Mayo unveils $8.5M plane to transport high-risk patients from across US

Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic recently unveiled a customized $8.5 million plane to transport high-risk patients to its facilities across the U.S., according to the Post Bulletin.

The new Beechcraft King Air 350C, parked in Mayo's renovated hangar at the Rochester International Airport, is part of the health system's $6.5 billion Destination Medical Center project.

The plane is expected to make roughly 400 transports this year. It has already airlifted patients to Mayo Clinic in Rochester from Montana, Texas, Louisiana and Pennsylvania. However, the health system estimates the majority of its airlifts (80 percent) are patients who live within 500 miles of Rochester, according to the report. 

"It's getting the Mayo level of ICU and emergency care to patients quicker," flight nurse Lisa Jelinek, one of the 22 Mayo Clinic employees who staff the aircraft, told the Post Bulletin. "When we walk into a patient's room, their faces light up when they see the Mayo shield."

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