Ocala, FL– Ocala Health announces that the Florida Department of Health, Office of Trauma, has awarded full Level II Trauma Center verification to Ocala Regional Medical Center, marking the end of the provisional period and representing a commitment by Ocala Health to trauma care that began in 2011. Ocala Regional Medical Center is the only trauma center in Marion, Hernando, and Citrus Counties, the most underserved area for trauma in all of Florida, according to a 2010 study published by the Department of Health. Prior to the opening of Ocala Regional’s trauma center, seriously injured patients would have to be transported to Gainesville, Orlando or Tampa.
“We started this journey nearly three years ago, determined to meet a serious need in our community for specialized trauma care,” said Randy McVay, chief executive officer, Ocala Health. “This designation is the result of a significant partnership with regional emergency responders, acute care hospital leaders, municipal, county and state representatives, in addition to area physicians and hospital staff. We would not have been able to accomplish the Level II Trauma Center verification without all parties’ support.”
Trauma is the leading cause of death among Floridians ages one through 44. Among the State’s residents age 65 and older, death rate from falls is the leading cause. When serious trauma injuries occur, rapid transport, prompt treatment, and early rehabilitation of the trauma victim reduces mortality, physical injury, and financial cost. Florida’s trauma centers have reduced the statewide trauma mortality rate from 6.8 percent in 2004 to 4.9 percent in 2010 and provide faster treatment to improve patient outcomes and keep patients close to home and their loved ones.
“It’s an honor to serve this community and make a difference in the lives of our patients and their families. Since our opening on December 8, 2012, the trauma center at Ocala Regional has treated 3,091 patients, with traumatic injuries from gunshots, stabbings, motor vehicle collisions, and falls,” said Darwin Noel Ang, MD, PhD, FACS, medical director of trauma services at Ocala Regional Medical Center, and Director of the USF/HCA Trauma Network Quality and Research. “The survival rate of our patients is consistently greater than 96 percent, above the national average and among the best in Florida.”
Ocala Regional Medical Center is part of a network of five trauma centers developed as an affiliation between the University of South Florida (USF) and HCA to form the first statewide network of trauma centers. The goal of the network is to improve access and outcomes of injured patients.