St. Joseph Hospital Gets Higher Trauma Rating from State

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BRYAN In an emergency, seconds matter. Especially if you or your loved one has suffered a traumatic injury. Now, St. Joseph's Regional Health Center in Bryan is better equipped to handle severe trauma cases. The State is recognizing them as a level two trauma center.

People come and go in the Emergency Department at St. Joe's. Doctors see patients for any number of injuries and types of sickness.
But Traumatic injuries, the most severe cases, can sometimes require special needs.

Needs that St. Joe's can now handle.

"It's very unusual for a community this size to have a Level 2 trauma center," says Dr. Aaron Buzzard, the St. Joseph Emergency Department Physician.

"Most Level 2 trauma centers are in major metropolitan area like Houston, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio," he continued.

The hospital has been working on raising it's trauma level for years. On May 16th, their hard work paid off.

"Now, we're it," says Dr. Adair de Berry-Carlisle, the Medical Director for St. Joseph's Trauma Program. With the higher level of trauma care, emergency services can ship patients to Bryan.

St. Joseph's Regional Health Center in Bryan is now a Level 2 trauma center. Texas ranks trauma care at it's hospitals in four levels: 1 being the highest, 4 being the lowest. St. Joe's had been at the top of Level 3's for years. But, over the last year, Dr. Berry-Carlisle spearheaded the effort to raise the level of care.

"The crew had already put this in motion. The American College of Surgeons had already been here once just as a feasibility study hey is this possible and they said oh yea you got a lot of work to do but fire away, so we did," laughs Berry-Carlisle.

"When you call 911, the dispatcher that takes that call is trained by our physicians. The people who respond to that are trained by myself," says Buzzard.

"It's very much an extension of St. Joseph's ability to care for you at the hospital and before you even arrive at the hospital," continues Buzzard.

Doctors at St. Joe's hope to provide care for Brazos Valley residents who suffer the most severe injuries.

The trauma center at St. Joseph serves over 20 counties.
They are the primary 911 provider for Burleson and Grimes Counties, and starting June 1st, they'll cover Madison County as well.