State Designates Bronson Battle Creek as Level III Trauma Center

Published on March 29, 2018

State Designates Bronson Battle Creek as Level III Trauma Center

Bronson Battle Creek Hospital was recently designated a Level III Trauma Center. Designation is conferred by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) after a thorough on-site review that confirms the hospital is providing optimal trauma care.

A Level III Trauma Center represents an important part of the state-wide trauma system. The designation proves that the entire hospital has committed itself to the care of trauma patients and has met high standards in both its experience and breadth of service for critically-injured adults.

“This designation reflects Bronson’s ongoing commitment to ensure that residents of Calhoun County are receiving the best possible care,” says Dr. Robert Prodinger, chief of staff at Bronson Battle Creek and medical director for the Bronson Battle Creek emergency department. “The team here in Battle Creek has worked very hard to meet the rigorous criteria for becoming a trauma center, and we are proud to now bring this new level of excellence to our patients and their families. This, along with our recent expansion of access to family medicine providers and specialists, helps us fully meet the needs of our community.”

A Level III Trauma Center has the capability to initially manage the majority of patients it receives and maintains an established relationship with a higher level regional center for transferring the most critically-injured patients whose needs exceed the local hospital’s resources.

“Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo has been a Level I Trauma Center since 1989 and is the only Level I Trauma Center in the region. More recently, Bronson LakeView Hospital in Paw Paw was designated a Level IV Trauma Center. We’re seeing nearly 30 years of experience and expertise that is now starting to carry across the entire Bronson system,” says Dr. David Bartholomew, trauma medical director and chief of surgery at Bronson Battle Creek. “This regionalized approach to trauma care really differentiates Bronson Battle Creek from other Level III Trauma Centers because of our shared protocols, resources and one electronic health record system.”

MDHHS recognized both Prodinger and Bartholomew as strengths and highlighted their commitment to the program and performance improvement. Other strong suits included Bronson Battle Creek’s injury prevention program, administrative support, surgeon/subspecialty availability and the facility itself including the emergency department, operating rooms and intensive care unit.

Prodinger adds, “The goal after a trauma occurs is to quickly match the injured patient to the correct resource in the right amount of time. Trauma designations help guide EMS and other emergency first responders who provide essential lifesaving care and transportation. Since the Bronson system uses one electronic health record, we can ensure that patients here in Battle Creek have access to a regional team of experts and receive appropriate and connected care in the quickest manner possible.”

Some of the criteria a hospital must meet to be named a Level III Trauma Center include:
• 24-hour immediate coverage by emergency medicine physicians and the prompt availability of general surgeons and anesthesiologists
• A comprehensive quality assessment program
• Transfer agreements for patients requiring more comprehensive care at a Level I Trauma Center
• Back-up care for rural and community hospitals
• Continued education of the nursing and allied health personnel or the trauma team
• Prevention efforts and an active outreach program for its referring communities

A trauma is any life-threatening injury, either accidental or intentional. Common causes of trauma include motor vehicle crashes, falls, burns, knife and gunshot wounds and sports or recreational injuries.

In addition to trauma and emergency care at Bronson Battle Creek Hospital, the Bronson Healthcare system provides a comprehensive range of services for patients who need treatment for an injury. These include walk-in urgent care and immediate care locations for minor concerns, as well as full service emergency departments in Calhoun, Kalamazoo and Van Buren Counties. More information is available on