Health Department Instates WCMC as Level III Trauma Center Arkansas Department of Health Officially Designates WCMC as Member Hospital of Arkansas Trauma SystemJan 26th, 2012 | By admin | Category: Community
The Arkansas Department of Health has officially instated White County Medical Center as a Level III Trauma Center as part of the statewide trauma system. The designation makes WCMC the first hospital to receive a Level III designation in the North-Central region of the state.
This significant designation has come after a year-long intensive preparation process. “We have an awesome team who has worked tirelessly on getting ready for the site visit from the state Department of Health,” said Emergency Department Director Teresa Ferricher.
According to Ferricher, the hospital had zero deficiencies. “The state Trauma Medical Director Dr. Todd Maxson was highly complementary of our program,” she said. “He said ours was one of the best reviews he has ever done and that it is a ‘beautiful and brilliant trauma program.’ That is an incredible statement coming from someone who has surveyed numerous trauma programs.”
The WCMC Trauma Team includes Cardiovascular Surgeon Dr. Donald Patrick, Trauma Medical Director; Ferricher, Trauma Program Manager; Jasper Fultz, Trauma Registrar; and Andy Bates, Trauma Coordinator.
Ferricher added that it takes teamwork of the entire hospital to make the trauma system successful, including the OR, Ancillary Departments, Nursing, Administration, Physicians and the Emergency Department. The core group of trauma surgeons includes William Gibbs, M.D.; Glen Blue, M.D.; Greg Laffoon, M.D., and Dr. Patrick.
“The Arkansas State Legislature made a very wise decision to fund the development of a trauma system for the care of patients injured in a variety of accidents,” Dr. Patrick said. “The American College of Surgeon’s Trauma System which has recently been adopted by the State has been proven to save lives for a variety of reasons, one of which is transporting the injured patients to the proper level of care in a more expeditious manner. With this Level III designation, White County Medical Center, will be expected to fulfill an important role in the system by providing definitive care for general surgical and orthopedic injuries and stabilize those who need to be transported to a Level I or II Trauma Center.”
Former State Legislator John Paul Capps served as a member of the Arkansas General Assembly when Act 393, the Trauma System Act, signed into law in March 2009 by Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe. The legislation created a statewide Trauma System; at the time, Arkansas was one of only a handful of states without a designated trauma system.
“I am glad that we [in the legislature] had the opportunity to vote on this funding,” Rep. Capps said. “Nothing gives me pleasure more than voting ‘yes’ for this funding to make the trauma center possible for this hospital. It will help save the lives of many in White County and the surrounding counties.”
As a member of the North-Central Regional Trauma Advisory Council, as well as the Arkansas Trauma Advisory Council, Ferricher and her team are able to collaborate with other Trauma Centers throughout Arkansas to discuss best practices in trauma care. Additionally, Ferricher serves as the chairperson for the Performance Improvement Committee of the North-Central Regional Trauma Advisory Council.
“Performance Improvement is vital to our trauma program. We review all trauma care given here as we look for ways we can further improve care,” she said. “In addition to sending our Emergency Department staff to trauma education and training courses, we have ensured that associates throughout the hospital have been educated on the trauma activation categories so that our team responds quickly when we have a trauma patient come into our hospital.”
More information about the Arkansas Trauma System and the designation process may be found on the Arkansas Department of Health website at www.healthyarkansas.gov.
ABOUT WHITE COUNTY MEDICAL CENTER
As the leading healthcare provider in a six-county area, White County Medical Center associates strive to create a healthy community by providing quality patient care and participating in community health events. White County Medical Center is the largest employer in Searcy with more than 1,500 associates. The facility has a combined total of 438 licensed beds and a medical staff of 150 physicians that specialize in various areas of healthcare.