REACH Newsletter
Table of Contents

Business Relations & Development

Business Relations & Development

Anna Blair

VP Business Relations & Development
REACH Administration – Santa Rosa, CA

Children’s One Program

Together, REACH and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland (UBCHO) have forged a purposeful and productive alliance over the years. The direct result of commitment, cooperation and diligence on the part of all involved, this partnership has never stopped evolving. “We’ve grown from transporting the Children’s Specialty Teams with our helicopters, to creating a hybrid transport team, to now being entrusted to moving their patients,” says Anna Blair, VP Business Relations & Development. “We are their designated air provider, using solely our team. That’s a big deal, that they trust us with some of the sickest of the sick. It’s pretty remarkable.”

Previously known as Children’s Hospital and Research Center Oakland (CHO), the hospital was recently rechristened UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland (UBCHO). Although the name has changed, the hospital’s collaboration with REACH remains the same, and an exciting new program was recently launched. “The history of this is that we have been serving Children’s Oakland for over 20 years,” Anna shares. “They are always seeking more innovation and efficiency. A couple years ago they said they wanted to look at a ground solution with us since we had solved their air transport needs so well.”

Until this time, the hospital maintained their own ground program for neonatal and pediatric patients, transporting local patients without a nearby helipad and those that couldn’t be flown by REACH due to weather or some other impediment. And, the hospital was providing staff members for these ground transports. “The hospital’s transport team was a doctor, a nurse and a respiratory therapist. The impact was difficult on the hospital because they had to backfill staff for when those people were out on a call.”

Anna explains that REACH approached the task from a “reverse marketing” standpoint. “We worked backwards,” she says. “Traditional marketing asks, ‘How do I make people want this product?’ We started with, ‘What does the customer need?’ We approached it organically, with open ears, and with the belief that anything is possible. Over months of negotiation and collaboration and work groups, we came up with a solution.”

Children's One Ambulance Children's One Ambulance

That solution, which officially went live on June 26, is the Children’s One Team. This team is dedicated exclusively to UBCHO and greatly enhances the hospital’s ability to move and serve patients. WestMed Ambulance, the hospital’s current ground transport company, provides the ambulance, as well as an EMT driver and a paramedic. REACH provides a nurse with both neonatal and pediatric expertise. REACH also handles clinical training for the entire team and provides medical direction and protocol oversight.

There is an important contingency provision, too. “The Children’s Hospital team members have been going on transports for years,” Anna emphasizes, “and they are very dedicated. The amount of knowledge they have regarding the care of sick infants and children is astronomical. The goal with Children’s One is to handle everything with WestMed and REACH staff, but we reserve the option—and the hospital was completely supportive of this—of pulling one of their RNs or RTs if necessary. Working with the UBCHO transport staff is an honor. It’s humbling and exciting.”

Getting the Children’s One Team up and running was no small feat. “The amount of work that was done on this was huge—everything from facilities to clinical to security to communications,” Anna shares. “Our Comm Center worked with the hospital to develop the most efficient dispatch process possible, and Clinical put on an academy specifically for this team.” But no one’s complaining. Quite the opposite. “The end goal is better patient care across the entire footprint,” Anna says, “and at the end of the day, everything we learned, all the clinical knowledge and the collaborative knowledge, will make us a better company in every area. It’s going to increase our ability to help patients.”

Anna sums it up with, “Children’s Hospital looks to us for solutions because they know that when people say, ‘This can’t be done,’ we’ll say, ‘Okay, when are we starting?’”

In other important news…

Anna asks that you please look in the “Human Resources & Staff Updates” section of this newsletter. “The other great announcement I have is that we are proud to have brought on a new Business Relations staff member,” she says. “Glenn McIntyre will be involved with handling Northern California-based business relations matters. We’re very excited to have him join our team!”