LANSING, Mich. - Sparrow Health System and LifeNet of Michigan today announced a partnership in launching a new service to improve access to critical care services at Sparrow Hospital. The 24-hour Sparrow LifeNet air medical transport service, which began April 15, will transport patients aboard a helicopter equipped with the latest patient care technology. LifeNet of Michigan's nurses and paramedics are trained and credentialed to handle any type of air medical transport. Once at Sparrow, patients have access to the only Level 1 Trauma Center in the area. The Sparrow Emergency Department is one of the state's largest and most advanced emergency departments, and the Granger Pediatric Emergency Department is the region's first full-service, 24/7 emergency room designed and equipped specifically for children. Sparrow features neonatal and pediatric intensive care units, operating rooms with robotic-surgery platforms, the region's only certified primary stroke center, the new Sparrow Heart and Vascular Center, and the Sparrow Cancer Center. "From an emergency scene to the emergency room, the new Sparrow LifeNet air medical transport service will provide patients with high-quality care," said Tony Briningstool, M.D., Sparrow's executive medical director of emergency services. "Introducing 24-hour air medical transport to mid-Michigan allows Sparrow to continue improving access to care for residents across the region. Sparrow is proud to partner with LifeNet of Michigan to provide this enhanced service." LifeNet of Michigan is operated by Air Methods Corp., which holds the best safety record in the industry and maintains air medical services in 43 states. LifeNet of Michigan will own, operate, maintain and staff the medical helicopter. "Every minute counts when a patient requires expert critical care," said Michael L. Clark, program director of LifeNet of Michigan. "Through our affiliation with Sparrow, the region's leader in health care, LifeNet of Michigan will be able to safely deliver patients in need of timely critical care to the most advanced medical facility in mid-Michigan.