Florida’s trauma system press conference

WellFlorida News Release
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (April 6, 2009)– Representatives of Florida’s trauma system gathered for an educational press conference on Monday at the Florida Capitol to raise awareness of Florida’s nationally-recognized trauma system. The event’s theme was Florida’s Trauma System: Together We Save Lives…Unified. Accountable. Prepared. The conference was hosted by the Office of Trauma within the Florida Department of Health’s (DOH) Division of Emergency Medical Operations.

A model for other states, Florida’s trauma system is more than a collection of trauma and burn-care centers. It is also a continuum of care that includes rapid transport to a verified trauma center within the “golden hour,” to rehabilitation, community reintegration and long-term care.
 
Speakers included:
• Ana M. Viamonte Ros, M.D., M.P.H., State Surgeon General
• Lawrence Lottenberg, M.D., President of the Florida Chapter of the American College of
Surgeons, Trauma Medical Director, Shands at the University of Florida Level I Trauma
Center, Gainesville
• Karanbir Gill, M.D., Chair of the Florida Committee on Trauma, Trauma Medical Director,
Sacred Heart Hospital Level II Trauma Center, Pensacola
• Patricia Byers, M.D., State Trauma Medical Director, Trauma Surgeon, Jackson
Memorial/Ryder Level I Trauma Center, Miami
• David Moore, father of trauma survivor Ashley Moore
• Susan McDevitt, R.N., M.S., M.B.A., FACHCA, Director of the DOH Office of Trauma

Dr. Viamonte Ros discussed the importance of providing rapid, accessible and appropriate emergency medical services and trauma care as a public health priority. “Each piece of the continuum of care is essential to saving Floridians’ lives,” Dr. Viamonte Ros said. “DOH and Florida’s trauma system providers are committed to improving emergency medical services and trauma care while ensuring that these health care services are provided throughout urban, suburban and rural Florida.”

Dr. Lottenberg highlighted the accomplishments and strengths of Florida’s trauma system over the last 20 years. “Our state trauma system has grown into one of the top systems in the country,” Dr. Lottenberg said. “Over the last five years, I have seen an outstanding performance by our state Office of Trauma in overseeing patient care, clinical outcomes, injury prevention, research and the formation of a statewide trauma registry. The collaboration of the Office of Trauma with trauma surgeons and nurses is second to none in the United States.”

Dr. Karanbir Gill spoke about the committee’s dedication to developing and maintaining an excellent statewide trauma system. “FCOT represents the voice of the trauma community,” Dr. Gill said. “The expertise of our members helps to ensure that Florida’s citizens have timely access to quality trauma care.”

Dr. Patricia Byers emphasized the importance of working with trauma medical consultants throughout the state to improve access to care. “As the State Trauma Medical Director for the Florida Office of Trauma, I want to emphasize the importance of each piece of the trauma system of care,” Dr. Byers said. “We are each dependent on each other to do our part in saving the lives of Florida’s injured patients. Together we save lives.”

In a heartfelt message, Mr. David Moore shared how Florida’s trauma system has been essential to the recovery of his daughter Ashley from life-threatening injuries sustained eleven years ago from an automobile accident. Ashley is now ready to graduate high school as a member of the National Honor Society and attend college with aspirations of becoming a screen writer.

Susan McDevitt, Director of the Office of Trauma, shared that the purpose of the Office of Trauma is “to develop and maintain a continuous, statewide system of care for all injured patients, to increase system preparedness and to decrease morbidity and mortality due to traumatic injury.”

Traumatic injuries are the leading killer of Floridians ages 1-44. Florida’s 20 verified trauma centers serve more than 40,000 patients annually, and this number increases each year.

DOH promotes, protects and improves the health of all people in Florida. For more information about the DOH Office of Trauma, visit www.doh.state.fl.us/DEMO/Trauma/index.html.

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