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Virginia Hospital Center Designated a Level II Trauma Center

By: Virginia Hospital Center

May 13, 2021

Virginia Hospital Center (VHC), a community-based hospital providing medical services to the Washington, DC metropolitan area for 75 years, is proud to announce that it has received a Level II Trauma Center designation from the Commonwealth of Virginia, filling a critical community need. Previously, the closest trauma center for Arlington County was in Fairfax or Washington, DC. It is projected that VHC will be able to provide care for about 1,000 trauma patients a year, who otherwise would have had to be transported greater distances to other hospitals.

“As a Level II Trauma Center, we are taking the level of care we provide for our community to a higher level,” says Melody Dickerson, MSN, RN, CPHQ, Senior Vice President & Chief Nursing Officer at Virginia Hospital Center. “Not only do we have an excellent Emergency Department and ICU, as well as multiple critical subspecialties already in place, but 100 percent of our nurses have received trauma-specific training.”

“George Washington University/Medical Faculty Associates provides the specialized trauma surgeons and trauma physician assistants for VHC’s program,” added Babak Sarani, MD, FACS, Director of Trauma & Acute Care Surgery. “Together we’ve been able to set up a great partnership, along with the protocols and evidence-based guidelines that are essential to maintaining a high-level trauma center.”

As a Level II Trauma Center, VHC will treat severely injured patients 15 years of age and older, excluding those with extensive burn injuries. VHC maintains a complete team of healthcare providers specializing in traumatic injury–available 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. VHC’s Level II Trauma Center will adhere to a 15-minute response time for trauma surgeons and 30-minute response time for subspecialists who are on-call for trauma emergencies.

“The community needed VHC to take on becoming a trauma center,” says E. Reed Smith, MD, Operational Medical Director, Arlington County Fire & Police Department. “For ACFD, this improves our operation. No longer will our EMS teams have to cross a bridge to get our residents to a trauma center. We can now transport our residents to needed care at VHC, and then get our units refitted and back into service faster after a call.”

To reach Level II status, the Hospital made many supply and equipment purchases, including advanced monitoring units, specialized pumps and operative instrumentation for procedures performed for the severely injured patient population. VHC redesigned trauma bays to provide more space for multiple physicians and their needs. An automated dispensing system is conveniently located within the trauma bay and a trauma cart is ready to be taken into any operating room in the Hospital with all the supplies normally needed for an emergency trauma situation.

About Virginia Hospital Center

Virginia Hospital Center has provided exceptional medical services to the Washington, DC metropolitan area for 75 years and was recently designated a Newsweek 2020 Best Maternity Care Hospital, received a 5-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and once again named a Leapfrog Top Hospital in 2019. The Hospital is a proud member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network – a national network of independent healthcare organizations. Virginia Hospital Center is a 437-bed not-for-profit teaching facility and designated as a Magnet® hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.


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