Newsletter Sign Up

The Pulse Extra is SLV Health’s monthly newsletter that arrives in your email inbox on the first Friday of each month. Stay up to date with news and events at San Luis Valley Health! Your email address will not be shared or sold in any way.

Click Here to Sign-up

Trauma Services Put Patients First

Oscar Martinez, a senior at Adams State, stands near the emergency room at SLV Health. In 2019, Martinez was involved in an accident, and the trauma team was able to stabilize him until he was flown out. The trauma team recently received high marks during its trauma survey, affirming Level III trauma standing for the next three years.

In 2019, Oscar Martinez, an Adams State student, was in the garage working on the family car. His mother was planning a trip, and he wanted to check and make sure everything was functioning properly. What the family wasn’t planning on was a frantic trip to SLV Health Regional Medical Center’s emergency room just a short time later.

While checking the brakes, the jack holding up the front of the car gave out, sending the car down on Martinez’s upper body and head, resulting in multiple fractures. His father lifted the car enough for his mother to pull out Martinez’s unconscious body, and the couple drove him straight to the hospital.

Martinez was quickly evaluated and stabilized by the trauma team at SLV Health and transferred to a higher level-of-care facility for continued treatment.

“The doctors and staff were honest and upfront about my injuries when speaking to my family,” Martinez said. “They didn’t sugarcoat it, and my family appreciated how honest they were with them.”

The patient-centered care that Martinez and his family received that day is just one example of the level of care that takes place during some individual’s worst moments. A recent trauma survey done at the regional medical center affirmed the hospital’s Level III trauma standing for the next three years, indicating that the trauma services offered are patient-centered and provide appropriate trauma services on a local level. Comments from the survey team with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment included supportive statements such as, “You have an incredibly robust trauma program.”

They went on to say that the SLVH’s trauma team, led by Julie Ramstetter, RN and Trauma Services Coordinator, and David Geiger, DO, offer “a very solid resource for our region.”

“This survey reassures our direction under the capable leadership of Julie Ramstetter and Dr. Geiger,” said Konnie Martin, CEO of SLV Health. “A special thank you goes out to our staff in responding to this survey, especially by making it interactive using remote technology, as the review utilized a combination of onsite, offsite, and teleconferencing interviews. The results mirror our commitment to providing excellent service close to home and affirm our Level III trauma standing for the next three years.”

Now, Oscar Martinez only has a small recollection of that fateful day. Some lingering nerve damage to the left side of his face took a short time to correct and now, two years later, he’s doing well. Currently a senior in business administration at Adams State, he is looking forward to graduation in the summer.

“I remember waking up, and asking what happened,” Martinez said. “The nurse told me, ‘You’re lucky to be alive.’ Now I’m looking forward to whatever comes next.”

For more information on SLV Health’s services, visit