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University of Missouri Health Care News Releases
University Hospital verified nationally as Level I trauma center (AUDIO AVAILABLE)

COLUMBIA, Mo. — University Hospital’s trauma center has been verified by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) as a Level I trauma center, the highest national recognition a trauma center can receive.

The Frank L. Mitchell Jr., M.D., Trauma Center at University Hospital is designated a Level I trauma center by the state of Missouri and is one of only two Level I trauma centers in Missouri verified by the Committee on Trauma of the ACS.

 To be verified as a Level I trauma center, University Hospital demonstrated to the ACS that it is equipped to handle the most serious type of injuries in adults and children 24 hours a day, seven days a week. University Hospital also demonstrated high standards for quality improvement, research and education.

“Level I verification establishes University Hospital in an elite group of trauma centers in the country for providing specialized care to critically injured patients,” said Stephen Barnes, M.D., associate professor and chief of the Division of Acute Care Surgery.

University Hospital serves as a comprehensive trauma center for central Missouri and beyond. Approximately 1,500 trauma patients are treated at the hospital each year. Many of these patients arrive with serious or life-threatening injuries,as the result of motor vehicle crashes, pedestrian and bicycle injuries, falls, burns and other injuries.

Because of the diverse and complex nature of the injuries, the American College of Surgeons requires Level I trauma centers to have specialized surgeons in such areas as trauma, neurosurgery and orthopaedics. These dedicated surgeons, work alongside emergency medicine physicians, anesthesiologists, nurses, and other key specialists in staffing the emergency room, operating rooms and intensive care units around the clock.

“This is a great accomplishment for our trauma team and all the caregivers at University Hospital,” said James Kessel, M.D., medical director for trauma services for University of Missouri Health Care. “But the real beneficiaries of this verification are the people of central Missouri who depend on our hospital for urgent trauma care during an emergency.”

Established in 1987, the Committee on Trauma’s verification program for hospitals promotes the development of trauma centers that provide the entire spectrum of care to address the needs of all injured patients. This spectrum encompasses the prehospital phase through the rehabilitation phase.

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.

University of Missouri Health Care serves patients from every county in Missouri by approximately 5,700 physicians, nurses and health care professionals. As one of the state’s premier academic medical centers, MU Health Care offers highly specialized, multidisciplinary care for patients with the most severe illnesses and injuries. The comprehensive health care network began when University Hospital opened in Columbia in 1956. Today, MU Health Care consists of Children’s Hospital, Columbia Regional Hospital, Ellis Fischel Cancer Center and University Hospital and Clinics, all based in Columbia. The health system also includes a long-term acute-care facility, Missouri Rehabilitation Center, in Mount Vernon, Mo. Academic partners of the health system include the University of Missouri School of Medicine, Sinclair School of Nursing and School of Health Professions. Other affiliates include Rusk Rehabilitation Center in Columbia, Capital Region Medical Center in Jefferson City, Mo., and Cooper County Memorial Hospital in Boonville, Mo.

Audio Files

Stephen Barnes, MD, University Hospital trauma surgeon

 Improving patient outcomes MP3 WAV
 Benefit to central Missouri MP3 WAV
 Nationally recognized trauma center MP3 WAV




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