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Trauma Medical Director Dr. Oscar Rios stands in one of the new trauma rooms at Seton Medical Center Hays, that now serves as a Level II Trauma Center. Photos courtesy of  Ascension Texas

Seton Medical Center Hays now Level II Trauma Center

Advanced trauma care closer to home
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

 Seton Medical Center Hays (SMCH) now operates as a Level II Trauma Center with the ability to provide comprehensive care for all injured patients.

As the only Level II Trauma Center located off Interstate 35 between Austin and San Antonio, SMCH offers comprehensive surgical care for the community including: 

  • 24/7 in-house trauma surgeons, 
  • 24/7 availability of specialty trauma neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons.
  • Specialized trauma team, including a multidisciplinary approach to care
  • Dedicated ICU and trauma beds
  • State of the art equipment and renovations
  • Unified partnership with Dell Seton at The University of Texas trauma services

 “Seton is committed to providing life-saving care patients can trust,” Dr. Fausto Meza, chief medical officer for Seton Medical Center Hays, said. “The community deserves this level of care, and, as it grows, we are offering services to meet its needs.”

Seton is part of Ascension, the largest nonprofit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system. In Texas, Ascension operates Providence Healthcare Network and Seton Healthcare Family, which includes Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas, the region’s only comprehensive children’s hospital and pediatric Level I trauma center, and Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas, the region’s only Level I trauma center for adults.

Providing advanced care

When an accident happens, getting the right care at the right time is critical. As a Level II Trauma Center, Seton Medical Center Hays' 24/7 specialized trauma team and hospital operations, including an ER, OR, intensive care unit, acute care - trauma/orthopedics unit, radiology, lab and blood bank, and inpatient pharmacy, offer a full spectrum of medical and surgical care.

“Seton Medical Center Hays has evolved from a community hospital to a regional medical center for complex trauma care,” Dr. Oscar Rios, FACS, trauma medical director at Seton Medical Center Hays, said. “Our Level II trauma capabilities allow us to provide the highest level of emergency and trauma expertise that can mean the difference between life and death.”

For some specialty cases, Level I trauma care is available in Austin. Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas is home to our region’s only Level I Trauma Center for adults and Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas remains the only Pediatric Level I Trauma Center in Central Texas, providing the most advanced care for the most severely injured patients.

Advanced care close to home

SMCH’s level II trauma capabilities provide advanced care closer to home for traumatically injured patients. The Level II Trauma Center will provide trauma care to Hays County – named by the New U.S. Census Bureau as one of the fastest growing counties with populations of 10,000 or more in the country from 2016-2017 – and beyond keeping EMS workers out of Austin and San Antonio traffic.

“Trauma patients from Smithville, to San Marcos and Blanco will no longer need to be transported into major cities like Austin and San Antonio,” Rios said. “Our trauma services will prevent EMS providers from entering high traffic areas, and ultimately get the patients to the care they need faster, and their trucks back into service where they belong.”

Volunteer Joan Searcy, ED Manager Keili Newcomer, Trauma Program Manager Lauren Braun, Chief Operating Officer Neal Kelley, Trauma Medical Director Dr. Oscar Rios, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Fausto Meza and volunteer Tom Searcy clap during the ribbon cutting celebration held Monday at Seton Medical Center Hays.

Journey to a Level II Trauma Center

SMCH’s Level II Trauma Center is part of a continued commitment to grow with the community’s needs, providing convenient access to quality care.

“We have long prepared for the advanced Level II capabilities at SMCH,” Meza said. “In addition to state-of-the-art equipment and renovations, SMCH welcomes new trauma surgeons and specialists who have joined our hospital team.”

SMCH began operating as an adult Level III Trauma Center in March 2017 and was designated by the Texas Department of State Health Services as an advanced level III adult trauma facility in January 2018. Additionally, in January 2017, the world-class pediatric emergency care of Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas expanded to SMCH.

In June, SMCH marked its accomplishment of 100 heart surgeries in one year, a milestone credited to the addition of heart surgeon Jeffrey McNeil, MD.

In July, SMCH surgeons began using the state-of-the art-technology of Firefly Fluorescence Imaging with  the da Vinci® Xi™ robotic arm system creating enhanced visualization and mobility, resulting in less pain, less blood loss, shorter hospital stays and minimal scarring.

In November 2017, SMCH opened a new 30-bed surgical unit, expanding the hospital from 112 beds to a 142-bed care site.

Other developments on the horizon for 2018 include a new wound care clinic, wellness center and a $14 million maternity and women’s services expansion.