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MGRMC is a Level IV Trauma Center, What Does That Mean For You?

At Mount Graham Regional Medical Center, we understand that access to immediate care in the case of emergencies is crucial. The difference between stable conditions and irreparable damage could come down to the care a patient receives in the first few minutes when they arrive at our hospital. We are proud to be a designated Level IV Trauma Center. 

Level IV trauma centers provide evaluation, stabilization, and diagnostic capabilities for injured patients. From here, we can treat our patients accordingly or transfer these patients to a higher-level trauma center to continue to receive appropriate care. MGRMC is fully equipped with resources to help us care for our injured patients. Resources such as emergency blood, splints, and equipment are needed in an emergent situation. Ultrasound, fiber optic intubation equipment, and a top-of-the-line CT scanner are all used to help care for trauma patients. 

“We are fortunate to have great EMS personnel locally, including several volunteer agencies, that participate in the trauma program and continued training. We are also very fortunate to have several great transporting agencies (like Life Net, Air Evac, and Ponderosa) to aid us in transferring the patient when more resources are needed, and the patient must be transferred to a higher level of care,” said Stacie Hincha, RN, CEN, CFRN, Director of Emergency Services. 

All of our Emergency Department Physicians and mid-level providers are trained in Advanced Trauma Life Support. Many of our nurses have taken the Trauma Nursing Core Course. We have also hosted several Rural Trauma Team Development courses with the help of Level I centers from Phoenix and Tucson. We have also trained all of our staff on the activation criteria and procedures; this includes our ancillary departments as well, such as radiology, lab, and respiratory. 

Part of being a great trauma center is constantly improving our processes and procedures to provide the best treatments to patients. We are always looking to better ourselves and implement new changes as needed. We also work closely with level I centers that can provide feedback.

Dr. Bart Carter, our Chief Medical Officer and general surgeon acts as our Trauma Medical Director. He and Dr. Jorden Marble, our second general surgeon, respond to our trauma critical patients. “We have a trauma team available 24/7. We are different from other rural IV centers because our surgery department is very involved in trauma. They are available when needed to respond to help the patient,” said Hincha.

Rural areas are at greater risk of death and severe injuries resulting from trauma, mainly due to the time it takes to transfer patients to trauma centers. Having a level IV Trauma Center for our rural community is a great benefit to our patients present to the emergency department. 

Because rural populations are at more risk, it’s a great benefit to our community that our hospital has a highly trained team and the equipment needed to care for the injured patient. “Every single Department, from administration to those providing the care, are passionate about caring for our injured patients,” said Hincha.

At Mount Graham Regional Medical Center, we are consistently working towards providing the best possible care for our patients and their families, especially when caring for those experiencing the hardship of a severe injury or trauma. “You won’t find a more dedicated, supportive, and trained level IV rural trauma center,” said Shanna Cluff, RN and MGRMC’s Trauma Program Director, “We are always looking and implementing new changes as needed.”

We are grateful to serve our community and be here for our patients on their worst days. After all, we are caring for our neighbors, our friends, and our families.