University of Colorado Hospital gets Level 1 Trauma Center designation

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AURORA, Colo. - UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora is now a Level 1 trauma center.  There are only four others in the entire state, and this is the only one with a Burn Center verified by the American Burn Association.

At an event to celebrate the designation, Tom Gronow, COO of University of Colorado Hospital, said, “What that means for us, is that we have the capabilities to take care of the most acute, the most sick patients with-in the state, which we have been doing for many years.  As I like to say, we are now getting the credit for what we have been doing for a very long time.”

There are now five Level 1 trauma centers in the state including Denver Health, St. Anthony Hospital in Lakewood, Swedish Medical Center in Englewood, UCHealth Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs, and UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora.

To meet the criteria, the hospital must have around the clock coverage of trauma surgeons and quick availability of specialists. The hospital must treat large numbers of severely injured patients and be leaders in prevention, education and research.

Former patient, Devyn Brinkerhoff, says she’s glad University of Colorado Hospital is getting this recognition. “They definitely are deserving of this,” she said.

When she was just 18 years old, Devyn was ejected during a rollover crash.  She was taken to a local hospital in Wyoming, then flown to University of Colorado Hospital.  “I had a broken pelvis, injuries to all of my organs, I had a brain bleed, collapsed lungs, and they were just so amazing,” Devyn said.

She was also treated for nerve damage that left her leg paralyzed.  But a brace allows her to walk, and she was excited to share her story as an example of care at the hospital.  “They worked very hard to save my life, and keep me going,” she said.

Patients like Devyn know it’s good to have options in case you are ever severely injured.  She’s grateful for her care, and her life.  She is now engaged, and studying to be a nurse.

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