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SLVH RMC Recertifies as Trauma Level III Hospital

Julie and Carla

Julie Ramstetter, left and Dr. Carla Christ, displaying the certificate.

The Regional Medical Center Trauma team at San Luis Valley Health (SLVH) is proud to announce their re-certification as a Level III trauma center for three more years. They passed the survey, conducted by Dr. Krista Turner, General Surgeon from The Medical Center of Aurora, Level II facility, Dr. David Richards ED physician from Denver Health, Level I facility, and Steve Clayton RN, Trauma Nurse Coordinator from Swedish Medical Center, Level I facility with no deficiencies on April 24, 2024.
The Trauma committee is led by Carla Christ, MD, and Julie Ramstetter, BSN, RN, TCRN.

The team meets regularly to update policies and procedures, to identify processes that enhance delivery of care through best practices, and to stay current with the latest care treatment. The team is continuously looking for opportunities to improve the care patients receive and identify ways to keep patients close to home.
Members of the SLVH Trauma committee also include Monica Hinds, Amber Marquez, Sarah Gilleland, Carissa Tripi, Sam Slade, Julian Maendel, Roberta Bean, Brandon Brown, Mark Shuldberg, Janet McGinnis, Darrick Garcia, Laura Edgerley-Gibb, Cynthia Wheat, Annarae Martinez, Aaron Crowther, Barndon Cantu, and Michael Shell.

Their overall mission is to deliver competent and efficient trauma care, which often leads to life-saving measures to our patients. “Trauma means that we know how to stabilize patients after they experience a bad fall or victims of shootings or stabbings, patients from vehicle accidents or machinery, and either to perform surgery or send patients safely to the next level of care,” commented Julie Ramstetter. Julie has over 28 years of experience as a Registered Nurse and has been consistently supporting the Trauma Committee for the past 15 years.
The highlights of the survey were the comments from the surveying team and how impressed they were at the level of care delivered in a rural setting. “Your team is so prepared and well-equipped,” commented one of the surveyors. “We are extremely impressed.”

The following strengths were mentioned by the reviewers:
• Collective experience and enthusiasm of trauma leadership – Julie and Dr. Christ- are outstanding, especially in interaction with the Regional Emergency Medical and Trauma Services Advisory Council (RETAC);
• The attention to community-specific needs and mechanism of injury and the ability to interact with local entities to make changes (i.e. concern over traffic patterns on highways and discussion with CDOT);
• The use of an education team within the hospital and RETAC to assist with needs and utilization of resources available to them;
• Ongoing ability to assess needs and utilize resources, for example, EMTS grants, and increase physical therapy;
• Capital gains improvements in the hospital – maintaining similar equipment across the facility to reduce errors and additional education;
• Solid relationship between disciplines with the ability to discuss issues as they arise;
• Performance improvement and loop closure is detail-oriented and
outstanding; and
• Good orientation plan for providers, with emphasis on maintaining education and hospital practice for visiting providers.
The trauma level III designation has been in place for 12 years now, and each year it gets more robust. It is a stellar program for SLV Health and for the community. “In taking the lead role as trauma medical director, I have found it to be a great experience, and I appreciate the teamwork that goes into the care of trauma patients from the housekeepers, and lab technicians, to the providers. Our hope is to continue to provide education and encourage safety in the community to limit the need for our services, but when they are needed, to continue to provide excellent care to our patients,” commented Dr. Christ.