Published on October 09, 2017

30 years of lifesaving trauma care

The year was 1987, and St. Mary Medical Center was entering a new era of service to the community as a level 2 trauma center. Thirty years later, it’s one of the longest-running trauma programs in the state.

To Trauma Program Manager Meg Ashton, RN, that says something—the operation of a Trauma Center requires a tremendous commitment of resources. “It shows that St. Mary has a strong commitment to this community,” she says. Meg would know. She’s been part of the trauma center since its beginning.

What does it mean to be a trauma center?

Trauma centers are specially designated hospitals that have the ability to treat the most serious life-threatening injuries 24 hours a day. Injuries can run the gamut—from car crash victims to elderly patients with fall-related injuries.

“You never know what’s going to come through the doors,” Meg says. “So you have to be prepared for everything.”

Trauma patients are treated by an entire team, Meg notes. This includes not just trauma-trained surgeons and nurses, but also critical care staff and rehab specialists. St. Mary even has trauma prevention programs in the community.

Over the years, the trauma program has evolved. For instance, it now includes surgeons board certified in trauma, orthopedic trauma and critical care. “It’s been a pleasure to see how we’ve grown and are always prepared to provide advanced, lifesaving care,” Meg says.