Community Leadership in the Inland Daily Press Association and contributed to the first-place Inland award for Investigative Reporting. As the newspaper's editor, he writes an occasional Sunday column, is a member of The Press' Editorial Board, contributes feature stories and breaking news, designs pages, and oversees the day-to-day operations of the newsroom and editorial staff. In his free time, he enjoys watching sports and action movies, exercises whenever his schedule allows, and spends every minute he can with his wife and son.

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