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Conclusion of Trauma Rule Workshops

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

March 28, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 28, 2013

Contact: Communications Office
(850) 245-4111

FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH CONCLUDES TRAUMA RULE WORKSHOPS
~ Unprecedented Input Received from Communities Statewide ~

TALLAHASSEE—The Florida Department of Health (DOH) concluded the final of nine Trauma Rule Development Workshops in Highlands County today, demonstrating remarkable outreach by the Department. All of the workshops centered on trauma center apportionment, through which trauma centers are positioned geographically across Florida.

“The most important stakeholders in the trauma system are injured patients and their families,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong. “We have learned from this series of workshops just how much Florida communities value trauma services. We are committed to shaping a trauma system that is inclusive, sustainable, and integrated for safe, effective, and efficient care of injured patients. Trauma centers are one piece of the system puzzle.”

More than 505 individuals attended the workshops. Public testimony was offered, in person, by 169 individuals and 159 people submitted documentation during the process. Five video conferencing sites were available during eight of the nine workshops, which provided 49 total sites to the public for input. Each physical location had telephone call-in capacity for additional comments from any citizen. The Department panel listened to trauma patients, family members, law enforcement officers, sheriffs, firefighters, EMS responders, business people, county commissioners, city council members, mayors, hospital administrators, emergency physicians, trauma surgeons, trauma nurses, and trauma attorneys. The workshops took place in nine counties over three months: Collier, Duval, Escambia, Highlands, Hillsborough, Leon, Marion, Miami-Dade, and Okaloosa.

Injury is the number one cause of death in Florida for ages one to 44. In 2011, more than 42,000 injured patients received care through Florida’s System of Trauma Care. At 30 years old, this system remains an organized effort across injury prevention, pre-hospital emergency medical services (EMS), rehabilitation centers and 24 verified trauma centers. Promoting standardized pre-hospital trauma services and connecting non-trauma acute care hospitals to the system remain priorities for the Department.

The next step is for DOH to craft a draft trauma center apportionment rule, based on the testimony from the rule workshops and the final report of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Committee on Trauma (COT) systems consultation team, available in early May. This draft rule will then be presented for stakeholder input in a series of rule comment workshops.

DOH protects, promotes and improves the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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