The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

October 30, 2012

RGH trauma center gets an upgrade

West Virginia’s Bureau of Public Health’s Division of Trauma announced Monday that Raleigh General Hospital has been verified as a Level III Trauma Center, the only one of its kind in southern West Virginia.

Penny Byrnside, director of the Division of Trauma, explained that Raleigh General Hospital has transitioned from a Level IV to a Level III through teamwork.

“They have worked very hard to become a Level III Trauma Center. It has taken a level of commitment from the administration, physicians, the Trauma Medical Program, the hospital’s emergency department, ICU and the rehabilitation center. Trauma isn’t just a one-stop deal. It starts with emergency crews and ends with the hospital getting the patients back to their families in the best possible shape they can be in,” said Byrnside.

Raleigh General Hospital is now one of two Level III Trauma Centers in the state, alongside City Hospital in Martinsburg.

There are also only two Level I Trauma Centers in the state, West Virginia University Hospital and Charleston Area Medical Center.

Allen Peters, president and CEO of Raleigh General Hospital, explained, “What this designation means for our citizens of southern West Virginia is that we have demonstrated the ability to take care of trauma patients that would otherwise have to go to Charleston or WVU. It demonstrates the quality of the services we have available. Our trauma and orthopedic surgeons, for instance, are here 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to serve the people in our community.”

Dr. Courtney Pettiford, Trauma Medical Director at RGH, added, “attaining this designation was very important for our team. It gives us an exciting opportunity to provide the best care possible for the people of this area and the surrounding regions. Trauma is a team effort, and our teams have come together in a wonderful way to achieve this honor.”

Dr. Tony Kelly, chairman of Emergency Service, added that Raleigh General Hospital serves a large portion of southern West Virginia, from Welch to Bluefield, Princeton and Lewisburg.

“We are touching the lives of a couple hundred-thousand people in terms of referrals who come to Raleigh General Hospital for care above and beyond what they can get in their communities,” Kelly said.

Trauma Centers are verified by the Verification Review Committee, an ad hoc committee of the Committee on Trauma of the American College of Surgeons.

The verifications indicate the center meets the appropriate criteria through an on-site review of the hospital conducted by a team of reviewers experienced in the field of trauma.

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