St. Joseph Expanding Emergency & Trauma Services

St. Joseph AirMedical

Bryan, TX (January 12, 2012) – St. Joseph Health System is eager to announce two major initiatives to improve emergency and trauma medical care in the region.

The first is a new affiliation with PHI Air Medical.

St. Joseph AirMedical

PHI has been our area’s air ambulance provider for more than six years.  St. Joseph Health System, established 75 years ago, continues to carry out its original mission; provide excellent healthcare for the Brazos Valley at each of its more than 30 locations.  Under this new partnership, each organization will continue to do what it does best.

The new look of the region’s medical helicopter is a symbol of this affiliation.  PHI owns and will continue to operate the aircraft and outstanding crews made up of flight nurses, flight paramedics and pilots.  However, within the year, St. Joseph AirMedical and its crews will be permanently housed at St. Joseph Regional Health Center.

Patients will directly benefit from this partnership.

PHI crews will bring air medical expertise to St. Joseph’s continuous hospital performance improvement objectives.  In turn, the crews’ proximity to the St. Joseph Emergency Department will allow clinical members to gain more experience helping treat patients in the ER while awaiting dispatch.

St. Joseph and PHI have long shared a common goal of expediting patient care in cases of heart attack and stroke.  Evaluation and treatment for stroke and chest pain begins in the pre-hospital setting, as St. Joseph AirMedical crews become more familiar with protocols from St. Joseph’s Chest Pain Center and Primary Stroke Center.  The result is seamless coordination of care.

This new agreement compliments a goal St. Joseph Regional has been working to achieve for the last year: Level 2 Trauma designation.

Level 2 Trauma Designation

Currently, St. Joseph Regional is designated as the Lead Level Trauma 3 hospital in our seven-county region.  A Level 2 designation would be the next higher level – as the trauma designation number decreases, trauma care capabilities increase.

St. Joseph meets many of the Level 2 criteria.  Within the next 60 days, evaluators from the Texas Department of State Health Services will complete an initial trauma survey.  The hospital will continue to work to meet the requirements, including the recruitment of more physicians with trauma surgery expertise, and anticipates a final Level 2 designation early next year.

Upon designation, St. Joseph Regional will be the only Level 2 Trauma center between Waco and Houston.  More trauma patients in the Brazos Valley will be treated in the Brazos Valley and families and patients won’t have to travel as far away from home.  If a higher level of care is needed, St. Joseph will still be able to provide stabilization care – and an expedited transfer with St. Joseph AirMedical as a part of the team.

In 2011, St. Joseph Regional treated:

  • 1,678 trauma patients
  • 461 acute heart attack patients
  • 486 stroke patients
  • 4,900 chest pain patients
  • 68,405 ER patients (55,601 in Bryan) (12,804 in College Station)


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