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Health Center earns Level 4 status

Mahnomen Health Center administration and staff voluntarily participated in the intense designation process to become part of Minnesota's statewide trauma system -- a comprehensive process that included an outside review of the hospital's resources and capabilities to care for trauma patients.

Mahnomen Health Center met standards of commitment, clinical and equipment resources and staff training, with the hospital participating in a continuous performance improvement process, coordinated by Terri Bergeson, RN.

"We are proud of the hard work and training that our staff has undergone to achieve this designation," Sue Klabo, CEO, said. "I feel the staff does a good job with trauma care already, but constant improvement measures and the accountability of being a Level IV trauma center will hold our feet to the fire in providing consistent trauma care for optimal patient outcomes."

For a severely injured person, the time between sustaining an injury and receiving definitive care is the most important predictor of survival-the "golden hour." The chance of survival diminishes with time, however, a trauma system enhances the chance of survival regardless of proximity to an urban trauma hospital.

"Trauma is the third leading cause of death in Minnesota," said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Sanne Magnan. "The goal of the trauma system is to decrease injured patients' time to care by making sure their medical needs are appropriately matched with hospital resources.

"With the designation of MHC as a level 4 level trauma hospital, we are getting closer to our goal of ensuring that seriously injured Minnesotans have access to an organized system of trauma care wherever they are in the state."

On average, trauma claims the lives of 2,400 Minnesotans annually. States with trauma systems have seen survival rates increase by 15 to 20 percent. Wide-scale participation in the voluntary trauma system ensures that a statewide, cooperative effort is in place to care for seriously injured patients.

Minnesota began developing a comprehensive statewide trauma system in August of 2005. Through its designation, Mahnomen Health Center recognizes the vital role that communities, ambulance services, hospitals and health care professionals play in the care and management of trauma patients.

Barb Fluellen, the former MHC director of nursing and currently, Jen Stevens, director of nursing and Deb Severson, MeritCare Trauma coordinator have played a major role in the preparation of the designation.

Sue Klabo reported appreciation for the work many people did to make this designation possible for the continued health and safety for Mahnomen County and the surrounding area.