In 1986, the University of Pennsylvania Health System recognized the need for a safe and rapid means of transporting medical patients to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Led by C. William Schwab, MD, a management team within the Trauma & Surgical Critical Care division came together to address this need. The PennSTAR flight program was formed and began patient flights in the summer of 1988.
In 1996, a second helicopter was added to PennSTAR 1, which serves Bucks, Chester and Montgomery counties. PennSTAR 2 is based in West Chester and provides additional coverage for Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties. PennSTAR 3 began operations in 1999 as a PennTrauma Network at Saint Lukes Bethlehem Hospital, serving the Lehigh Valley. PennSTAR 4 was added in 2005 in conjuntction with the Penn Trauma Network at Reading Hospital, and serves Berks, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery and Schuylkill counties – from Reading Regional Airport. Based in Carbon County, PennSTAR 5 began operations in 2006 as a second aircraft in the Penn Trauma Netowrk at St. Lukes Bethlehem Hospital. PennSTAR 6 was also added in 2006 and operates out of Wings Airport in Montgomery County primarily serving Temple University Hopitals interfcility needs and also as a second-due aircraft in PennSTAR 1's area.


PennSTAR on a Mission