Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center Designated State’s First & Only
Level III Trauma Center by Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation
(October 11, 2007) – Effective November 1, 2007, Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center, Pottsville, will become the first and only Level III Trauma Center in Pennsylvania, according to the Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation (PTSF), the organization responsible for maintaining the state’s private voluntary trauma center accreditation program.
“We are very pleased to advance trauma care in Pennsylvania by accrediting Good Samaritan as the state’s first Level III Trauma Center,” said Juliet Geiger, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation. “They have clearly demonstrated their commitment to care for injured patients in Schuylkill County and beyond.”
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“Our entire staff has worked tirelessly to achieve this milestone,” said Good Samaritan President/CEO Bernard G. Koval. “We know that we are dedicated to providing exceptional care to our patients, and this designation proves it.”
Level I and II Adult Centers, Level I Pediatric Centers, and Level I/II Trauma Centers with Additional Qualifications in Pediatric Trauma were the only levels of trauma center to be accredited by PTSF until Level III trauma center accreditation was created through the passage of the Trauma Stabilization Act that was signed into law by Governor Rendell in March 2004.
This legislative mandate, as well as PTSF Standards for Trauma Center Accreditation, dictate that Level III Trauma Centers must:
- Be located in a county without a Level I or II center.
- Be greater than 25 miles from an accredited Level I or II trauma center.
- Have a comprehensive emergency department.
- Have 4,000 patients admitted through its emergency department per year.
- Have the capability to manage initial care with a general surgeon available within 30 minutes.
- Have a resuscitation team organized for severely injured patients.
- Facilitate mandatory transfers for severely injured patients.
“Implementing the standards for Level III accreditation is very rigorous and can be costly, especially for smaller community hospitals. We are fortunate that the Pennsylvania legislature has approved funding for hospitals pursuing Level III accreditation since 2004,” stated Juliet Geiger.
Good Samaritan began the process to become a Level III Trauma Center in May 2004. Staff education and process improvement activities were implemented to prepare the Medical Center to apply for Level III Trauma Center accreditation. In mid-2006, Mohamed Meeran, MD, was named Trauma Program Medical Director and joined the Trauma Program Coordinator, Erin Marinchak, RN, BSN, CCRN, to head Good Samaritan’s Trauma Program. In February 2007, Good Samaritan submitted its application to undergo a Level III accreditation site survey by PTSF.
Good Samaritan was then surveyed in August 2007 by a team of PTSF surveyors including a board-certified trauma surgeon, board-certified emergency medicine physician and a registered nurse. The team’s findings were reviewed by the PTSF Board of Directors who granted Good Samaritan accreditation for one year as a Level III Trauma Center, effective November 1, 2007.
“Good Samaritan showed that it complies with standards for trauma center accreditation which serve to ensure that optimal clinical care is delivered to the trauma patient by physicians, nurses and all allied healthcare professionals”, said Geiger. “This is exemplified through their commitment, capacity and ability, clinical expertise, and constant vigilance to performance improvement activities.”
In 1985 Pennsylvania became the eighth state in the country to develop a trauma system through the passage of the EMS Act of 1985, which established The Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation (PTSF) as the accrediting body for trauma centers in the state.