NEWS RELEASE-Immediate Release

March 03, 2023

Tuba City Health Care Corporation re-designated as a Level III Trauma Center

TUBA CITY, Ariz –Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation has been re-verified as a Level III Trauma Center until December 2024 by the American College of Surgeons (ACS), a national organization.

“There are very few Level III Trauma centers in the State of Arizona and almost half are in the greater Phoenix area,” said Dr. Ralph Zane Kelley, Chief of Surgery, Trauma Medical Director at TCRHCC. “Tuba City has maintained this standard since 2014 and is the only ACS verified trauma center on Native land in the lower 48 states. Establishing and maintaining a Level III Trauma Center requires a great deal of resources hospital wide and is definitely a team effort.”

Verified trauma centers must meet the essential criteria that ensure trauma care capability and institutional performance, as outlined by the American College of Surgeons' Committee on Trauma, and receive designation by the Arizona Dept. of Health Services.

“This designation recognizes TCRHCC’s dedication to providing optimal care for injured patients,” said TCRHCC CEO Joette Walters. “It enables the hospital to see and take care of more critically injured patients across our service area. We are the only hospital on Navajo with this distinction.”

The American College of Surgeons is a national scientific and educational association of surgeons founded in 1913. In 1987, the College established the COT's Consultation/Verification Program for Hospitals and promotes the development of trauma centers in which participants provide not only the hospital resources necessary for trauma care, but also the entire spectrum of care to address the needs of all injured patients. This spectrum encompasses the prehospital phase through the rehabilitation process.

The Arizona Department of Health Services Bureau of Emergency Medical Services and Trauma System approves designation based on the American College of Surgeons’ National verification review as a Level III trauma center. ACS verifies and Arizona State Designates said Shannon Claw, TCRHCC Director of Trauma Services and EMS Coordinator.

TCRHCC is one of seven Level III Trauma Centers designated by the Arizona Department of Health Services Bureau of Emergency Medical Services and Trauma System.

In addition to providing a higher quality of care, trauma surgeons and orthopedic surgeons are on call 24-7.

Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation is a Joint Commission accredited 73-bed health center that provides services to a 6,000 square mile area and serves as a referral center for the western region of the Navajo and Hopi Reservations. TRCHCC is a P.L. 93-638 health care facility and operates the Sacred Peaks Clinic in Flagstaff, Ariz. and LeChee Healthy Facility near Page, Ariz.

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