VACAVILLE  -- Kaiser Permanente’s Vacaville Medical Center received official approval by the Solano County Emergency Medical Services Agency to provide level III trauma services.

A site visit by a team that included Solano EMS officials and a trauma surgeon was conducted Sept. 29, and the assessment team concluded that Kaiser Permanente met the criteria to begin providing trauma care at its Vacaville Medical Center.  

“This designation is a culmination of the extraordinary work by our team of physicians, nurses and other clinicians and their shared goal of providing the best possible trauma care to the residents of Solano County,” said Max Villalobos, Kaiser Permanente’s senior vice president and hospital administrator for the Napa-Solano region. "Kaiser Permanente’s emergency rooms are and always have been open to all, and we are ready to provide this life-saving resource to the community."

“We are dedicated to providing complete and comprehensive trauma care for Solano County,” said Steven Stricker, M.D., physician-in-chief and chief-of-staff for Kaiser Permanente Napa-Solano. “The trauma service will take full advantage of the skills of our world-class team of physicians and staff, our advanced information technology, and our beautiful state-of-the-art facility in Vacaville.” 

This is the second trauma center for Kaiser Permanente in Northern California. In 2009, Kaiser launched a level II trauma center at its South Sacramento Medical Center -- which was headed up by Mr. Villalobos before he moved to the Napa-Solano region.

“We have demonstrated that we have the expertise to operate a first-rate trauma center, and we are excited to bring to Solano County this very same approach in trauma care,” Mr. Villalobos said.

It's the second level III trauma center in Solano County, following NorthBay Healthcare's approved plan in September to provide similar services at its Fairfield hospital, NorthBay Medical Center.

Vacaville Medical Center’s designation as a level III trauma center means it will provide a range of care for trauma patients, including emergency resuscitation, surgery, and intensive care. Patients who require level I or level II trauma care will be stabilized and transported to the appropriate higher level of care. 

Kaiser Permanente intends to become a Level II trauma center at the Vacaville hospital in the very near future -- a goal shared by NorthBay Healthcare, which also operates VacaValley Hospital in Vacaville. State law prohibits multiple level II centers in any county, unless a need is demonstrated and an exception is granted.

“Our Vacaville hospital is the right place for a comprehensive trauma center in Solano County,” Mr. Villalobos said. “The population growth patterns in the county and the close proximity of the hospital to Interstate 80 complement our facility’s ability to fully support a high-performing trauma center.”

Solano County previously had no trauma center, and patients were typically transferred to either Sacramento or Walnut Creek hospitals.