Written by The Business Journal Staff
The Fresno County Board of Supervisors recently voted to award Valley Children’s Hospital’s Level II Pediatric Trauma Center designation.
The decision makes the Madera County facility the only pediatric trauma center in Central California and will allow the hospital to begin receiving and treating pediatric patients while in transit, rather than wait for transfers from other hospitals.
“Trauma is the leading cause of death in children, causing more fatalities than all other diseases combined. When there is a traumatic event, children are better off going directly to a place where everyone—from our doctors and nurses to respiratory therapists and radiologists—is trained in the care of kids. This designation further proves our commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of the more than 1.3 million children who live in our area,” said Todd Suntrapak, Valley Children’s president and CEO.
The agreement is between Valley Children’s and the Central California Emergency Medical Services Agency serving Fresno, Kings, Madera and Tulare counties, but required approval from the county.
The children’s hospital previously had Level II designation before losing it in 2006 after proving unable to maintain the level of services required by the state.
According to board documents, the agreement has no financial cost to the county and is effective now through June 30, 2018.
In 2015, Valley Children’s Emergency Department saw more than 120,000 visits and almost 900 children underwent treatment for traumatic injuries. More than half of those patients had been transferred to the children’s hospital from other locations.