Health systems ramping up quality of care

UPMC Williamsport has taken a major step forward with the announcement that it has been granted Level II Trauma Center accreditation, effective Sept. 1, by the state Trauma Systems Foundation.

This puts into place a team of surgeons and specialists who deal with patients suffering from car accidents, gunshot and stab wounds as well as other serious, life-threatening injuries.

“Trauma is any injury that occurs to the body from an external source,” said Dr. Ronen Elefant, medical director and a trauma surgeon, Trauma Services, UPMC of North Central Pennsylvania.

Time is of the essence with this type of injury, and the quicker a patient gets into surgery, the better their chances for survival, Elefant said.

Having a Level II Trauma Center here will allow for more rapid critical care treatments, enhanced emergency surgery outcomes and real time coordination with Level I trauma experts in the UPMC network, according to Steve Johnson, president of UPMC of North Central Pennsylvania.

The local center eliminates time spent transporting a trauma patient who doesn’t have time to spare to another center a distance away.

The importance of this cannot be understated, not just for Greater Williamsport and Lycoming County but for people who suddenly find themselves with life-threatening injuries as far north as the New York border and counties to the west with gaps in coverage such as eastern Clinton County and Cameron and McKean counties.

That said, we congratulate UPMC of North Central Pennsylvania and UPMC Williamsport for achieving this major milestone.


People will have quicker access to emergency life-saving medical services with the addition of a helipad at Geisinger Jersey Shore Hospital.

“Before the helipad’s construction, medical helicopter transports from the Jersey Shore area occurred at the Jersey Shore Airport in Antes Fort, nearly three miles from the hospital,” said Marc Stempka, a Geisinger spokesman.

The fact that the hospital will be able to provide a more direct route to critical care could make all of the difference to somebody who needs it in a timely fashion.

It’s worth noting that this $2 million project was paid in part with a $250,000 grant from the Williamsport Lycoming Community Fund at the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania, silently at work improving life in our local communities.

We tip our hat today to the foundation for recognizing this need and to Geisinger Jersey Shore for its commitment to our region.


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