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A dedication to improving rural health care was evident Thursday afternoon as Midwest Medical Transport celebrated the grand opening and ribbon cutting of its Neligh location.
With crews in Neligh for several years, the company moved to a newly constructed building this winter along Highway 275. They invited the public to tour their facility and Midwest Medair helicopter prior to a ribbon cutting with the Neligh Chamber of Commerce.
Chief Executive Officer Jeff Shullaw praised his staff for their hard work to provide health care in rural areas. With two ambulances in Neligh, the local crews transport patients all over the state to larger hospitals in Nebraska, South Dakota and Iowa.
"One of the biggest challenges in health care, especially in a rural area like Neligh, is access to health care. So how do you get from here to Omaha or here to Lincoln, and that's what we specialize in," Shullaw said.
That's why the new location is so important to the company. Previously, the crews had a residency separate from where the ambulances were housed. Now, everything is in one location, making it more efficient both logistically and financially, which leads to better health care.
"When a call comes in, the buzzer goes off and out the door and into the ambulance they go," Shullaw said. "We get to the people we take care of much faster."
The Neligh location is managed by Julie Tschirren. Besides being a paramedic, Tschirren oversees the entire location and crews.
Shullaw said Neligh is a rural hub for the company, which is expanding into 10 new locations in the next 6 months. "We're here in Neligh to serve Antelope Memorial Hospital, Creighton and Osmond, and we do a lot of work for Norfolk in this location," he said.
Shullaw also praised the new location for being so comfortable for the crews, especially for those who live out of town and spend a great deal of time in Neligh.
"This building is incredible and the crews love it," he said. "They spend a lot of time here every week, three to four days at a time, so to give them a place that is comfortable and quiet is nice. They really enjoy it."
There have been other major changes within Midwest Medical Transport recently. Another key announcement that affects Neligh's location will be announced tomorrow on the Antelope County News.
More photos below