Special designation was received by St. Luke's Hospital - Miners Campus in Coaldale.

It has been named the first accredited Level IV Trauma Center in Pennsylvania.

Announcement of this prestigious status was made during a news conference yesterday afternoon.

Attending the news conference was a large crowd of visitors, staff and media yesterday morning outside the St. Luke's Hospital - Miners Campus's Emergency Department.

Hospital President Bill Moyer announced that the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation (PTSF) voted and approved the status for the local medical facility effective November 1.

"The accreditation survey process included a review of care delivery to trauma patients," said Moyer, who said that increased education for physicians and nurses, as well as revised policies, procedures and guidelines, all culminated by a site visit from PTSF at the Coaldale campus.

"Normally an accreditation of this type takes a hospital three years to achieve, but our physicians and staff at St. Luke's Miners Campus were able to accomplish this process in only two years," said Moyer. "That speaks volumes about the commitment of our employees to provide great patient care and as a testament to our commitment to the communities we serve."

Trauma and Emergency Department physicians will be able to treat certain trauma patients at the St. Luke's Miners Campus. For more serious traumas, the St. Luke's Miners Hospital trauma team will be able to stabilize patients to prepare for transfer via ground or air transport to St. Luke's University Hospital – Bethlehem, a Level I Trauma Center for 15 years.

William S. Hoff, MD, Chief of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery at St. Luke's University Health Network, said, "This is an exciting time for Pennsylvania trauma services and an absolute faboulous achievement for the St. Luke's University Health Network. Properly placed, well resourced, accredited trauma centers improve the availability of trauma care in the community. The Level IV accreditation recognizes those hospitals that have made significant strides in the delivery of trauma care for patients where they need it most."

By having a trauma center in the region, patients will be seen by a trauma team more quickly without transporting the patient to Bethlehem, resulting in improved patient outcomes, said emergency room physician Melanie Turock, DO, Trauma Program Medical Director at St. Luke's Miners Campus.

In addition, utilizing a local trauma center will decrease travel time for EMS teams and will provide paramedics better turn-around-time, allowing them to serve the local community more efficiently and effectively, said Dr. Turock.

"The level IV accreditation stresses our level of quality when providing care to patients in our community," said Kim Sargent, Vice President, Patient Care Services/Administration.

"Our community can be assured they are receiving the highest level of care at St. Luke's Miners," Moyer continued. "This is yet another example of our ongoing commitment to the Miners community. Over the last three years, we have added 22 new physicians, several new services - including cardiology, oncology, neurology, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopaedics and urology - and we continue to fulfill our mission of providing quality care close to home."

St. Luke's Miners Campus is a fully accredited, not-for-profit, 44-bed Level IV Trauma Center. The hospital, accredited by the Joint Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), provides a wide variety of health care services.

The campus currently provides health care services to more than 11,000 people annually. Additional on-site services include a home health agency and a 48-bed skilled nursing facility.

Hospital board member Maureen Donovan credited the dedication of the hospital's administration and staff for receiving the accreditation.

"People can receive quality care in their backyard instead of be transported out," said Kristie Leshko, Trauma Program Coordinator.

"I am proud of our team for stepping up to a big project," said Dr. Turock. "The results have reached well above our expectations."