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CHI St. Joseph's Health designated as Level 4 trauma hospital

CHI St. Joseph’s Health of Park Rapids was recently designated by the state as a Level 4 trauma center. (Kevin Cederstrom/Enterprise)

The Minnesota Department of Health recently designated CHI St. Joseph's Health as a Level 4 Trauma Hospital. CHI St. Joseph's Health and staff voluntarily participated in the intense designation process to become part of Minnesota's statewide trauma system. The process included an outside review of the hospital's resources and capabilities to care for trauma patients. CHI St. Joseph's Health met standards of commitment, clinical and equipment resources and staff training. The hospital also participates in a continuous performance improvement process.

"We are pleased to receive this designation and to be a part of the statewide trauma system providing patients this critical care in our area," said Brenda Huwe, RN, BSN, Emergency Department and Intensive Care Unit Director and Trauma Program Coordinator, CHI St. Joseph's Health.

For a severely injured person, the time between sustaining an injury and receiving definitive care is the most important predictor of survival—the "golden hour." The chance of survival diminishes with time; however, a trauma system enhances the chance of survival regardless of proximity to an urban trauma hospital.

"Trauma is the third leading cause of death in Minnesota," said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Edward Ehlinger. "The goal of the trauma system is to decrease injured patients' time to care by making sure their medical needs are appropriately matched with hospital resources. With the designation of CHI St. Joseph's Health as a level 4 trauma hospital, we are getting closer to our goal of ensuring that seriously injured Minnesotans have access to an organized system of trauma care wherever they are in the state."

On average, trauma claims the lives of 2,400 Minnesotans annually. States with trauma systems have seen survival rates increase by 15 to 20 percent. Widescale participation in the voluntary trauma system ensures that a statewide, cooperative effort is in place to care for seriously injured patients.

Minnesota began developing a comprehensive statewide trauma system in August of 2005. Through its designation CHI St. Joseph's Health recognizes the vital role that communities, ambulance services, hospitals and health care professionals play in the care and management of trauma patients.

For more information, see the Minnesota Statewide Trauma System site at

" target="_blank">www.health.state.mn.us/traumasystem/

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