Every second matters in a trauma emergency, meaning it’s crucial for a community to be equipped with a healthcare team prepared at any moment to treat patients suffering from major traumatic injury. Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (TMH), the region’s only Level II Trauma Center, recently received redesignation as a Level II Trauma Center by the Florida Department of Health (FDOH).
The redesignation ensures that TMH continues to meet rigorous standards to provide advanced, comprehensive care to trauma patients throughout the region.
The designation lasts for seven years and is subject to interim surveys from FDOH. TMH first gained provisional designation as a Level II Trauma Center in 2008 and was granted full designation in 2009 – becoming the first and only Level II Trauma Center in the region. TMH was last recertified in 2016.
It’s estimated that two-thirds of all Leon County EMS patients are transported to TMH, and all patients in the area requiring definitive care for traumatic injury are transported to the Bixler Trauma and Emergency Center on the main TMH campus. In 2022, TMH physicians treated a total of 2,030 patients experiencing traumatic injury. All emergency and urgent care center visits to TMH in 2022 totaled 137,012.
“This designation, and our continuous work to meet the requirements of maintaining our status as a Level II Trauma Center, is vitally important to the health and wellness of our community,” said Brett Howard, MD, Medical Director of the trauma program at TMH. “By renewing our certification, we’re ensuring that our community has access to advanced trauma care.”
Eligibility for designation as a Level II Trauma Center requires meeting stringent standards that include 24/7 access to trauma surgeons and surgical specialties, specific staffing ratios, disaster preparedness, injury prevention, community education and outreach, quality improvement and trauma-specific education for clinical staff.
The specific requirements for a Level II Trauma Center include:
• 24-hour access to trauma and general surgeons, neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons and other surgical subspecialist groups.
• Immediate availability of operating rooms, anesthesiology, radiology, emergency medicine and critical care.
• Annual continuing education for all team members involved in trauma care.
• Quality assessment and improvement programs.
• Community outreach and education for injury prevention.
“We’re especially proud of the hard work and dedication from the medical staff and colleagues on our trauma team,” said Ryan Smith, Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer at TMH. “Without their commitment to providing the best care to our trauma patients, as well as the time they dedicate to continuing education and community outreach, this designation wouldn’t be possible.”
Tallahassee Memorial’s trauma team continuously works to ensure readiness for treating patients experiencing traumatic injury through mock trauma drills and mass casualty event simulations. TMH also focuses on community outreach and education on trauma through programs such as Operation Prom Night, Operation Spring Break, Walk Like MADD and Stop the Bleed.
According to the FDOH, the state of Florida is home to 36 trauma centers, which includes just four in the Florida Panhandle spanning from the I-75 corridor to Pensacola.
About Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare
Founded in 1948, Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (TMH) is a private, nonprofit community healthcare system committed to transforming care, advancing health, and improving lives with an ultimate vision to elevate the standards of healthcare practice, quality and innovation in the region. Serving a 21-county area in North Florida and South Georgia, TMH is comprised of a 772-bed acute care hospital, a surgery and adult ICU center, a psychiatric hospital, multiple specialty care centers, three residency programs, 38 affiliated physician practices and partnerships with Alliant Management Services, Apalachee Center, Calhoun Liberty Hospital, Capital Health Plan, Doctors’ Memorial Hospital, Florida State University College of Medicine, Radiology Associates, Weems Memorial Hospital and Wolfson Children’s Hospital. For more information, visit TMH.ORG.