The State of Nebraska has designated CHI Health St. Elizabeth as a General Level Trauma Center. In early 2020, the hospital started the process to become a state-verified trauma center, which included caring for trauma patients, educating staff, coordinating with local EMS systems and tracking patient data.
“This is an exciting accomplishment for the entire CHI Health St. Elizabeth team – from the nurses, physicians and medical staff to the hospital administration and board members involved who contributed to this achievement in big and small ways,” said Trauma Program Medical Director Dr. Rick Fermelia. “We are proud to serve Lincoln and the surrounding state of Nebraska. Becoming a designated trauma center expands access to increased levels of care for the community.”
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of Emergency Health Services oversee and operate the Nebraska Statewide Trauma System of Care. The program certifies Nebraska hospitals, including St. Elizabeth, meet proper requirements and standards to achieve trauma center designation. Designation levels are based on regulatory requirements and the resources available at a hospital.
CHI Health St. Elizabeth’s designation as a General Level Trauma Center means the hospital is equipped to care for trauma patients involved in serious car crashes, assaults, falls, etc. and routinely performs general surgery, anesthesia, orthopedic and neurosurgery procedures. From April 2020 to April 2021, CHI Health St. Elizabeth treated nearly 2,000 patients for traumatic injuries – a 45 percent increase compared to the previous year.
“The team at CHI Health St. Elizabeth has been working diligently to expand our trauma program and the patients we care for each day,” said Jodi DeWitt, RN, MSN, trauma program coordinator. “With this recent designation, paired with continued education, training and work with area EMS, I’m confident we’ll continue building on this growth. Our goal and mission will always be to provide the highest level of care to Lincoln and the surrounding communities and continue serving those patients far into the future.”
About CHI Health:
CHI Health is a regional health network with a unified mission: nurturing the healing ministry of the Church while creating healthier communities. Headquartered in Omaha, the combined organization consists of 14 hospitals, two stand-alone behavioral health facilities, more than 150 employed physician practice locations and more than 10,000 employees in Nebraska and southwestern Iowa.
In fiscal 2019, CHI Health invested more than $185 million back into our communities. The majority of those dollars went to caring for the poor and underserved.
CHI Health is part of CommonSpirit Health, a nonprofit, Catholic health system dedicated to advancing health for all people. It was created in February 2019 through the alignment of Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health. CommonSpirit Health is committed to creating healthy communities, delivering exceptional patient care, and ensuring every person has access to quality health care. With its national office in Chicago and a team of approximately 150,000 employees and 25,000 physicians and advanced practice clinicians, CommonSpirit Health operates 142 hospitals and more than 700 care sites across 21 states. In FY 2018, Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health had combined revenues of $29.2 billion and provided $4.2 billion in charity care, community benefit, and unreimbursed government programs.