A well known hospital in the area wants to become a trauma center.
Zac Kaye spoke with doctor at Mount Nittany who says the trauma center would set them apart from the others while providing a critical service for the people living there.
State College is one of the most populated boroughs in the State, with over forty thousand people according to the 2020 census.
But the closest trauma center is about 30 miles away in Lewistown. The folks here at Mount Nittany Medical Center are attempting to change that.
Mount Nittany Medical Center is the biggest hospital in the State College area with over 250 beds, including nearly 50 in the emergency department.
One of the medical directors of the emergency department tells me that their staff is ready to operate as a trauma center. He says all of their emergency physicians have done a residency and are board certified.
According to the Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation, there are four different levels of trauma centers. Dr. Newcomb talks about what it means to be a level four center.
“We’ll provide the initial stabilization, treatment and evaluation of all these patients, some of which will, many of which will ultimately have to go on to a more comprehensive level one or level two but we can start the process
early where time is off the essence.”
Mount Nittany Medical Center says there are hundreds of airlifts from their hospital to others each year. Dr. Newcomb says they will still have to transfer patients with serious medical issues and talks about the other benefits
of getting accredited as a trauma center.
“Being a level four trauma center will help us provide more of the education for the nursing staff and being able to keep some of the patients that may not have surgical emergencies.
I think also for the patients that we need to send out it will help kind of grease the skids and get them transferred more efficiently.”
There are tens of thousands of students attending Penn State University’s main campus and living in the State College area. Maryland is the only other school in the Big Ten where the closest trauma center is more than ten miles
Dr. Newcomb says it is crucial to get a trauma center in this area.
“It’ll help us provide more patient centered care and provide more care locally.”
Officials from the hospital say that if everything goes well they could be accredited as a level four trauma center by 2025.