LVH-Hazleton Reaccredited Level IV Trauma Center

Since becoming a Level IV Trauma Center on Nov. 1, 2015, the trauma program at Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–Hazleton has continued to provide optimal care and reduce the likelihood of death or disability to injured patients who enter their emergency department. Because of the continued efforts of incessantly being prepared to treat the most serious life-threatening and disabling injuries, the Pennsylvania Systems Trauma Foundation (PSTF) has reaccredited LVH–Hazleton as a Level IV Trauma Center for the next three years. This is the maximum number of years for which a trauma center may be accredited.

The PTSF is a non-profit corporation recognized by the Emergency Medical Services Act (Act 1985-45). The PTSF is the organization responsible for accrediting trauma centers in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

According to Gary Bonfante, DO, trauma program medical director and medical director of emergency medicine, specific recognition was given to the performance improvement efforts and remarked as being “outstanding.” Bonfante addressed his team by saying, “These types of recognitions are not possible without each of you working hard to provide exceptional care to our patients everyday and the administrative support to guide these efforts. Thank you for all you do.”

Alexandra Malenka, RN, trauma program coordinator says, “The success of the trauma program is dependent on the continuous collaboration and support of everyone. It is truly evident that LVH–Hazleton is dedicated to improving patient outcomes and providing optimal care to our patients.

The emergency medical services (EMS) system is an integral component to a trauma center. The EMS system assures appropriate patient care management from the time of injury to treatment at a local trauma center through the rehabilitative phase care.

In Pennsylvania there are four levels of trauma centers. Level I trauma centers provide the highest degree of resources with a full spectrum of specialists and must have trauma research and surgical residency programs. Level II trauma centers meet the same high level of care but do not require research and residency programs.

Level III trauma centers are smaller community hospitals that do not require neurosurgeons and focus on stabilizing severe trauma patients prior to transport to a higher level trauma center. They may admit patients with single-system mild and moderate injuries. Level IV trauma centers provide enhanced care to injured patients within the emergency department and focus on stabilization and quick transfer to a higher level trauma center. They may admit mildly injured patients.

Each trauma center regardless of its level is an integral component of the emergency medical services (EMS) system. The EMS system assures appropriate patient care management from the time of injury to treatment at a local hospital or trauma center through the rehabilitative phase of care. There are 39 accredited trauma programs in Pennsylvania.

Lehigh Valley Health Network includes five hospital campuses -three in Allentown including the region’s only facility dedicated to orthopedic surgery, one in Bethlehem and one in Hazleton, Pa.; 13 health centers caring for communities in five counties; numerous primary and specialty care physician practices throughout the region; pharmacy, imaging, home health services and lab services; and preferred provider services through Valley Preferred. Specialty care includes: trauma care at the region’s busiest, most-experienced trauma center treating adults and children, burn care at the regional Burn Center, kidney and pancreas transplants; perinatal/ neonatal, cardiac, cancer care, and neurology and complex neurosurgery capabilities including national certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center. Children’s Hospital at Lehigh Valley Hospital, the only children’s hospital in the region, provides care in 28 specialties and general pediatrics.