Alameda Health System today announced the American College of Surgeons’ (ACS) verified Highland Hospital as an adult Level 1 Trauma Center, the highest designation given by the national organization. This recognition for excellence makes Highland Hospital the only adult Level 1 trauma facility in the East Bay.

Alameda Health System Highland Hospital provides essential health care services to all residents of Alameda County and treats more than 2,400 trauma patients each year, most them victims of traffic accidents and seniors suffering falls. “Level 1” is the highest possible designation for a trauma center, indicating the center’s 24/7 ability to treat all trauma incidents with the highest skill level. The Highland Trauma team earned the designation following one of the most rigorous verification processes in the country.

“Verification as an adult Level 1 Trauma Center validates the quality of trauma care we provide, and acknowledges all departments at Highland Hospital—not just the trauma surgeons and surgical subspecialists, but all departments that collaborate to save patient lives before, during and after their admittance to the Emergency Department,” said Gregory Victorino, M.D., Chief, Division of Trauma at Highland Hospital. “This national recognition emphasizes that we are truly a comprehensive medical center, and solidifies our commitment to being a regional and national leader.”

Highland has been a designated adult Level II Trauma Center since 1980.

“Highland Hospital has always been a valued partner in providing vital emergency medical services in Alameda County, said Travis Kusman, director of Alameda County Emergency Medical Services Agency.  “The Level I Trauma Center designation validates Highland’s commitment to the consistent delivery of high quality care to critically injured patients.”

The designation also affirms Highland’s commitment beyond care at the bedside to its engagement in teaching and training of future providers and establishment of programs to prevent traumatic injuries.

An ACS team of experts in the field of trauma conducted an on-site review and an analysis of the full spectrum of care, from the pre-hospital phase through rehabilitation. National verification was based on Highland Hospital’s ability to treat all aspects of incoming trauma cases with certified trauma surgeons immediately available for any critical care need. The accreditation will undergo renewal every three years.

As a Level 1 Trauma Center, Highland is capable of providing total care for every aspect of injury – from prevention through rehabilitation. The criteria for this level of certification included providing leadership in prevention and public education to our surrounding communities, operating a credentialed teaching and research program to help direct new innovations in trauma care, and providing substance abuse screening and patient intervention.