Trauma and Emergency Care
St. Joseph to Build New Emergency & Trauma Center
Bryan, TX (December 2, 2013) – After being designated the region’s highest level trauma center, St. Joseph Health System is now investing more than $20 million into a new facility to house our trauma program. Called the St. Joseph Emergency and Trauma Center (ETC), the St. Joseph ETC will be built on the campus of our Bryan hospital, St. Joseph Regional Health Center.
The number of trauma patients St. Joseph cares for has steadily increased since our Level II Trauma Center designation. In addition, according to CDC data, St. Joseph’s emergency department cares for patients more acutely ill than national averages.
The new, larger facility will improve patient flow and reduce wait time. St. Joseph’s ETC will also be strategically designed for specialized, clinical teams to deliver personalized care.
“Different patients have different needs,” said Kathleen R. Krusie, CEO of St. Joseph Regional Health Center. “The design of the new Emergency & Trauma Center will allow clinicians to treat patients in a setting that is more comfortable and private. The new facility will also make the team even more efficient when treating serious incidents such as stroke, heart attack, auto accidents and head and fall injuries, all of which are a race against the clock when treating.”
“We have been working on building the trauma program and now we need the physical space to accommodate our increasing trauma volume,” said Adair de Berry-Carlisle, D.O., F.A.C.O.S., medical director of the Level II Trauma Program at St. Joseph Regional Health Center.
St. Joseph will finalize design of the new facility in early 2014, though renderings of what the ETC could look like are available. Construction will start in the spring and is expected to finish by mid-2015.
St. Joseph’s New Emergency & Trauma Center (ETC) will:
• Double our current size
o This will provide a comfortable environment that will allow us to serve patients in larger, private rooms – with more space for loved ones patients want nearby in an emergency.
o Our current emergency department is undersized for the number of patients we see on a daily basis.
• Include more parking and a second helipad
• Address the needs of behavioral health patients seeking emergency care
o St. Joseph is not licensed to provide in-patient psychiatric care; these patients must be stabilized and transferred. The shortage of local in-patient psychiatric beds sometimes creates extended wait times. Our new ETC will include rooms with safety measures specifically for these patients.
• Provide more space to support our EMS partners.
o St. Joseph Regional Health Center receives ambulance transports from more than 15 counties across the Brazos Valley. On average, our Emergency and Trauma Center receives 1.4 patients per hour by ambulance or just over 33 patients by ambulance every day. Our new ETC will include a private workspace for EMS staff to finish paperwork.
• Dedicated areas for specific patient populations
• Better connectivity to the main hospital
o Over the years, St. Joseph has made modest renovations to handle continual increases in patient volume. During one of the renovations, the public connecting corridor to the main hospital was removed to allow the ER to expand. Convenient access from the ER to the rest of our campus is part of the new building’s plan.
St. Joseph Now a Level II Trauma Center
Bryan, TX (May 2013) - St. Joseph Regional Health Center stands ready to meet the needs of critically ill or injured patients throughout the Brazos Valley. The trauma program at St. Joseph is a verified Level II Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and a designated Level II Trauma Center by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). This verification and designation makes St. Joseph Regional Health Center (SJRHC) the highest level trauma center in the region.
This achievement recognizes St. Joseph's dedication to providing optimal care for patients suffering from all types of injuries, including those that are life-threatening. Designation as a Trauma Center requires that St. Joseph be committed to organized, multidisciplinary care of the trauma victim throughout their hospitalization. Trauma care is delivered by numerous highly trained professionals throughout the hospital. Having this level of trauma care available in our region allows patient access to high quality trauma care for the best possible outcome - closer to home.
There is a misconception that trauma care involves only the ambulance system and the emergency department, but it actually involves much more. As a trauma center, SJRHC provides all the resources needed to care for injured patients from the pre-hospital phase through the rehabilitation phase. Additional trauma-specific education is required for physicians, nurses, EMS, and other clinical personnel caring for injured patients. This ensures that patients receive the most advanced trauma care available. The trauma center is in a constant state of readiness, prepared to save lives.
As a leader in trauma care in our region, SJRHC and the St. Joseph outlying facilities participate in our area Regional Advisory Council. This includes injury prevention programs that run throughout the year to help reduce the number of traumatic injuries. The St. Joseph System is committed to the development and growth of our regional trauma and disaster system, all of this making us part of the St. Joseph Difference.
The SJRHC trauma program is one of only a handful in the nation that operates both a ground and air ambulance service. St. Joseph AirMedical is housed at our hospital in Bryan. Crew members gain hospital experience in emergency and trauma care while rounding with emergency department physicians and trauma surgeons. The result is seamless coordination of care.
Trauma does not discriminate and everyone is at risk. St. Joseph is committed to service, quality, and providing excellent health care. As the population grows, more trauma will occur and St. Joseph Regional Health Center stands ready to care for these patients.
The ACS Evaluation Process:
The American College of Surgeons verifies the existence of certain resources. Some things they consider include readiness, policies, patient care and performance improvement. The ACS surveyors provide confirmation that a trauma center has demonstrated its commitment to providing the highest quality trauma care for all injured patients. Verification means SJRHC has the expertise, equipment and programs in place to care for every part of the patient and family's experience.
St. Joseph knows trauma care is a team effort involving every department and our trauma staff is always ready to care for those who need it.
What is Trauma?
Trauma is an injury or wound caused by something outside the body. Trauma can be caused by things like falls, car accidents and weapons. Trauma centers handle the most severe, life-threatening, blunt force and penetrating injuries that require operations and other interventions by multiple specialists. Trauma centers provide comprehensive care to all trauma patients and can decrease the likelihood of fatality from trauma by 25-percent. (Source: Trauma Center Association of America.) Only one in 10 U.S. hospitals is a major trauma center. Meaning 45-million Americans don't have access to a Level I or Level II trauma center within an hour of being injured. (Trauma Center Association of America.) Trauma affects people from all walks of life. As the area's population grows, the risk for trauma increases.
What is a Trauma Level?
These categories are national standards for trauma care. Levels one through four refer to the kinds of resources available at a trauma center and the number of patients admitted yearly. As the trauma level number decreases, trauma capabilities increase.
About St. Joseph's Trauma Program:
St. Joseph is the most advanced and only Level II Trauma Center a between Houston, Temple, Austin and San Antonio.
- Our Trauma Centers are ready when you need us - covering over 10 counties. We work as a team with over 10 EMS agencies across the Brazos Valley to ensure patients receive the most advanced trauma care possible. St. Joseph regularly shares best practices and innovations - not just in the counties we provide the primary 911 response, or in Bryan, where one of our ER physicians is the Medical Director for the Bryan Fire Department - but everywhere our trauma reach extends.
- St. Joseph is the primary 911 Service Provider for Burleson County, Grimes County - and starting June 1, Madison County.
- Dr. Aaron Buzzard, a St. Joseph Emergency Physician, is the Medical Director of the Bryan Fire Department.
- St. Joseph's Trauma Program is one of only a handful in the nation that operates both a ground and air ambulance service.
- St. Joseph AirMedical is housed at our hospital in Bryan. Crew members gain hospital experience in the ER and trauma care while rounding with ER physicians and trauma surgeons. The result is seamless coordination of care.
- In the last 5 years, St. Joseph has cared for more than 16,000 trauma patients system-wide.
- 40% of our trauma cases were caused by a fall, 30% by car crashes.