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Lutheran Hospital Receives Verification as a Level II Trauma Center and a Level II Pediatric Trauma Center

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (July 1, 2009) — Lutheran Hospital has been verified as a Level II Trauma Center and a Level II Pediatric Trauma Center by the Committee on Trauma (COT) of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). This achievement recognizes a trauma center's dedication to providing optimal care for injured patients.

Established by the ACS in 1987, the COT's Verification/Consultation Program for Hospitals promotes the development of trauma centers in which participants provide not only the hospital resources necessary for trauma care, but also the entire spectrum of care to address the needs of all injured patients. This spectrum encompasses the prehospital phase through the rehabilitation process.

"Achieving verification as a Level II Trauma Center for both adult and pediatric patients clearly demonstrates our ongoing commitment to providing the highest quality trauma care," said Joe Dorko, chief executive officer, Lutheran Hospital. "Successfully completing this voluntary process is yet another example of Lutheran's belief that we need to measure ourselves against external standards in order to continue improving the care we deliver to patients. As the regional leader in specialized care, we have an important responsibility to utilize our talents and resources to their fullest extent."

Verified trauma centers must meet the essential criteria that ensure trauma care capability and institutional performance, as outlined by the American College of Surgeons' Committee on Trauma. An important step towards verification is the appointment of a trauma medical director, a requirement that was fulfilled at Lutheran in 2007 when Donald N. Reed, Jr., MD, joined the medical staff.

"This verification process is rigorous and personnel requirements extend well beyond having trauma-trained surgeons as the medical directors of both adult and pediatric trauma centers," said Dr. Reed. "The total hospital commitment includes specially-trained emergency room physicians and nurses; surgical and medical specialists who meet very particular administrative and educational requirements; dedicated nurses in the pediatric and adult intensive care units; not to mention the many dedicated technicians in various departments. I have been very impressed by our progress over the past couple of years and the Committee on Trauma of the American College of Surgeons has now officially recognized that as well."

A former professor of surgery at Michigan State University, Reed has exemplified service on multiple levels during his career including several faith-based medical missions abroad and two tours of duty as a trauma surgeon in Iraq.

Level II Pediatric Trauma Centers must also meet essential criteria, which includes having a medical director who is board certified in pediatric surgery. David A. Smith, MD, a member of the medical staff at Lutheran Children's Hospital, is the trauma medical director for Lutheran Hospital's Level II Pediatric Trauma Center. Dr. Smith's skills have been an important asset to northeastern Indiana and to the evolution of Lutheran Children's Hospital during its first decade in existence.

"Verification by the Committee on Trauma demonstrates our dedication to the care of injured children from the initial stabilization and surgical care to the emotional recovery of the child and family," said
Dr. Smith. "The entire Lutheran Children's Hospital staff of doctors, nurses, therapists, child life specialists, and chaplains works as a team to bring about the healing of the whole child."

There are four separate categories of verification in the COT's program. Each category has specific criteria that must be met by a facility seeking that level of verification. Each hospital has an on-site review by a team of experienced trauma surgeons, who use the current Resources for the Optimal Care of the Injured Patient manual as a guideline in conducting the survey.

Lutheran's on-site review took place in March. Hospital officials describe the support of first responders and physicians from across the region as being invaluable during the pursuit of this important objective.

Verification as a Level II Trauma Center and a Level II Pediatric Trauma Center is the latest in a series of important achievements at Lutheran this year. The hospital announced in January that its heart and kidney transplant programs had both met the special requirements needed to earn a three-year certification from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. In March, Lutheran cardiologist Sree Karanam, MD, became one of the first physicians in the country to implant an experimental device designed to provide patients with an early warning of an impending heart attack. For certain patients, this warning may occur even before they experience typical symptoms. The future of total hip replacement surgery was introduced locally at The Orthopaedic Hospital in April when Fort Wayne Orthopaedics surgeon Steven Fisher, MD, was joined by several of his patients, including former Miami Dolphin Doug Crusan, to discuss their positive experiences with the less invasive anterior approach. Lutheran Air celebrated its fifth anniversary May 4, and the newest member of the Lutheran Health Network, Lutheran Medical Group, was announced the next day. Thursday will also mark the tenth anniversary of Lutheran Children's Hospital with activities planned throughout the rest of 2009.

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The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational association of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical education and practice and to improve the care of the surgical patient. The College has 59,000 members and it is the largest association of surgeons in the world. Longstanding achievements have placed the College in the forefront of American surgery and have made it an important advocate for all surgical patients.


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