UPMC Williamsport has been granted Level II Trauma Center accreditation by the Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation (PTSF), recognizing a higher level of care and services provided in north central Pennsylvania. This accreditation went into effect on Sept. 1.
“As a Level II Trauma Center, UPMC Williamsport is prepared to treat patients with serious life-threatening and disabling injuries,” said Ronen Elefant, MD, medical director and trauma surgeon, Trauma Services, UPMC in North Central Pa. “This accreditation validates the years of work and progress made by our physicians and staff. We’re proud to now offer our communities a new level of life-saving trauma care closer to home right here in north central Pennsylvania.”
The PTSF grants accreditation to Pennsylvania trauma centers at four levels. EMS protocols dictate that the most seriously ill patients get transported to a Level I or II trauma center.
UPMC Williamsport is one of just three trauma centers in the 12-county region of north central Pa. It is UPMC’s sixth accredited Trauma Center in the Commonwealth.
Providing high-level trauma care requires a team approach involving departments throughout the hospital offering 24-hour services to severely injured patients. Trauma surgeons, neurosurgeons, orthopaedic surgeons, cardiac surgeons, radiologists, nurses, and support staff all have specialized training and expertise in treating traumatic injuries. In north central Pennsylvania the most common causes of injury that bring patients to a trauma center are falls, motor vehicle crashes, burns, and gunshot wounds. These events cause life-threatening trauma in multiple areas of the body.
“UPMC Williamsport’s accreditation as a Level II Trauma Center offers life-saving benefits for our patients and the community, including more rapid critical care treatments, enhanced emergency surgery outcomes and real time coordination with Level I trauma experts within the UPMC network,” said Steve Johnson, president, UPMC in North Central Pa. “We now have amazing trauma, ER, paramedic, and critical care teams right here in Williamsport 24/7.”
In addition to having a trauma surgeon in the hospital 24 hours a day, an operating room (OR) readiness team is on standby around the clock. UPMC Williamsport’s trauma OR is dedicated solely to trauma patients and is equipped with the most advanced tools for delivering high-quality emergency care the moment it is needed. In addition to clinical duties, trauma experts from UPMC also provide community education and outreach through accident awareness and prevention programs such as Stop the Bleed and SLIP – Senior Lifestyle Injury Prevention as well as car seat and helmet checks, and distracted driving events.
“Medical emergencies and accidents can happen to anyone, and time is of the essence for treatment so there are significant benefits to having access to such high-level care close to home,” said Jason Fink, president & CEO, Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce. “I can speak from firsthand experience after being hit by a car while on my bicycle earlier this year. My kneecap was shattered, a traumatic injury requiring specialty care. In the past, I would have had to leave the area for treatment.
Fortunately, UPMC now treats these types of injuries locally and I was able to get the care I needed at UPMC Williamsport, within two miles of my home and family. My surgeon and physical therapy team were exceptional and had me up walking and back to running and biking quicker than I thought possible. UPMC is bringing access to this advanced, life-saving care right here when it’s needed most and that’s exciting for our community.”