Hackensack University Medical Center Verified as Level II Trauma Center

The Emergency Trauma Center (ETC) at Hackensack University Medical Center has been verified as a Level II Trauma Center by the Verification Review Committee (VRC), an ad hoc committee of the Committee on Trauma (COT) of the American College of Surgeons (ACS.) This achievement recognizes the Trauma Center’s dedication to providing optimal care for injured patients.

“I want to congratulate the entire trauma team on this well-deserved recognition,” said Mark D. Sparta, FACHE, president and chief hospital executive, Hackensack University Medical Center and executive vice president, Population Health, Hackensack Meridian Health. “Hackensack University Medical Center is one of only 10 state-designated trauma centers and the only Level-II Trauma Center in Bergen County.”

Established by the American College of Surgeons in 1987, the COT’s Consultation/Verification Program for Hospitals promote 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.

“This achievement from the American College of Surgeons demonstrates our commitment to providing life-saving care when it matters most,” said Sanjeev Kaul, M.D., chief, Division of Trauma/Surgical Critical Care and Injury Prevention, Hackensack University Medical Center.  “Our trauma team consistently delivers the highest quality care to our patients and their families each and every day and this recognition speaks to their dedication and hard work.”

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 and its current Resources for Optimal Care of the Injured Patient manual.

The trauma team at Hackensack University Medical Center is among the largest in the state with eight experienced and highly trained trauma surgeons who are double board certified in general surgery and trauma/surgical critical care.  The trauma center also has 15 advanced practice providers, including 13 physician assistants and two nursing practitioners.  Nearly three thousand patients were treated last year in the trauma center at Hackensack University Medical Center.

“We are so proud of the patient-centered care our trauma team members provide,” said Lisa Iachetti, vice president of Operations at Hackensack University Medical Center.  “Recognitions like this one from the American College of Surgeons are a real testament to our team’s dedication.”

The ACS Committee on Trauma’s verification program does not designate trauma centers.  Rather, the program provides confirmation that a trauma center has demonstrated its commitment to providing the highest quality trauma care for all injured patients.  The actual establishment and the designation of trauma centers is the function of local, regional or state health care systems agencies, such as the local emergency medical services (EMS) authority.

There are five specific categories of verification in the COT’s program.  Each category has specific criteria that must be met by a facticity seeking that level of verification.  Each hospital has an on-site review by a team of experienced site reviewers, who use the current Resources for the Optimal care of the Injured Patient manual as a guideline in conducting the survey.

The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and education association of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical education and practice to improve the care of the surgical patient.  The college has more than 72,000 members and it is the largest association of surgeons in the world.  Longstanding achievements have placed the ACS in the forefront of American surgery and have made it an important advocate for all surgical patients.

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