Trauma Program is On Track

NorthBay Healthcare remains on track to become the first in Solano County to provide trauma services to treat severely injured patients who now must be transported long distances for care.

In March, a formal application was filed with county officials seeking designation of NorthBay Medical Center in Fairfield as a Level 3 trauma center. Plans call for these services to move into NorthBay VacaValley Hospital when expansion of that campus is completed, probably sometime in late 2013 or early 2014.

The NorthBay trauma leadership team is now complete and includes professionals with significant experience in advanced emergency care.

Kathy Richerson, vice president and chief nursing officer, has worked for several years putting together the underpinnings of a trauma center. She helped create the first such program for Mercy Medical Center in Sacramento before joining NorthBay Healthcare.

Daman Mott, R.N., M.S., was appointed in April to be the director
of Emergency Medical Services. A military trained trauma nurse, he
has hospital experience, as well as handling trauma care in the field.

Heather Venezio, R.N., M.S., was selected trauma program director in March. With NorthBay since 1995, she served as a clinical lead nurse in the Emergency Department. She has taught advanced trauma care for nurses through the University of California, Davis, and is education coordinator for the Sacramento Chapter of the California Emergency Nurses Association.

“This is another case where NorthBay saw a need to bring advanced medicine close to home,” said Gary Passama, president and CEO. “This isn’t a program we are developing in isolation. We are working very closely with the county Emergency Medical Services, with other providers and with the first responders who will be bringing these patients to us. It’s a team approach within NorthBay and with our partners outside our hospitals.”

During the past three years, NorthBay has created an infrastructure for trauma care and other advanced medical services. NorthBay Medical Center was designated a Chest Pain Center and its Heart & Vascular Center brought new life-saving surgery to the county for the first time. Another initiative established around-the-clock in-house physician staffing for general surgery, orthopedic surgery, anesthesia, OB-GYN and critical care medicine, all of which provide a strong foundation for building a high-quality trauma medical team.

“We created that system to improve the care for all patients,” said Deborah Sugiyama, president of NorthBay Healthcare Group. “But we always had in mind that it would bolster our move into trauma care. We will meet the county’s requirements to launch this program.”

There are about 1,000 trauma cases a year in Solano County, according to state statistics that show 42 percent are transferred out of the county, typically to trauma centers in Walnut Creek or Sacramento.

Wound Experts Improve Quality of Life

The NorthBay Center for Wound Care in Vacaville is an outpatient facility committed to the treatment of difficult, non-healing wounds. The center now also operates an outpatient infusion center that allows patients to receive their IV medications without a hospital visit.

The infusion center offers patients an alternative to hospitalization or ER visits for infusion therapy. Services include PICC insertion and PICC/Central line dressing changes, IV hydration, IV antibiotics and IV osteoporosis medications. They also perform blood transfusions and iron replacement therapy.

When it comes to problem wounds, the center is able to heal more than 95 percent of the wounds they treat within 14 weeks with careful use of advanced wound care techniques. These include hyperbaric oxygen therapy, wound cleaning techniques, medicines, dressing, minor procedures and other support services.

“We specialize in the treatment of chronic and non-healing wounds,” says Karen Harris, R.N., B.S.N., manager of the center. “We can work with your physician to diagnose and heal your problem wound.”

For further information, call (707) 624-7979.

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