/Southern Nevada Health District and Regional Trauma Advisory Board launch educational initiative

Southern Nevada Health District and Regional Trauma Advisory Board launches educational initiative

May 16, 2014

LAS VEGAS – The Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) and the Regional Trauma Advisory Board today launched an educational initiative as part of National Trauma Awareness Month. In the coming months, the agency, board and partners will introduce a new website to provide residents and visitors information about critical components of the system.

“’Serious Injuries. Superior Care. Trauma Systems Matter’ is our new slogan and we believe it sums up what we do,” said Dr. John Fildes, University Medical Center Trauma Program medical director. “The trauma system is a coordinated, comprehensive injury response network of essential services. In addition to treating patients at the scene of an injury and transporting them to the most appropriate health care facility, the system works to reduce or prevent injuries, and advocates for sufficient resources to meet the needs of injured people. We are launching this initiative to help the community understand what we do, how we do it, and the importance of maintaining the trauma system. Often, people don’t know about us until they need us.”

In the past four years, the three trauma centers in the Southern Nevada Trauma System have cared for more than 6,000 trauma patients each year. In the United States, intentional and unintentional injuries are the leading causes of death and disability for people between the ages of one and 44, which may lead to a patient’s initial encounter with an emergency medical services and trauma system.

The Southern Nevada Trauma System consists of University Medical Center, a Level I and Pediatric Level II trauma center; Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center, a Level II trauma center; and St. Rose Dominican Hospital – Siena Campus, a Level III trauma center. Trauma centers are classified based on criteria developed by the American College of Surgeons – Committee on Trauma. The rankings are not based on the quality of medical care but on resources available to provide optimal care for injured patients.

“No matter which trauma center you’re brought to here in Southern Nevada, it is important to know that you will receive excellent lifesaving care. Each trauma center can provide high quality emergency medical care. Which center you are transported to is based on your injuries and what medical resources you would need to treat the injury,” said Dr. Christian Young, SNHD EMS & Trauma System medical director.

The role of Southern Nevada Trauma System is more than just transporting and treating patients. The four components of a comprehensive trauma system include (1) the development of injury prevention programs, (2) transport and treatment protocols to ensure a patient is brought to the appropriate trauma center, (3) ensuring hospitals maintain appropriate trauma capabilities, and (4) rehabilitation services to maximize optimum recovery and reintegration into the community.

To do that, a statewide trauma registry is an essential tool to collect and analyze injury data that can help guide efforts to develop appropriate prevention programs, or legislative or regulatory efforts to reduce injuries. Further, it is important to have a dedicated and sustainable funding source to support the trauma registry and to maintain the necessary infrastructure to help drive decisions regarding trauma system development, operation, management, and enhancement.

“We will continue to work with our partners to develop a fully operational trauma registry in Nevada so we can really assess what is truly happening in our communities and what we can do to prevent injuries,” said Senator Joyce Woodhouse.


The Southern Nevada Health District serves as the local public health authority for Clark County, Boulder City, Henderson, Las Vegas, Mesquite and North Las Vegas. The agency safeguards the public health of the community’s residents and visitors through innovative programs, regulations, and initiatives focused on protecting and promoting their health and well-being. More information about the Health District, its programs, services, and the regulatory oversight it provides is available at www.SNHD.info.