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ECMC Receives National Verification for Trauma Center – American College of Surgeons confers elite status on medical center

The national Committee on Trauma of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) this week named Erie County Medical Center a Level I Trauma Center, only the fifth in New York.

The ACS Committee on Trauma – from which two designees visited ECMC March 10-11 for an on-site review – provides confirmation that a trauma center has demonstrated its commitment to providing the highest-quality trauma care for all injured patients. The ACS notification specifically indicated that absolutely no deficiencies were found in the review and evaluation process. Achieving verification means that the hospital voluntarily met criteria that improve the standard of care as outlined by the American College of Surgeons’ Committee on Trauma’s current Resources for Optimal Care of the Injured Patient manual.

Established by the American College of Surgeons in 1987, the designation program promotes 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 from the prehospital phase through the rehabilitation process.

“Clearly, this is a confirmation of ECMC’s commitment to the highest quality trauma care,” said ECMC CEO Richard C. Cleland. “Today, we recognize all of the doctors, nurses, and first responders who have made this Trauma Center system one of the best in the nation.”
There are five separate categories of verification in the program. Each category has specific criteria that must be met by a facility seeking that level of verification. Each hospital has an on-site review by a team of experienced site reviewers, who use the current Resources for the Optimal Care of the Injured Patient manual as a guideline in conducting the survey.

“From the trauma center’s first days, ECMC continues to stand on the shoulders of great clinicians and community emergency personnel who have worked together to insist on excellence,” said William J. Flynn, M.D., F.A.C.S., chief of surgery, ECMC; and associate professor/chief, Division of Trauma/Critical Care, Department of Surgery, S.U.N.Y. at Buffalo. “The thousands of patient trauma survival stories are our most gratifying, living proof of success.”

“Recognition by such an esteemed organization as the American College of Surgeons is a great honor for ECMC. They should be very proud of this accomplishment and the expertise of their entire trauma team in their ability to save many lives in Western New York,” stated Steven D. Schwaitzberg, M.D., professor and chairman, Department of Surgery, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, S.U.N.Y. at Buffalo.
The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational association founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical education and practice and to improve the care of the surgical patient. The College has more than 72,000 members and it is the largest association of surgeons in the world. Longstanding achievements have placed the ACS in the forefront of American surgery and have made it an important advocate for all surgical patients.

The American College of Surgeons cannot release information about a hospital’s trauma center or site visit because the information is confidential. Members of the media can confirm that a hospital’s trauma center has received verification from the American College of Surgeons by contacting the hospital or referring to the list of currently verified trauma centers on the ACS web page at

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