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Elkhart General recognized as Level III Trauma Center

Elkhart General Hospital has achieved Level III Trauma Center designation by the American College of Surgeons. The recognition means Elkhart General has demonstrated its commitment to providing the highest quality trauma care for all injured patients.

“This high achievement is a testament to the dedication of our physicians and caregivers, who ensure we are providing the highest quality trauma care to Elkhart and the surrounding counties,” said Carl Risk, Elkhart General president. “The designation also speaks to Beacon’s resolve to providing clinical excellence to our patients and the community.”

(From left to right) Samantha Fisher, Elkhart General trauma program manager, Dr. Luis Benavente, Elkhart General trauma medical director, Dr. Mary McCarthy, American College of Surgeons lead reviewer, Dr. Bill Morgan, American College of Surgeons reviewer.

The verification affects not only Elkhart, but also those communities located within 45 minutes of Elkhart General Hospital.

The Indiana triage and transportation rule mandates that patients determined to need trauma center care must be transported to the nearest trauma center within 45 minutes of their location.

Elkhart General is the second Beacon Health System facility to receive trauma center designation; Memorial Hospital of South Bend is a verified Level II trauma center. Elkhart General and Memorial have the only trauma centers in this part of the state.

For the past 15 months, Elkhart General Hospital has held the “in process” status for Level III trauma center verification. This means Elkhart General has been accepting and treating the community’s most seriously injured patients, providing prompt assessment, resuscitation, emergency surgery, stabilization and arrangements for transfers when necessary, while working toward verification.

Indiana now has 23 verified trauma centers, including 13 Level III trauma centers, six Level II trauma centers, and four Level I trauma centers.

“Trauma systems across the nation have improved the mortality rate in the ‘golden hour’ through interventions that allow patients to survive after suffering life-threatening injuries,” said Luis Benavente, MD, FACS, medical director of Elkhart General Hospital’s trauma center. “Our trauma program helps us rapidly assemble the doctors, surgeons, radiologists, technicians, nurses and others necessary to work together and treat injured patients.”

“I’m very proud of Elkhart General Hospital and our trauma team for attaining this designation, because you never know when you or a loved one will need this type of care,” Benavente said. “It should give you peace of mind to know that there is a trauma system and team to take care of you right here in your community.”