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Lee Health’s trauma program earns recertification

Set to move to Gulf Coast Medical Center in January

By Staff | Nov 29, 2021

Lee Health will make history in the state of Florida when it relocates its Regional Trauma Center from Lee Memorial Hospital to Gulf Coast Medical Center. It will be the first health system in the state to move a trauma program.

The move is set for Jan. 12, and is being done as part of a major expansion to better serve the Southwest Florida community by expanding access to healthcare throughout the region.

In addition to relocating the Regional Trauma Center, Lee Health is also proud to announce that the trauma program has earned its recertification from the state.

In early November, the Florida Department of Health conducted its survey and recertified the Regional Trauma Center. The recertification process takes place every seven years.

When recertifying Lee Health’s trauma program, teams from DOH evaluated several criteria, including the emergency department and level of care provided there, radiology turnaround times, operating room capabilities, timely access to specialists and other key aspects of the program.

The DOH will return in mid-December to survey Gulf Coast Medical Center to ensure it is ready to receive trauma patients.

“We look forward to the continued success of our trauma program as we move this vital service to Gulf Coast Medical Center,” said Dr. Larry Antonucci, president and chief executive officer of Lee Health. “The relocation of our Regional Trauma Center ensures that we have adequate treatment space to serve the trauma service needs of our growing population, and it offers a more centralized location to provide these services.”

To prepare for the trauma center relocation, Gulf Coast Medical Center underwent an extensive $315 million expansion project, which added 268 new inpatient beds, bringing the hospital’s total bed count to 624 from 356. The project also includes an expanded emergency department and intensive care unit (ICU) spaces.

The trauma center serves only the most complex and life-threatening cases. More than 90% of those cases are comprised of blunt trauma from falls, motor vehicle crashes and motorcycle crashes.

With the relocation of the Regional Trauma Center from Lee Memorial Hospital to Gulf Coast Medical Center and until the new Colonial Campus opens in 2027, Lee Health plans to transition Lee Memorial Hospital to all private rooms.

The emergency department at Lee Memorial Hospital will remain open and will continue to serve the community 24 hours per day. Any member of the community who needs emergency care should continue to visit their nearest hospital’s emergency room.

Learn more about Lee Health’s trauma services at www.leehealth.org.

About Lee Health

Since the opening of the first hospital in 1916, Lee Health has been a health care leader in Southwest Florida, constantly evolving to meet the needs of the community. A non-profit, integrated health care services organization, Lee Health is committed to the well-being of every individual served, focused on healthy living and maintaining good health. Staffed by caring people, inspiring health, services are conveniently located throughout the community in four acute care hospitals, two specialty hospitals, outpatient centers, walk-in medical centers, primary care and specialty physician practices and other services across the continuum of care. Learn more at www.LeeHealth.org.

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