Published on November 14, 2017

Essentia Health designated as Level 3 Trauma Hospital

The Minnesota Department of Health recently designated Essentia Health-St. Joseph's Medical Center as a Level 3 Trauma Hospital. Essentia Health-St. Joseph's Medical Center and staff voluntarily participated in the intense designation process to become part of Minnesota's statewide trauma system. The process included an outside review of the hospital's resources and capabilities to care for trauma patients. Essentia Health-St. Joseph's Medical Center met standards of commitment, clinical and equipment resources and staff training. The hospital also participates in a continuous performance improvement process.

A Level 3 Trauma Hospital has demonstrated an ability to provide prompt assessment, resuscitation, surgery, intensive care and stabilization of injured patients and emergency operations.

Elements of Level 3 Trauma Hospital Include:

  • 24-hour immediate coverage by emergency medicine physicians and the prompt availability of general surgeons and anesthesiologists.
  • Incorporates a comprehensive quality assessment program
  • Has developed transfer agreements for patients requiring more comprehensive care at a Level I or Level II Trauma Center.
  • Provides back-up care for rural and community hospitals.
  • Offers continued education of the nursing and allied health personnel or the trauma team.
  • Involved with prevention efforts and must have an active outreach program for its referring communities.

Medical Director of Emergency Medicine, Rebecca Holcomb, MD, explains the designation is good news for patients. "Having a level 3 trauma hospital in our community means that we are committed to providing the highest level of care to patients through the latest evidence-based practice guidelines to deliver safe, effective and emergent care.

On average trauma claims the lives of 2,400 Minnesotans annually.  Areas with trauma systems have seen survival rates increase by 15 to 20 percent. "For a severely injured person the time between sustaining an injury and receiving definitive care is the most important predictor of survival "“ the 'golden hour'," said Holcomb.

The Emergency Department at Essentia Health-St. Joseph's Medical Center, located at 523 3rd Street North, Brainerd, is open 24 hours, 7 days a week. If you are experiencing an emergency, dial 911 or head to the nearest emergency room. This includes suffering chest pain, having trouble breathing, or suffering from a trauma.