Marshfield Clinic Now Operating Its Own Ambulance Service to Transfer Patients in the Northwoods

Jan 8, 2021

Marshfield Medical Center-Minocqua
Credit DEAN S. ACHESON

In the last six months, Marshfield Clinic has expanded its presence in the Northwoods.

In July, it opened its newly built hospital in Minocqua.

In August, it took over control of Flambeau Hospital in Park Falls.

To support the care in the region, Marshfield Clinic is now offering its own ambulance service.

This won’t be the type that responds to emergency calls. It will be used to transfer patients.

“We can immediately take patients to the airport or helipad at Howard Young. So that was one priority. The second was that we would have our ambulance take patients to higher levels of care by ground down to Wausau, Weston or Marshfield,” said Michael Schaars. Schaars is the Vice President of Medical Affairs for Marshfield Clinic in both Minocqua and Park Falls.

Schaars says the medical group knew they’d want to have this service as it was acquiring and building the hospitals in the Northwoods.  

“We knew that we would have patients who would require higher level of care than what we can provide locally, and we wanted to have a reliable, dependable and expedient means of transferring those patients to a higher level of care,” said Schaars.

Schaars says the service was especially needed in Park Falls.

Marshfield Clinic had been using Great Divide Ambulance Service. Great Divide closed its closest station to Park Falls at the end of 2020.

“The Park Falls community it was not unusual for them to have to wait three or four six hours for an ambulance to come to that hospital and retrieve a patient and take them south to Wausau or Marshfield for example,” said Schaars.

Marshfield Clinic says the transport service can handle patients of all ages experiencing everything from major trauma to critical illness.

Schaars says between the two hospitals, there were already 28 patients transfers just in the second half of December.