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Heliport at Schneider Regional Medical Center to Open Thursday

Feb. 10, 2006 — A new heliport at Schneider Regional Medical Center on St. Thomas will open Thursday Feb. 16 with the first helicopter landing scheduled that evening at 6 p.m.
The dedication ceremony for the Charaf Family Fund Heliport will start at 5:30 p.m., the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands announced Friday.
Ricardo J. and Josefina Pasarell Charaf started the heliport fund in 2002 at the foundation, where Ricardo Charaf has been chairman of the board since 2001.
The Charafs said they believe it is their responsibility to improve the quality of life in the territory. The heliport is part of a larger commitment by the family to upgrade and expand emergency and trauma services at SRMC. They added that trauma injuries have the greatest impact on young adults, which was one of their considerations in donating.
In a press release Friday, Schneider CEO Rodney E. Miller Sr. said the heliport "will particularly help people in St. John and other islands who are seriously injured and need emergency transportation to St. Thomas. Currently, if we have a patient who needs transport off island, we have to wait for a crew from one of the emergency medical services to fly over to Cyril E. King Airport, and then transport the patient by ambulance to that airport where they fly to San Juan or Miami. Now, that does not have to happen anymore. The response time will be quicker."
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