Stony Brook Southampton Hospital (SBSH) has become the first hospital on the East End to be granted Level III Trauma Center verification from the American College of Surgeons (ACS). Trauma Center verification is an ACS evaluation process administered by its Verification, Review, and Consultation Program (VRC), designed to help hospitals improve trauma care.
“Verification is only awarded after a rigorous demonstration of a hospital’s critical resources to provide optimal care of an injured patient,” said Margaret M. McGovern, MD, PhD, Knapp Professor of Pediatrics, Dean for Clinical Affairs and Vice President for Health System Clinical Programs and Strategy at Stony Brook Medicine. “Stony Brook Southampton Hospital’s verification makes it one of only seven trauma centers in Suffolk County, and as part of Stony Brook Medicine Health System, it provides seamless access to the Stony Brook University Hospital Trauma Center, which is the only Level I Trauma Center in the county designated for both adults and pediatrics.”
In 2016, the New York State Department of Health recognized Stony Brook Southampton Hospital as a provisional Level III Adult Trauma Center, providing care to the most critically injured patients. Trauma patients who require a higher level of care can be transported to the Stony Brook University Hospital Level I Trauma Center either by ambulance or, when critical, by a clinically staffed Suffolk County Police Department helicopter in 12 minutes.
“This is the first ACS-verified Level III Trauma Center on the East End of Long Island, and by doing this, Stony Brook Medicine is bringing much needed specialized care — particularly in emergency situations — to the people in our East End communities,” said James A. Vosswinkel, MD, FACS, Trauma Medical Director and Chief of the Division of Trauma, Emergency Surgery, and Surgical Critical Care in the Department of Surgery at Stony Brook, who oversees the Stony Brook Medicine Health System Trauma Program. “With the Stony Brook Southampton Hospital Trauma Center covering the East End of Long Island, and a top Level I Trauma Center at Stony Brook University Hospital a short transport away, we can provide the community with the most appropriate level of care at the appropriate time.”
Trauma Center designation is a process outlined and developed at a state or local level. The state or local municipality identifies unique criteria under which to categorize Trauma Centers. A designation and a verification process are deployed to determine trauma center levels across the United States. The ACS’s verification process validates the presence of vital resources, including readiness, policies, patient care and performance improvement.
“Faster treatment for trauma patients can mean the difference between life and death,” said Fredric Weinbaum, MD, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Operating Officer, Stony Brook Southampton Hospital. “During the summer season when the regional population swells and traffic is at a standstill, it is critically important that trauma care be accessible and nearby.”
A Level III Trauma Center verification is granted by the ACS upon demonstration of the ability to provide prompt assessment, resuscitation, surgery, intensive care and stabilization of injured patients and emergency operations. Elements of Level III Trauma Centers include a robust list of resources, including 24-hour immediate coverage by emergency medicine physicians and the prompt availability of general surgeons and anesthesiologists. Southampton’s trauma team includes over 100 surgeons, surgery residents, emergency room doctors, nurses and anesthesiologists who are available 24 hours a day.
In addition to the Level III Trauma Center at Southampton Hospital, Stony Brook Medicine, along with Stony Brook Southampton Hospital and the Southampton Hospital Association, are working toward providing the town of East Hampton with a satellite Emergency Department to help address the urgent medical needs of year-round residents and the area’s increasing number of second-home owners and visitors.