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Pediatric Trauma Designation

URMC’s Golisano Children’s Hospital Receives Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center Designation

Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center, group photoRochester, NY: UR Medicine Golisano Children’s Hospital (GCH) has been designated as a Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons and New York State, the highest possible classification for trauma care and evidence that GCH is delivering best-practice treatment, education, and research in the field.

Earning this classification was part of a multi-year process in which GCH increased its staffing and facilities infrastructure, including the addition of several pediatric surgeons as well as dedicated staff for Quality Improvement (QI) – a process that streamlines operations and tracks results. Level 1 classification also represents the expansion of GCH services that has been in process the past decade - including the construction of the dedicated GCH hospital facility in 2015 – and offers a roadmap for GCH to continue to offer new, innovative trauma care in the region.

“Level 1 means the care we’re giving is of the highest quality and there’s no form of medical treatment in which we’d need to transfer a patient,” said Marjorie Arca, M.D., chair of the Department of Pediatric Surgery. “This allows for a more comprehensive care team and releases the burden on families who no longer have to fear of traveling and can focus fully on the recovery of their child.”

Level 1 classification means that GCH is now certified to provide the following services and expertise:

  • 24-hour coverage by general surgeons, and prompt availability of care in specialties such as orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology, internal medicine, plastic surgery, oral and maxillofacial, pediatric and critical care.
  • Primary referral resource for communities in nearby regions.
  • Provide leadership in prevention and public education to surrounding communities.
  • Provide continuing education of the trauma team members.
  • Incorporate a comprehensive quality assessment program.
  • Operate an organized teaching and research effort to help direct new innovations in trauma care.
  • Offer Programs for substance abuse screening and patient intervention.
  • Meet minimum requirements for annual volume of severely injured patients.

In a national environment where youth gun violence is soaring, the Level 1 classification means that GCH is able to provide both life-saving treatment to victims and offer public education to communities and patient intervention to prevent recidivism.

“We try not just to talk to the patient, but find out what’s impacting the person behind the trauma, and work to utilize resources such as social work and child life to keep children out of the hospital and from experiencing non-accidental trauma,” said Arca.

Level 1 classification will also allow GCH to expand its research and education for nursing and trauma team members. This research effort is growing monthly and contributing to the overall wealth of knowledge on how to best care for injured children.

“Being Level 1 isn’t just about the quality of treatment,” said Derek Wakeman, M.D., pediatric surgeon. “It’s a recognition of the strength of our research into improving care and being a regional leader in providing outreach and education to all of the nurses in the hospital as well as EMS caregivers in the community.”

Going forward, the GCH trauma team will conduct continuous evaluations to drive quality improvement. Additionally, multiple teaching efforts - such as special certification and simulations with residents, nurses and the emergency department – will help develop the highest level of skill-set in the operating rooms at GCH at all times.

“Earning the Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center designation for UR Medicine Golisano Children’s Hospital is not only an incredible feat for our community, but one for our staff,” said Mark Gestring, M.D., professor of surgery and chief of Emergency Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center. “Our teams work tirelessly to be sure that every resource is available in our trauma center and that we are able to serve any child that comes through our doors, no matter the injury, all while keeping them here in Rochester. It’s a distinction that we are honored to receive and will strive to maintain.”