Mar 3, 2020

VITAS® Healthcare Joins FirstNet - America's Public Safety

Bizclik Editor
3 min
MIAMI, March 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- VITAS® Hea...

MIAMI, March 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- VITAS® Healthcare, the nation's leading provider of end-of-life care, is the first approved hospice provider to be connected to FirstNet, AT&T's nationwide broadband network dedicated to public safety. The company's access to FirstNet enables VITAS employees to use the highly secure and reliable communications tool for patient care and assistance in any circumstance while in the field.

FirstNet is designed to improve communications across public safety entities nationwide, allowing first responders to communicate with one another easily and quickly during everyday situations, big events or emergencies. This capability is integral to solving communications roadblocks that previously have been imposed on public safety agencies and first responders.  

VITAS was selected as a FirstNet provider because of the support the company provides to hospitals for both patient care and emergency preparedness. VITAS will serve as an extended primary user–an organization or agency that FirstNet might call on during an emergency response to help support public safety. Eligibility for extended primary user status is rigorously reviewed before service is approved to help ensure that FirstNet's unique capabilities remain dedicated to first responders and those who support them. 

"We are honored to be selected by FirstNet as a first responder and to be given the opportunity to serve our patients quickly, efficiently and securely," said Nick Westfall, President and CEO of VITAS. "We applaud our partner AT&T for the development of this innovative program and dedication to public safety."

VITAS joined FirstNet to provide its care providers with reliable, modern communications tools needed to provide high-quality patient care, including:

  • One nationwide communications platform that allows efficient and effective coordination of emergency responses across agencies and jurisdictions.
  • Always-on priority and pre-emption to provide reliable access to network connection when it's needed–even when the network is congested.
  • A physically separate, highly secure network core built for public safety's sensitive communications.
  • Planned increases in coverage and capacity, enabling caregivers to better respond to emergencies.
  • Innovative tools–like relevant applications and connected devices–to provide more actionable information for heightened situational awareness.

FirstNet is built with AT&T in public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority). It's designed with and for public safety.

"We're honored that VITAS Healthcare has chosen FirstNet to elevate their communications capabilities," said Stacy Schwartz, vice president, AT&T–Public Safety & FirstNet. "FirstNet will help VITAS better coordinate their response efforts as they support patients who are some of the most vulnerable during a disaster or other emergency situation." 

"FirstNet is the exclusive nationwide network being built with AT&T for public safety, inspired by public safety," said Jeff Bratcher, Chief Technology and Operations Officer, FirstNet Authority. "We look forward to supporting VITAS with FirstNet, ensuring it delivers what they need, when they need it."

To learn more about VITAS Healthcare, visit

To learn more about FirstNet, go to Individual first responders can subscribe to FirstNet at a local AT&T store.

FirstNet and the FirstNet logo are registered trademarks of the First Responder Network Authority. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.

About VITAS® Healthcare
Established in 1978, VITAS Healthcare is a pioneer and leader in the American hospice movement. Headquartered in Miami, Florida, VITAS (pronounced VEE-tahs) operates 48 hospice programs in 14 states (California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin) and the District of Columbia. VITAS employs 12,388 professionals who care for terminally ill patients daily, primarily in the patients' homes, and also in the company's 28 inpatient hospice units as well as in hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living communities/residential care facilities for the elderly. At the conclusion of the third quarter of 2019, VITAS reported an average daily census of 19,137. Visit

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