Norwalk, CT - The Committee on Trauma of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) has re-verified Norwalk Hospital as a Level II Trauma Center. This achievement recognizes the trauma center’s dedication to providing optimal care for injured patients.
Established by the American College of Surgeons in 1987, the Committee on Trauma’s Verification/Consultation Program for Hospitals promotes the development of trauma centers in which participants provide not only the hospital resources for care of the injured patient, but address the entire spectrum of care, from the pre-hospital phase through the rehabilitation process. Programs must understand the needs of their community, track their outcomes, and constantly self-assess the quality of the care they provide according to the ACS’s criteria, as outlined in their Resources for Optimal Care of the Injured Patient manual.
Klaus J. Thaler, MD, chairman of the Norwalk Hospital Department of Surgery congratulated the physicians and hospital staff for their commitment to trauma patients. He commended Kathleen LaVorgna, MD, Trauma Director, and Niki Harmon, APRN, Trauma Program Manager for their outstanding leadership of the Trauma Service, and Jean Jacobson, RHIT, CSTR, Trauma Registrar for her excellent data collection and reporting.
Norwalk Hospital received commendations from the American College of Surgeons for its commitment to excellent patient care from its EMT-Paramedic program (which provides pre-hospital care in Norwalk and the surrounding communities), the General/Acute Care Surgeons, Orthopedic Surgeons, Neurosurgeons and Emergency Department physicians (who provide in-hospital care) and the Physical Medicine/Rehabilitation department (which helps restore function to patients, both mentally and physically). The ACS cited the strengths of the program to be the Trauma Director, the Trauma Program Manager, and the Trauma Registrar, as well as the Physician Assistant Surgical Residency Program and the commitment of the Administration and the Emergency Department to verification of the Trauma Program.
According to Dr. LaVorgna, the Trauma Service draws on all the necessary resources of the hospital. “We all work together as a team; not just keeping the injured patients alive, but restoring them to the life they had prior to their injuries. We take pride in our work and strive for excellence; nothing less will do for our trauma care.”
Beyond patient care, the Norwalk Hospital Trauma Service is also responsible for training personnel in trauma care and for performance improvement and quality initiatives. It also organizes trauma prevention programs, participating in outreach efforts in the community and school systems as a public service. “The key to reducing trauma is prevention,” Dr. LaVorgna said, adding that it is important to promote the use of protective gear, including helmets, when engaged in sports, and the use of appropriate restraints for all ages in motor vehicles. She stresses that NEVER should a motor vehicle be operated under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or the distraction of texting. “Prevention is the CURE for trauma,” cites LaVorgna. “Everyone should have a role in that cure.”