SARASOTA, Fla. (May 24, 2023) – After an extensive review of every aspect of its trauma program, Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s Sarasota campus has been recertified as a Level II Trauma Center.
Sarasota County’s first and only trauma center, SMH-Sarasota is a Level II facility, meaning it is equipped with advanced treatments, technology and highly skilled trauma surgeons and subspecialists who stand ready 24/7 to provide lifesaving care to critically injured people in the Suncoast region.
The recertification process is an important step Florida trauma centers undergo every seven years to demonstrate compliance with state rules governing higher levels of care that trauma centers provide. In its first renewal survey since opening, the SMH-Sarasota trauma team met or exceeded all national benchmarks, with no deficiencies noted by the team of American College of Surgeons trauma experts who performed the in-depth, on-site assessment.
"Our trauma program strengthens the safety net of care available in the community, delivering a level of care not available in most hospitals, at a time when people need it most," said Sarasota Memorial Health Care System CEO David Verinder. "We are extremely proud of our trauma team and the lifesaving care they deliver every day."
The Sarasota County Public Hospital Board approved the funds and resources necessary to open the local trauma center in 2015, as part of the public health system's ongoing commitment to provide top-quality, comprehensive care to the growing community. In its first year, the trauma team cared for more than 1,000 patients. Today, it treats about 4,800 patients a year, with survival rates that are significantly better than national benchmarks.
National studies have found that care provided in a trauma center decreases the chance of death following injury by 25 percent compared to care in hospitals without trauma centers. Level II centers like SMH address the needs of injured patients across the entire spectrum of care, providing not only emergency and acute hospital care, but also post-hospital care and rehabilitation. SMH also provides important injury prevention programs, such as its ongoing Stop the Bleed classes, which encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency while waiting for professional help to arrive (visit smh.com/calendar for monthly class schedule).
The SMH trauma center includes specially equipped trauma bays, operating rooms, a trauma intensive care unit, trauma step-down and progressive units, and specialty nursing and rehab units that ensure optimal care for trauma patients as they recover from their injuries. In 2016, the hospital's state-of-the-art Rehabilitation Pavilion opened, further promoting the recovery process for trauma and other patients recovering from injury, illness or disease.
The quality and scope of care it provides to patients has earned SMH-Sarasota recognition on a number of best hospital lists in recent years, among them the “World’s Best Hospitals” by Newsweek and “Best Hospitals” for Rehabilitation and multiple other specialties by U.S. News & World Report.
About Sarasota Memorial
Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is a regional referral center offering Southwest Florida’s greatest breadth and depth of care, with more than 1 million patient visits each year across its 2 hospital campuses, a freestanding ER, skilled nursing and rehabilitation center and network of outpatient and urgent care centers. Its flagship 901-bed Sarasota hospital has been consistently recognized as one of the nation’s best, with superior patient outcomes and comprehensive network of outpatient services. In November 2021, the public health system opened a second acute-care hospital, SMH-Venice, to serve the growing south Sarasota County region and the Brian D. Jellison Cancer Institute to expand cancer care in the community. For more information, visit smh.com.