UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center achieves Level III trauma designation

Residents and visitors to the Yampa Valley and northwest Colorado now have local access to an increased level of trauma care
February 12th, 2018

A picture of the front entrance of Yampa Valley Medical Center in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.Steamboat Springs, Colo.  (Feb. 12, 2018) – UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center was designated a Level III trauma center on Feb. 9, 2018 by the State of Colorado, Department of Public Health and Environment, Health Facilities and Emergency Medical Services Division (CDPHE).

“By elevating from a Level IV to a Level III trauma designation, the State of Colorado recognizes we have the personnel, resources and commitment to be able to take care of more of our injured patients right here at home,” said Mark Hermacinski, general surgeon and trauma medical director at UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center.

According to the American Trauma Society, a Level III trauma center has demonstrated an ability to provide prompt assessment, resuscitation, surgery, intensive care and stabilization of injured patients and emergency operations. To this effect, Yampa Valley Medical Center has 24/7 coverage by board-certified emergency medicine physicians and retains on-call medical specialists, including surgeons and anesthesiologists, among others, to deliver a multidisciplinary, team approach to care.

“We see trauma every day, and we see a lot of it for a town and hospital of our size due to the active lifestyle of our community,” said Tiffany Moore, RN and trauma coordinator at UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center. “We want to be able to treat and keep more patients in the Yampa Valley instead of having to send them to another facility. As a Level III trauma center, we can now do that.”

A photo of the ambulance bay at Yampa Valley Medical Center in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Patients who will now be able to stay at YVMC for care due to the Level III trauma designation include:

  • Trauma patients with hemodynamically-stable multi-system traumas
  • Trauma patients on ventilators
  • Trauma patients with non-surgical brain bleeds, following a consultation with a Level I or II facility

“This new designation enables better use of the resources that already exist in our hospital,” said Nathan Anderson, emergency medicine physician and trauma co-director at UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center. “This isn’t an endpoint. Rather, we see it as a call to continue to expand and strengthen our hospital and medical staff and the physical plant in terms of specialties represented, depth of staff training and an enhanced emergency department to meet the needs of our patients.”

About the author

Lindsey Reznicek is a communications specialist with UCHealth who is based in Steamboat Springs.