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VCU Health receives Level I trauma reverification by the American College of Surgeons

Verification singles out nation’s top performers in trauma care.

Ambulance speeding toward Emergency Department Photo: Getty Images

By James Shea

For the sixth time in a row, the American College of Surgeons has renewed VCU Medical Center’s verification as a Level I trauma center. The designation signifies outstanding achievement in trauma care.

Renewals are required every three years to maintain the top-tier status. With this year’s renewal, VCU Medical Center has been recognized as a Level 1 trauma center for 15 straight years.

“The American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma verification process is the “gold standard” for assuring top quality trauma care.  And those verified as Level 1 trauma centers are the best of the best. VCU’s reverification as a comprehensive Level 1 trauma center for the 15th consecutive year is a testament to the outstanding care, expertise and dedication delivered day and night by our team at VCU Health,” said Art Kellermann, M.D., senior vice president for health sciences at VCU and CEO of VCU Health System. “The reach of our trauma center extends beyond the community to serve the entire commonwealth. VCU’s trauma center also stands out because it goes beyond simply treating life-threatening injuries to preventing them as well. That makes our team a state and national treasure.”

VCU Medical Center Level 1 Trauma Center The only ACS verified Level 1 trauma center in central Virginia

VCU Medical Center was first verified as a Level 1 trauma center in 2007. The only ACS verified Level I trauma center in central Virginia, it sees more than 4,000 severely injured patients a year, providing life-saving acute trauma care through the continuum to rehabilitation. The trauma center has more than 200 years of collective trauma and surgical critical care experience, ready to care for the most severely injured patients around the clock. 


“We are honored to receive this recognition from the American College of Surgeons,” said Dr. Michel Aboutanos, medical director of the VCU Medical Center Level I Trauma Center. “I believe we are the best at trauma care. We have a dedicated, skillful and diverse team whose goal is to uphold the highest standard of care for the injured, using all the resources and state-of-the-art technology.”

Comprehensive care available 24/7

VCU Medical Center Level 1 Trauma Center specialties include trauma surgery, surgical critical care, emergency medicine, orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, anesthesiology, radiology, internal medicine, plastic and reconstructive surgery, otolaryngology, and oral and maxillofacial surgery. Our surgical specialties are supported by some of the best nurses, therapists and ancillary health care providers working tirelessly behind the scene to ensure optimal outcomes.

Michel AboutanosIn terms of rehabilitation, through our relationship with the Sheltering Arms Institute at VCU, the trauma center provides physical, occupational and speech therapy as well as aquatic therapy. The goal is to restore cognitive and mobility functions lost from trauma injuries.

Recovery for many critically injured patients can be a lengthy process, Aboutanos acknowledged.  “A Level I trauma center is a place that benefits patients beyond their immediate surgical needs,” Aboutanos said. “That is what makes our Level I trauma center so unique. A patient who is treated at VCU Level I trauma center is given access to numerous resources that are not available at other healthcare facilities.”

The VCU Medical Center Level 1 Trauma Center is the commonwealth’s only comprehensive trauma center triple verified by the American College of Surgeons for adult and pediatric trauma care and the American Burn Association for burn care.  It is also the only state-designated trauma center in adult, pediatric trauma and burn care.