Maui Hospital Initiates Effort to Obtain Level II Trauma Center Status
Maui Health today announced it has initiated efforts to gain verification as an American College of Surgeons Level II Trauma Center. The ACS Level II status is the highest ranking for a community hospital, and if granted, would make the Maui facility only the second Level II Trauma Center in the state.
Hospital representatives say it will take nearly two years to fully implement all of the ACS requirements before undergoing evaluation via an official survey.
Starting June 1, Maui Memorial Medical Center will dedicate four trauma surgeons to care for only trauma patients. “MMMC is the only acute-care hospital on Maui and has always had general and trauma surgeons who rotate an on-call schedule to ensure there is always a qualified surgeon available for patients. This newly established trauma team is available 24/7, meaning there will always be a surgeon on call that is dedicated to trauma patients, and only trauma patients,” said Maui Health spokesperson Tracy Dallarda.
“The trauma team will respond in minutes to all trauma patients, including injuries that may require immediate resuscitation and interventions to save life or limb, as well as injuries from motor vehicle accidents, fires, shark attacks or breaking waves, as examples,” according to Maui Health.
Dr. Art Chasen, trauma surgeon and Maui Health Trauma Director said, “Trauma services have always been a part of our medical care and now we are working to expand our trauma capabilities that will align the level of care and services we provide with some of the top trauma centers in the nation. Maui’s population includes many who live a highly active lifestyle that have the potential for traumatic injuries. We also have a growing kupuna population who experience traumatic falls and other injuries, and Maui is popular with visitors who are also in need of trauma care for a variety of injuries. This verification is important for the health and wellness for all we serve.”
Dr. Chasen is joined by three additional trauma surgeons including Drs. Sergio Lugo, Beth Jarrett and Stephanie Yan.
MMMC cares for about 1,000 trauma patients each year and this number continues to grow.
“With the increasing needs of our community and visitors, and our growth in our clinical team specialists over several years including orthopedics, plastic surgery, intervention radiology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, vascular surgery and neurosurgery,” said Michael Rembis, Maui Health CEO, “MMMC is well prepared and excited to begin this important journey to ACS Level II Trauma Center verification, and, because we are able to offer a higher level of specialty care, we have been able to decrease our off-island patient transfers from 19% to 3%, which means our residents can continue to receive excellent, high-quality care close to home and family,.”
The trauma center preparedness team is already actively working on the many ACS requirements including community outreach and education. Outreach programs include public awareness campaigns for trauma and injury prevention, education and training like Stop the Bleed – a critical lifesaving technique that was taught to over 200 teachers and other individuals at schools across Maui and at a pre-COVID STB training held at MMMC.
Additionally, for May’s National Stop the Bleed month, Maui Health’s Trauma Program partnered with the Kahului airport team to install the eight Stop the Bleed kits they donated throughout the airport. More STB classes are being planned for the near future.
The Trauma Program team also partners with Maui County Ocean Safety on spinal cord injury prevention and education. According to Maui Health, the team will continue to provide even more education opportunities for community and agency partners.