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SLV Health to become a Level III Trauma Center

Julie Ramstetter-Trauma Nurse Coordinator

After a daylong review process on Thursday San Luis Valley Health Regional Medical Center, currently a Level IV Trauma Center, has received recommendation by the CDPHE (Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment) for designation as a Level III Trauma Center. Official designation should follow in the next few weeks. This will elevate the trauma level allowing operation at a higher standard of care.

The effort required to be considered for a Level III was no easy accomplishment according to Julie Ramstetter, RN and Trauma Coordinator at SLVH. The process started about a year ago at the direction of Konnie Martin, CEO for SLV Health, according to Ramstetter who said “Level IV Trauma Centers typically stabilize and transfer patients to a higher level of care. With our expanded scope, meaning we have full time trauma and orthopedic surgeon coverage, we currently have the ability to keep patients here for care we can safely provide.” Ramstetter further explained “However, the CDPHE has expressed interest in requiring all Level IV trauma centers throughout the state to operate within their scope. All trauma patients after that point would require transfer to a higher level of care which would mean transfer out of the Valley for our patients.”

With the support and guidance of Centura Health, an affiliate of SLV Health, the strenuous process began. Ms. Ramstetter noted that she had the help and support of many to complete the requirements in preparation of the state review. The application itself took more than two months to prepare due to the vast amount of detail required. This included proof of certifications and education required of all surgeons, providers and nursing staff caring for trauma patients as well as other documentation.Dr. Robert Marshall Trauma Medical Director and Dr. Charles MainsDr. Robert Marshall Trauma 

CEO Martin stated, “Our goal is to provide the highest quality of emergency care possible. It’s in the best interest of our patients and their families to seek advancement to a Level III designation prior to impending changes to the state requirement.” She adds, “I’m proud of our team and the work they’ve done to achieve this designation and truly appreciate the support of Centura Health in this accomplishment.” The Level III designation elevates SLV Health RMC to the trauma designation level of such hospitals as St. Mary Corwin and others on the front-range.

Dr. Greg McAuliffe, Chief Medical Officer, adds, “The end result is that we are doing the right thing for our community. That’s what this is about.”