Facility Was First One North of Madison, Milwaukee to Earn Designation
The Trauma Center at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah has been reverified as a Level II trauma center for the seventh time, marking 26 years as the first and longest continuously verified Level II trauma center north of Milwaukee and Madison.
ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah is one of only nine Level II trauma centers in the state. Wisconsin has three Level I hospitals with the only difference being that those are considered teaching hospitals.
The Verification Review Committee (VRC), an ad hoc committee of the Committee on Trauma (COT) of the American College of Surgeons (ACS), completed the verification review. Each verification lasts three years.
The ACS reverification confirms the Trauma Center at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah is ready to provide the best possible care whenever a person suffers a traumatic injury, said medical director Raymond Georgen, MD.
“We see injuries that have an incredible severity and we are able to achieve great outcomes,” Dr. Georgen said. “We have the processes and people in place to provide this essential service in our community — responding to traumatic events.”
Dr. Georgen credited not only the physicians, nurses and staff members from multiple hospital departments for the Trauma Center’s success, but also EMS responders who treat and transport patients and the staff members at outlying hospitals.
“We couldn’t do what we do here without all of our partners at the rural hospitals. ThedaCare has a systematic approach to identifying and referring patients who need the Trauma Center,” he said. “Our work also would not be possible without our EMS partners in the field who provide that first level of care to patients. We’re grateful to be part of a wonderful community of health care and emergency professionals.”
In addition to emergency care, the Trauma Center also provides patients with follow-up care in a variety of specialty areas, including general surgery, neurology, neurosurgery, cardiology, urology, orthopedics, hand and upper extremity surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, critical care, plastic surgery, oral surgery, rehabilitation, interventional radiology, ophthalmology and ear, nose and throat care.
“This reverification provides validation that we have everything in place to provide patients with the best possible care,” Dr. Georgen said. “Our employees are the best and love what they do.”
Dr. Georgen said the high quality of care provided locally means that few patients need to be transferred to Milwaukee or Madison hospitals for additional care. He said certain types of burn patient and patients requiring care in a pediatric intensive care unit are transferred out to specialty centers.
The Trauma Center at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah serves 10 counties, including Winnebago, Outagamie, Calumet, Waupaca, Shawano, Menominee, Waushara, Green Lake, Fond du Lac and parts of Sheboygan.
Established by the American College of Surgeons in 1987, the Committee on Trauma’s verification program promotes the development of trauma centers. Participants provide not only the hospital resources necessary for trauma care, but also the entire spectrum of care for all injured patients from the pre-hospital stage through rehabilitation. Each hospital undergoes an on-site review by a team of experienced trauma surgeons as part of the verification process.
The ACS Committee on Trauma does not designate trauma centers. Rather, the program provides an ongoing confirmation that the trauma center has demonstrated its commitment to providing the highest quality trauma care for all injured patients. The actual establishment and designation of trauma centers is the function of local, regional or state health care agencies.
There are four separate categories of verification. Each level has specific criteria that must be met in order for that facility to qualify. A Level II trauma center is able to initiate and provide definitive care for all injured patients. Other key elements of a Level II trauma center include:
- 24-hour immediate coverage by general surgeons, as well as coverage by specialties of orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology and critical care.
- The ability to accept tertiary care referrals.
- A commitment to trauma prevention and to the continuing education of the trauma team members.
- A dedication to advancing trauma care through a comprehensive quality improvement program.
The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons founded in 1913 to improve the quality of care for the surgical patient by setting high standards for surgical education and practice. The college has more than 77,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world.
For more than 100 years, ThedaCare™ has been committed to finding a better way to deliver serious and complex healthcare to patients throughout Northeast Wisconsin. The organization serves over 200,000 patients annually and employs more than 6,800 healthcare professionals throughout the region. ThedaCare has seven hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, Waupaca, Shawano, New London and Wild Rose as well as 34 clinics in nine counties. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving our specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a non-profit healthcare organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs as well as a foundation dedicated to community service. The ThedaCare Regional Cancer Center in Appleton opened in February. For more information, visit www.thedacare.org or follow ThedaCare on Facebook and Twitter.