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Wheeling's Ohio Valley Medical Center re-verified as Level Two trauma center

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Wheeling’s Ohio Valley Medical Center has been re-verified as a Level Two trauma center.

The Committee on Trauma of the American College of Surgeons re-verified OVMC as Level Two and East Ohio Regional Hospital, located in nearby Martins Ferry, Ohio, as a Level Three trauma center, “because of (their) dedication to providing optimal care for injured patients,” a spokesman said.

Hospital trauma centers that are ACS-verified undergo a rigorous review to maintain verification status. OVMC and EORH achieved this acknowledgment with no deficiencies, which meant all of the hospitals' departments have no quality or safety issues according to the criteria set by the ACS' Committee on Trauma.

“ASC verification is the highest level of acknowledgment a hospital can receive for trauma services,” Michael Caruso, president and CEO of Ohio Valley Health Services and Education Corp., said in a release announcing the designation. “This perfect-score achievement recognizes our physicians, surgeons, staff at EMSTAR and in every department affiliated with trauma services were deemed dedicated to providing the best care for injured patients.”

Trauma center verification is an evaluation process done every three years by the ACS' Committee on Trauma to evaluate and improve trauma care, a voluntary process to verify a hospital has a high level of commitment, readiness, resources, policies, patient care, and performance improvement to treat patients with trauma.

All ACS-verified trauma centers complete an on-site review by an experienced team using the latest ACS guidelines.

“This isn’t something we have to do, yet this is something we choose to do,” Caruso said. “This proves to ourselves, the community, and our patients that we’re providing top-level care. Our focus has always been, and will continue to be, on caring and quality as a way of life. The ACS recognizes our efforts to provide the highest quality healthcare possible.”

Dr. Howard Shackelford is OVMC’s trauma program director.

The ACS states a Level Two trauma center is able to initiate definitive care for all injured patients. Elements of Level Two trauma centers include: around-the-clock immediate coverage by general surgeons, as well as coverage by the specialties of orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology and critical care. It must also provide trauma prevention and do continuing education programs for staff. Additionally, it will incorporate a comprehensive quality assessment program.

OVMC and EORH have successfully met the re-verification standards every three years since they were first verified.

The only level one trauma centers in West Virginia are in Morgantown and Charleston.