GREENVILLE — A local medical transport company took time Friday to commemorate its 10th anniversary. Spirit Medical Transport, headquartered in Greenville, opened its doors to the community to celebrate a decade in business.
Spirit President and CEO Brian Hathaway says the company has expanded greatly since first being established in 2007, starting out with only eight people and now employing more than 100.
The company originally started business in the old Quality Farm & Fleet tire shop, before moving in 2010 to its current location at 5484 State Route 49 South, the former Hamilton Chrysler auto dealership building.
“We quickly outgrew that [first] building,” said Hathaway.
With a total of 32 vehicles at hand, Spirit performs both emergency and non-emergency runs. The bulk of its business is on the non-emergency side.
“Hospitals and nursing homes is our primary on the ambulance side. On the wheelchair side, we work with Darke County Job & Family Services, Catholic Social Services, Passport, some of those agencies, and we also do transportation for some of the county school systems,” he said.
Hathaway says Spirit averages about two or three emergency runs per day.
“A lot of those are like private individual requests or requests from the nursing homes,” he explained, noting that the company does many hospital-to-hospital transfers as well as using its mobile intensive care vehicle staffed by registered nurses.
In addition to its Greenville headquarters, Spirit maintains offices in Van Wert, Sidney, and Englewood, as well as in Richmond, Indiana. Hathaway says the company is preparing to open another location in Celina.
“There’s definitely been a growing need for this service,” he said.
One of the challenges Spirit and other medical providers face is the uncertainty surrounding possible changes in the nation’s healthcare laws, currently being debated by Congress.
“It’s great that everybody has insurance, but the reimbursement levels for the Medicaid side, versus Medicare and other commercial payers, is substantially less. So it forces us to think how we can do more with less,” Hathaway said.
“It can sometimes be a struggle. It’s been impactful here in the state,” he added. “Over the last five years, we’ve lost about 40 private ambulance providers in the state. With the demand for more patients to be moved, that results in more patient wait times.”
Hathaway credits the support of the community in Spirit’s continuing success.
“The biggest thing for us is that the community has been so supportive. Our first day, if you’d told me we were going to be the size we are now, I would have never believed that,” he said. “It has definitely been a blessing and we look forward to many, many more years to come.”
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