College of Surgeons Re-verifies Ben Taub’s Level 1 Trauma Designation

HOUSTON (April 27, 2009) – The American College of Surgeons has re-verified the Level 1 trauma designation for the Ginni and Richard Mithoff Trauma Center at Ben Taub General Hospital, marking its fifth consecutive successful review.

The announcement follows an extensive two-day survey conducted of the Harris County Hospital District facility in early March. The designation, the highest possible, assures the community that Ben Taub Hospital’s trauma program meets or exceeds strict guidelines for patient care and trauma expertise set by the college.

“I have reviewed over 180 trauma centers in the past 15 years and I have never cited such a long list of commendations in any of my written reports like I have for Ben Taub Hospital,” said Dr. Marco Bonato, lead surveyor of the Ben Taub Hospital review. “Truly, this institution and all of the dedicated members of the trauma team are setting the standard for trauma centers in the country.”

The college surveyors review trauma programs across the nation every three years. They pore through years of hospital patient charts, interview key staff and inspect facilities and equipment to determine their findings.

Surveyors visit a hospital’s emergency, radiology, operating room, post-anesthesiology care units, intensive care units and rehabilitation departments to review protocols, staffing, patient charts and facilities.

Ben Taub Hospital first received its Level 1 trauma designation in 1994. However, the hospital district’s expertise in trauma care emerged through the pioneer work by renowned surgeon Dr. Michael E. DeBakey in 1949 at Jefferson Davis Hospital.

“I am so incredibly proud of the wonderful men and women who make up our coordinated and caring team at Ben Taub Hospital,” said Dr. Kenneth Mattox, hospital chief of staff. “The legacy of Dr. DeBakey continues here and is a testament of our 60 years of leadership in trauma care.”

Ben Taub Hospital is one of two Level 1 trauma centers in greater Houston/Harris County and is the busiest with nearly 87,000 emergency patient visits during its 2008-2009 fiscal year.

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