STOCK_Franciscan St. Anthony

Franciscan Health hospital in Crown Point.

Times file photo

Franciscan Health Crown Point has been designated a Level III trauma center by the American College of Surgeons. It is one of only 12 Level III trauma centers in Indiana, and is the only one in Northwest Indiana that offers neurosurgery.

The certification process involved two onsite visits with reviewers from the American College of Surgeons. Franciscan's program was developed under the medical directorship of surgeon Dr. Eric Woo, who was assisted by trauma coordinator Jennifer Homan.

The certification is for three years.

“This achievement is a direct result of hard work and dedication by the nurses, staff and doctors at Franciscan Crown Point,” Woo said. “It has been an honor to work with such a great team and I am excited about the future of this program and the privilege to serve our patients.”

Woo said the hospital had to demonstrate that it met criteria for providing swift, excellent care to trauma and injured patients. Much of that involved commitment from surgeons in the categories of general surgery, orthopedics, radiology, emergency medicine, neurosurgery and critical care.

“Surgeons have to be able to respond quickly when a trauma patient arrives at Franciscan Health Crown Point and they have to maintain specified training and education related to trauma care,” Woo said.

The Indiana triage and transport rule stipulates that injured patients meeting certain criteria be transported to a trauma center if they are within 45 minutes of one.

Injuries are among the 10 leading causes of death and are the top cause of death of people up to age 44 locally, Homan said. “It is a serious public health issue in Northwest Indiana.”

The program, as part of its requirements, also offers child car-seat safety, fall prevention for seniors and a Safe Kids Day event that highlights child prevention topics.

Barb Anderson, hospital president and CEO, said the Sisters of St. Francis and the hospital's administrative team are proud the hospital has become one of two trauma service providers in Northwest Indiana.

“Our entire trauma team worked diligently and effectively over the past two years to obtain this well-deserved, three-year certification for the program,” she said.

The other Level III trauma center is Methodist Hospitals Northlake Campus in Gary. It achieved the designation in August 2017.

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