When the San Luis Valley Health, Conejos County Hospital (CCH) announced this month, that it had passed their level IV Trauma recertification, many praises surfaced. CCH has been working hard to evaluate and improve the trauma services available to the community. An ongoing goal of the Trauma Center at CCH has been to offer efficient care. The ability to get patients in and out is a key concern.

Certification of a level IV Trauma Center authorizes that the center has demonstrated an ability to provide advanced trauma life support (ATLS) prior to transfer of patients to a higher level trauma center. It provides evaluation, stabilization, and diagnostic capabilities. The evaluation process verifies the presence of the resources for optimal care of the injured patient including commitment, readiness, resources, policies, patient care, and performance improvement.

When a recertification inspection takes place, a center can get tagged with deficiencies to identify areas of improvement. CCH’s Trauma Department received zero deficiencies or reservations. The surveyor, who inspects hospitals state-wide, stated that if he were ever in need of trauma care within the area, he would absolutely have no reservations about being brought to the CCH Trauma Center, stating, “I would be proud to come here if I were ever hurt and I trust that the center would give great care.” Another note of high regard from the inspection was one highlighting the physician commitment and involvement at CCH’s Trauma Center. Dr. Elizabeth Kinney and Dr. David Alcindor, Co-Directors for the trauma program, along with Dr. Donna Nelson, Medical Director for the ER, were all present during the day of the inspection to answer any questions that came their way.

CCH Administrator, Kelly Gallegos congratulates Racheal Schell, RN & CCH Trauma Nurse Coordinator for all of her efforts and hard work in the recertification process. Gallegos also praises Tandra Dunn, Director of Nursing and Rebecca Sours, Assistant Director of Nursing as well as Julie Ramstetter, Trauma Nurse Coordinator at SLV RMC and partners from Centura Health, all of whom offered their time and dedication to trauma services.

The recertification of the Trauma Center is a voluntary process done by the American College of Surgeons and lasts for a 3-years period.

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