Trauma care at St. Luke’s Wood River recognized by State

News Release: Trauma care at St. Luke’s Wood River recognized by State

In a remote mountain resort area where the athletes are legends and the athletic endeavors are legendary, locals and visitors play hard, making serious accidents and injuries fairly common occurrences. It is essential to be able to quickly and expertly treat, stabilize and, if necessary, transfer to another facility.  St. Luke’s Wood River Emergency Department receives approximately 7,800 patients every year, with about 400 of those being trauma related, 21% of which require transfer.

Which is why it’s great news that St. Luke’s Wood River Level IV Trauma Center designation was renewed by the Idaho Time Sensitive Emergency (TSE) Center on November 8, demonstrating the hospital’s ability to provide advanced trauma life support (ATLS) and seamless transfer of patients to a higher-level trauma center when specialized care is needed.

“St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center has demonstrated their commitment to providing excellent trauma care for their community; this has been highlighted by their designation as an Idaho Time Sensitive Emergency System – Level IV Trauma Center,” said Melissa Ball, TSE program manager. “The enormous amount of support and dedication from the staff, administrators and EMS providers was evident during the onsite survey, and truly enhances the quality of care provided to trauma patients in the Wood River Valley.”

St. Luke’s Wood River has been serving trauma patients for decades and is one of a handful of rural emergency departments in the country that has ED physicians board-certified in emergency medicine on a 24/7 basis. This designation ensures consistent evidence-based care that coordinates pre-hospital response, transport and hospital emergency/acute care. Additional components of the program are injury prevention and community education on trauma.

Brittany McFarland, BSN, RN, SLWR TSE Trauma Program Manager, and Dr. Malie Kopplin, Emergency Department Physician and Trauma Medical Director, led the effort. “This designation reflects the ongoing commitment and collaboration of our staff, physicians, and EMS partners to provide the best possible care to our community. We are thrilled with the compliments of the surveyors as well as appreciative of their insight on how we can continue to improve our processes to better assure those suffering from trauma receive timely and effective treatment,” commented McFarland.

The TSE system was approved and funded by the Idaho Legislature in 2014 to address three of the top five causes of death in Idaho – trauma, stroke, and heart attack – with criteria and standards of care in each category and to organize a region and statewide trauma system. Studies show that organized systems of care in such cases improve patient outcomes, reduce the frequency of preventable death, and improve patients’ quality of life.

Idaho recognizes five trauma level designations. The higher-level facilities, I and II, treat more complex patients.

Idaho does not have any level I trauma centers, which are characterized by teaching programs for medical residents and ongoing research, but there are Level II trauma centers. St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital, Idaho’s only children’s hospital, was recognized in June of this year as a Level 2 Pediatric Trauma care facility by the American College of Surgeons. The achievement recognizes St. Luke’s pediatric trauma center’s dedication and delivery of excellence in caring for injured pediatric patients in Idaho. Additionally, St. Luke’s Boise received pediatric trauma designation by the State of Idaho through the Time Sensitive Emergencies Council (TSE), a mandatory state designation that is based on the American College of Surgeon’s verification. Other TSE-designated trauma centers within St. Luke’s Health System include Magic Valley, Meridian, and McCall.


Media Contact:
Joy Prudek
Public Relations Manager, St. Luke’s Wood River, 208-727-8435
November 14, 2022