Trauma center opens in Pomona

Shavonne Rogers
Staff Writer

Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center opened a new Trauma Center to provide a higher level of care to the eastern Los Angeles County.

The decision was made to begin in July of 2015 and last month.

In the United States, a hospital receives their trauma center ranking based on the American College of Surgeons criteria and must pass a site review by the Verification Review Committee. These rankings are called “level designation.” The new center in Pomona is a Level II Trauma Center designation. Level I designation is the highest a trauma center can be ranked and Level III is the lowest. Level II trauma centers include 24-hour immediate coverage by general surgeons as well as coverage by specialized surgeons.

Stephanie Raby, director of trauma and acute care services explained that Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center had a trauma center, but back in the 1980s it was not a cost effective program. In March it was re-designated and ready to accept trauma patients.

“What the hospital did is instead of asking general surgeons who are great, but trauma is not their specialty, the hospital hired eight trauma fellowship trained surgeons,” she said. “Their life is trauma and they are double boarded in general surgery and in surgical critical care. They have done extensive training to be able to provide this type of care.”

Tami Bardo, hospital spokeswoman, said she believes that the new designation trauma center is beneficial to the community.

“It allows people with a trauma to come directly here instead flying via helicopter or an ambulance for thirty minutes in either direction,” Bardo said.

Jackie Hall, junior broadcast television major, got into a car accident Feb. 6, before the Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center was officially opened. The ambulance drove her to Foothill Presbyterian Hospital; from there she was airlifted to the USC Medical Center because the Pomona Trauma Center was not open yet.

“My parents maybe would have rather gone to Pomona. If I needed to go visit someone I would want to go local,” Hall said. “I think it is great that there is one close because if anyone gets in a situation like I was, time is of the essence; the closer the better. “

In addition to treating trauma patients at the new center, the trauma team also provides the community education about injury prevention to decrease the incidence of trauma. The trauma center, that was not able to care for trauma patients before March, is estimated to care for approximately 1,000-2,000 trauma patients annually.

Shavonne Rogers can be reached at shavonne.rogers@laverne.edu.

Shavonne Rogers

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