Sanford, FL—In an effort to expand access to life-saving medical care for critically injured patients, Central Florida Regional Hospital has been designated a Provisional Status Level II Trauma Center by the Florida Department of Health. The hospital began accepting Level II trauma patients on May 1.

Designation as a Provisional Level II Trauma Center means Central Florida Regional Hospital will now receive trauma alerts from emergency medical services personnel responding to emergencies involving critical injuries. Patients are triaged by EMS in the field according to criteria for the level of trauma care and transported to the nearest trauma center capable of providing the appropriate treatment. Previously, trauma patients in Seminole and West Volusia counties were transported more than 25 miles to the nearest trauma center.

“This is a critical, life-saving advancement of medicine for the residents of Seminole and West Volusia counties, as well as for the many visitors to Central Florida who pass through our community each year,” said Wendy Brandon, Chief Executive Officer, Central Florida Regional Hospital. “Our mission is to save lives by reducing transport times for critically injured patients to receive appropriate care. In addition, keeping families of trauma victims closer to their loved ones will help the recovery process for our patients.”

Central Florida Regional Hospital’s quest to become a trauma center began on October 1, 2014, when the hospital filed a letter of intent to submit a Level II trauma center application in 2015. Over the last six months, Central Florida Regional Hospital has built the infrastructure for trauma services, including ER renovations to add two new, fully-equipped trauma bays, specialized equipment and the addition of clinical experts specially trained to provide trauma care. Continuous in-house physician staffing for trauma surgery, emergency medicine and anesthesia along with increased physician staffing of surgical and non-surgical specialties provide a strong foundation for a high-quality trauma medical team. In addition, Central Florida Regional Hospital staff members have logged nearly 7,000 hours of specialized training to ensure clinicians throughout the hospital are prepared to provide the highest level of care for critically ill and injured patients.

“The Central Florida Regional Hospital team can be proud of this accomplishment,” said Erik Barquist, MD, FACS, FCCM, Trauma Medical Director. “Physicians and staff members embraced this initiative at every level and now share the legacy of bringing trauma care to Seminole County. Those involved will always know they had a part in creating this service that will save lives and improve outcomes for critically injured patients.”

Central Florida Regional Hospital is part of Florida’s first statewide network of trauma centers, developed as an affiliation between the University of South Florida (USF) and HCA to improve access and outcomes of injured patients.