Trauma Center Earns High Marks

NorthBay Trauma Center received an impressive review from the American College of Surgeons (ACS), earning a three-year verification, the most possible, during a recent assessment by the nationally known leader in trauma.

At the conclusion of the meticulous two-day review, the ACS surveyors found no deficiencies in the Fairfield-based Level II trauma center. It was the first trauma center in the county, opening in NorthBay Medical Center in 2011.

“To have the most rigorous verification organization in the country come, examine our program and validate that we provide optimal care for the critically injured patients in our community is extremely gratifying,” said Dr. J. Peter Zopfi, Trauma medical director at NorthBay Healthcare. “It solidified our commitment not only to those in need of life-saving care, but also to our community, which deserves the highest level of care.”

The ACS a scientific and educational association of surgeons founded in 1913 to improve the quality of care by setting high standards for surgical education and practice.

“The hospital functions as an essential component of the Solano County emergency response system at multiple levels,” evaluators wrote in their report, adding that NorthBay Medical Center works effectively with UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital and nearby academic hospitals’ trauma units to provide more advanced care that creates “a novel solution to a community need.”

NorthBay Trauma Center received high marks for its performance improvement efforts, its community education programs and its commitment to helping train pre-hospital emergency response teams to ensure the best possible outcome for critically injured patients.
“The program is very active in the community in education and outreach activities,” reviewers said.

Dr. Zopfi and Trauma Program Director Heather Venezio were singled out as “knowledgeable and organized with systems in place for effective management of the program,” as well as being leaders in the community.

“Achieving and maintaining the highest level of verification from the ACS is no small feat,” explained Venezio. “These are exceptional experts in the field. They understand trauma is a ‘team sport’ that requires collaboration of every person who comes into contact with a critically injured patient.”

In a letter to NorthBay President and CEO B. Konard Jones, the two leaders of the ACS’s Verification Review Committee, R. Todd Maxson, MD, and Daniel Margulies, MD, wrote, “The Committee on Trauma would like to extend its congratulations to the NorthBay Medical Center on its verification as a Level II trauma center.”

Other strengths that set NorthBay Trauma Center apart from most programs, the examiners said, included:

  • A cohesive staff of surgeons dedicated to the trauma program’s goals;
  • A “strong collaborative relationship” between the emergency department and the trauma team;
  • NorthBay neurosurgeons who are responsive and work effectively with trauma team leaders;
  • Having a fellowship-trained orthopedic trauma surgeon on the NorthBay staff; and
  • Conducting disaster drills with Fairfield Fire Department and other public safety agencies.

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