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St. Joseph Now a Level II Trauma Center

Posted in: Accreditations

We’re pleased to announce the trauma program at St. Joseph has been verified as a Level II Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and designated as a Level II Trauma Center by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).

This achievement recognizes St. Joseph’s dedication to providing optimal care for patients suffering from all types of injuries, including those that are life-threatening.

The ACS Evaluation Process:

The American College of Surgeons verifies the existence of certain resources.  Some things they consider include readiness, commitment, policies, patient care and performance improvement.

What is Trauma?

Trauma is an injury or wound caused by something outside the body.  Trauma can be caused by things like falls, car accidents and weapons.

  • Trauma centers handle the most severe, life-threatening, blunt force and penetrating injuries that require operations and other interventions by multiple specialists.
  • Trauma centers provide comprehensive care to all trauma patients and can decrease the likelihood of fatality from trauma by 25-percent. (Source: Trauma Center Association of America.)
  • Only one in 10 U.S. hospitals is a major trauma center. Meaning 45-million Americans don’t have access to a Level I or Level II trauma center within an hour of being injured. (Trauma Center Association of America.)

Trauma affects people from all walks of life.  As the area’s population grows, the risk for trauma increases.

What is a Trauma Level?

These categories are national standards for trauma care.  Levels one through four refer to the kinds of resources available at a trauma center and the number of patients admitted yearly.  As the trauma level number decreases, trauma capabilities increase.

What did St. Joseph change?

Formally, St. Joseph had been the Lead Level III Trauma Center for the Brazos Valley.  In 2007 and 2010, St. Joseph was encouraged by state surveyors to seek Level II Trauma designation because we already met many of the Level II criteria and capabilities.

To be evaluated as a Level II Trauma Center, St. Joseph had to demonstrate that it could operate to that standard.

With centers of excellence for advanced neurosurgery care and orthopedic care, St. Joseph has long-provided a high level of trauma care for patients with neuro or orthopedic injuries.  As we moved toward our Level II designation, more physicians with specific trauma surgery expertise were recruited.  Dr. Adair de Berry-Carlisle, a board-certified trauma surgeon joined St. Joseph as our Trauma Center Medical Director.

What St. Joseph’s Level II Designation Means for the Brazos Valley:

While we met many of the requirements for a Level II designation for some time, this formal recognition allows EMS crews and the public to know our trauma capabilities are the most advanced in the region and have surpassed all other local providers.

Having this level of trauma care available in our region allows patients access to high quality trauma care for the best possible outcome. Closer to home.

ACS did not just examine our hospital resources necessary for trauma care.  Evaluators considered whether or not we could provide comprehensive care for all injured patients.

Their designation means we have the expertise, equipment and programs in place to care for every part of the patient and family’s experience – from EMS to ER to imaging, lab, surgery, spiritual care, hospital nursing units and rehabilitation.

St. Joseph knows trauma care is a team effort involving every department and we’re ready.

About St. Joseph’s Trauma Program:

  • S. Joseph is the most advanced and only Level II Trauma Center a between Houston, Temple, Austin and San Antonio.
  • Our Trauma Centers are ready when you need us – covering more than 10 counties.
  • e work as a team with over 10 EMS agencies across the BrazosValley to ensure patients receive the most advanced trauma care possible. St. Joseph regularly shares best practices and innovations – not just in the counties we provide the primary 911 response, or in Bryan, where one of our ER physicians is the Medical Director for the Bryan Fire Department – but everywhere our trauma reach extends.
  • St. Joseph is the primary 911 Service Provider for BurlesonCounty, GrimesCounty – and starting June 1, MadisonCounty.
  • Dr. Aaron Buzzard, a St. Joseph Emergency Physician, is the Medical Director of the Bryan Fire Department as well as many local EMS departments.
  • Dt. Joseph’s Trauma Program is one of only a handful in the nation that operates both a ground and air ambulance service.
  • St. Joseph AirMedical is housed at our hospital in Bryan. Crew members gain hospital experience in the ER and trauma care while rounding with ER physicians and trauma surgeons.. The result is seamless coordination of care.
  • In the last 5 years, St. Joseph has cared for more than 16,000 trauma patients system-wide.
  • 40% of our trauma cases were caused by a fall, 30% by car crashes.

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