Peconic Bay Medical Center is now the North Fork’s only trauma and stroke center, as the New York State Department of Health has granted the Riverhead hospital provisional status as a Level III trauma center.
To earn that designation, PBMC had to prove it could provide prompt assessment, resuscitation, surgery, intensive care and stabilization of injured patients, as well as emergency operations, according to a press release from the hospital.
“We’re answering a critical need for emergency services,” said PBMC president and CEO Andrew Mitchell. “For far too long, residents of the East End have had to travel too far to receive life-saving medical treatment. Now they will be able to be treated with advanced medical technologies and capabilities in our own community.”
A Level III trauma center must be capable of providing 24-hour coverage by emergency medicine physicians and immediate availability of general surgeons and anesthesiologists, according to American Trauma Society.
“An important component of a trauma center is to be aware of the leading causes of trauma in the region and work within the community to develop injury prevention outreach programs,” trauma program manager Mary Jo Stark said in the release.
Jean Cacciabaudo, M.D., who recently became PBMC’s medical director, said this designation will help save lives.
“In emergency medicine, every second counts,” she said. “Having these capabilities right here in Riverhead is critical for the quality of life of the residents on the East End.”