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Willits’ Frank Howard Memorial Hospital earns trauma care status

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Frank Howard Memorial Hospital, part of Adventist Health, is now recognized as one of 11 level IV trauma centers in the state.

Sonoma County Emergency Services approved the Willits hospital as a level IV trauma center, effective Dec. 1. Accreditation as a level IV trauma center indicates a hospital staff’s ability to provide advanced trauma life support prior to transfer of patients to a higher-level trauma center. Trauma centers provide evaluation, stabilization and diagnostic capabilities for injured patients.

The only other trauma center in Mendocino County is Ukiah Valley Medical Center, a 20–30 minute drive from Willits, or longer, depending on weather conditions.

“Having us close by to stabilize patients and give them lifesaving procedures will improve their health outcomes,” said Michael Medvin, Frank Howard Memorial chief medical officer for emergency services. “We also work directly with Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital to rapidly transport any trauma patient requiring a higher level of care. We also have the ability to share CT scans/X-rays with the trauma surgeon at SRMH while we are on the phone with them, which means seamless communication and improved outcomes.”

The Willits hospital Emergency Department has two trauma rooms and access to specialists at U.C. Davis Children’s Hospital through telemedicine.

“We’ve got all this technology and with this designation, it will really make a difference for our community,” stated Amy Buckingham, Frank Howard Memorial emergency services manager.

Roseville-based Adventist Health is a faith-based, nonprofit integrated health system serving more than 75 communities in California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington. It has a workforce of 32,900, including more than 23,600 employees, nearly 5,000 medical staff physicians and 4,350 volunteers.

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