By Mary Alys Cherry
Clear Lake Regional Medical Center in Webster celebrated the opening of its Level II Trauma Center with both a ribbon cutting and the landing of a PHI Air Medical helicopter, which will play a key role in saving the lives of trauma patients.
With Clear Lake Area Chamber President Cindy DeWease and League City Regional Chamber President Steve Paterson and dozens of hospital employees and chamber members looking on, Trauma Center Medical Director Dr. Hoang Pham and Trauma Director Melanie Martin cut the ribbon, as Clear Lake Regional CEO Todd Caliva gave the signal.
Opening of the center came a little over two months after the hospital received notice it had been designated a Level II Trauma Center.
Currently there are 32 trauma centers in Texas with six in the Houston area. Of the six, only four are Level I Trauma Centers– Memorial Hermann, Ben Taub and Texas Children’s in Houston and UTMB in Galveston. Joining Clear Lake Regional at Level II is Conroe Regional Medical Center.
Both Level I and Level II Trauma Centers are similar. The main difference, the hospital explained, are research and physician residency programs. “Clear Lake Regional…offers the same high level of trauma care as a Level I facility in the majority of areas, excluding burned, pediatric (under the age of 18) and pregnant trauma patients,” the hospital noted.
With the new center halfway between Houston and Galveston, hospital CEO Todd Caliva felt many lives will probably be saved in the years to come as trauma patients can be treated much quicker, whereas before they were having to be transported about 30 miles for help. “Time is often vital to saving lives,” he pointed out.
Clear Lake Regional’s trauma program is staffed 24 hours a day by in-house trauma surgeons and specially trained trauma nurses. Physician specialists are also available around the clock to treat the same type of traumatic injuries that could be treated at a Level I Trauma Center.
And, when needed PHI Air Medical, a leading air ambulance provider across the country will be available to bring in patients and save precious minutes.