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San Joaquin County Trauma Center Reinvented, Reopens

After experiencing its own trauma when an audit last fall uncovered staffing and service problems at the San Joaquin General Hospital (SJGH) Trauma Center, the facility has made many steps to recovery, which are now being celebrated during National Hospital Week for going above and beyond in dedication to its patients. With summer approaching when more people experience traumatic injuries, the Center is expertly staffed to treat patients efficiently and effectively.

The Level III Trauma Center in Stockton is celebrating its full reopening during National Hospital Week, May 7-13.

“Everyone who works here takes enormous pride in treating patients who come to us with traumatic injuries,” said David Culberson, SJGH Chief Executive Officer. “When we were cited for those deficiencies, our patients with major trauma within our “catchment” or service delivery area had to be redirected to other centers outside of our community. We knew we had an obligation to our patients to reduce the time it takes to get to a trauma center given their acute health conditions, and to do so as swiftly as possible. SJGH administration took the recommendations of the audit very seriously, and was able to successfully implement the needed actions to restore and improve its trauma service.”

San Joaquin General Hospital is a Level III trauma center providing definitive care for seriously injured patients. With the new additions of expert medical staff, the Trauma Center has demonstrated an ability to provide prompt assessment, resuscitation, surgery, intensive care and stabilization of injured patients and emergency operations.

The SJGH Trauma Center staff now has three full-time trauma surgeons and one more surgeon who will start full-time in August. Each surgeon has dual board certifications in general surgery and critical care surgery.

Culberson added, “Our surgeons are highly trained and board certified, which allows them the ability to provide comprehensive coverage, including surgical critical care from the moment a patient arrives at the Trauma Center until they are discharged from our care.”

In addition to the Trauma Center’s new medical director, Dr. Frank Kennedy, the Trauma Center has added three full-time neurosurgeons, trauma nurse clinicians, additional physical therapists and occupational therapists, and radiology technicians, all of which have raised the level of service for SJGH trauma patients.