Franciscan Health Crown Point has been reverified as a Level III Trauma Center by the Verification Review Committee (VRC), an ad hoc committee of the Committee on Trauma (COT) of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). This achievement recognizes the trauma center’s dedication to providing optimal care for injured patients.

Hospital President and CEO Daniel McCormick, MD, said, “Franciscan Health Crown Point has been committed to bringing the highest level of care to Northwest Indiana, and our latest trauma certification as a Level III center reaffirms that commitment.”

Verified trauma centers must meet the essential criteria that ensure trauma care capability and institutional performance, as outlined by the American College of Surgeons’ Committee on Trauma in its current Resources for Optimal Care of the Injured Patient manual.

“It’s something we’re very proud of,” said Eric Woo, DO, medical director of the trauma program in Crown Point. “It means the community has an institution right here in the Region that is dedicated to providing the best possible care to injured patients.”

Franciscan Health Crown Point was first verified as a Level III trauma center in 2017. The reverification, which had been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, will last three years, through Dec. 5, 2024.

Dr. Woo said verification comes after a very close two-day examination by the ACS, but the work of documentation and preparation is much more involved. “While the actual verification is a two-day process, you begin preparing for your verification the day after you get your last one,” he said.

One of the main requirements to achieve Level III designation is to always have a trauma surgeon available within 30 minutes, but Dr. Woo says it also requires a commitment from the entire organization. It includes protocols, training and relationships with higher level trauma centers, so transfers of patients can be expedited if necessary. “It encompasses every department, every specialty, all the ancillary services to take care of the patients,” he said.

The ACS Committee on Trauma’s verification program does not designate trauma centers. Rather, the program provides confirmation that a trauma center has demonstrated its commitment to providing the highest quality trauma care for all injured patients. The actual establishment and the designation of trauma centers is the function of local, regional, or state health care systems agencies, such as the local emergency medical services (EMS) authority.

“We are very proud to have a team of dedicated physicians, nurses, and healthcare providers that have brought their dedication and expertise to this program,” Dr. McCormick said. “Lastly, we have to remember that without the support of our first responders, Mayor David Uran and other local and state government officials, programs like this would be more difficult to sustain.”

Dr. Woo adds, “There’s a constant ongoing collaboration and examination of processes and outcomes, with work and effort toward delivering trauma care as good as possible. No one is resting on their laurels. We’re always trying to improve.”