Originally published at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 10
Southwest Healthcare System’s Inland Valley Medical Center was designated a Level II Trauma Center as of October 1, making it the only one in Southwest Riverside County.
The announcement was made by Bruce Barton, director of the Riverside County Emergency Medical Services Agency.
Inland Valley’s designation from a Level III to a Level II puts it on par with Desert Regional Medical Center, Riverside Community Hospital, and Riverside County Regional Medical Center.
Verified trauma centers must meet criteria that ensure trauma care and institutional performance. Level I is the highest possible rating. Currently, the county is without a Level I facility.
According to Southwest Healthcare spokesman Brian Connors, Inland Valley could qualify for that top rating if the area had a larger population base.
"Level II is the highest level that any trauma center may obtain in Southwest Riverside County. One of the qualifications is the population base. If we [were the] size of L.A., we could obtain a Level I," he said.
Dr. Tito Gorski, trauma center
medical director at Inland Valley, said the new designation is important
for local residents who rely on the hospital for emergency services.
“The Level II designation now allows for neuro-trauma patients as well as those requiring facial surgery to be transported locally to Inland Valley rather than outside the area,” Gorski explained. “There’s a huge spectrum of trauma services available right here at Inland Valley.”
The Level II designation was made following the county’s evaluation of the facility, according to an announcement from Southwest officials.
“County officials were highly impressed with our preparation and execution for our survey that was conducted in order to assess and confirm the Level II designation,” said Maureen Bowlin, trauma program manager for Inland Valley Medical Center.