San Joaquin County Has Trauma Center, Again

FRENCH CAMP (CBS13) — Patients suffering from a traumatic injury in Stockton will no longer have to drive 30 miles to the nearest hospital for treatment.

This week, the San Joaquin General Hospital Trauma Center has officially re-opened after months of going through some trauma of its own.

Ambulances are standing by and so is a new team of medical professionals prepared to handle just about any emergency at the San Joaquin County General Hospital Trauma Center.

“The team has really done a fantastic job for us. We are really excited about what we are doing here,” said David Culberson, Chief Executive Officer with San Joaquin General Hospital.

Last fall, an audit uncovered staffing and service problems at the facility and the 196-bed county-owned hospital was put on notice that its official designation as a trauma center was in jeopardy.

“Last summer, in July and August of 2016 we were seeing over 200 patients a month and just that extra volume that we were having the coordination of all the resources came to the point that San Joaquin County Emergency Medical Service Agency said hey let’s regroup,” he said.

In the weeks that followed, hospital officials made necessary steps to get up to code including adding three full-time trauma surgeons who have dual board certifications in general surgery and critical care surgery. There is also a new medical director.

“I have had greater coordination than we have ever had. Teamwork is just tremendous, everybody is taking the opportunity to show the community what we can do, in an even better way,” he said.

The re-opening comes just as the hospital is celebrating national hospital week, an opportunity to show the community their commitment to treating patients efficiently and effectively.

“The trauma center has taken all of our recommendations and have implanted them. They are on track and meeting performance standards,” said Dan Burch, EMS Administrator for the San Joaquin County Emergency Medical Services Agency.

In addition to all the new employees, the center will have an additional full-time surgeon who starts in August.

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