Ascension Seton Medical Center Hays earns level III adult trauma center designation


Providing advanced care for critically injured patients, closer to home

Ascension Seton Medical Center Hays (SMCH) has received designation from Texas Department of State Health Services as an Advanced Level III Adult Trauma Facility. This means many traumatic injuries including injuries from automobile crashes, falls, or other serious events can be treated closer to home.

“Ascension Seton is committed to improving this community’s health and well-being,” said Neal Kelley, RN, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of SMCH. Seton is part of Ascension, the largest nonprofit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system. “This designation shows our commitment to providing life-saving care patients can trust.”

The hospital began operating as an adult Level III trauma center in March 2017 and is moving toward Level II capabilities in Fall 2018.

This designation is part of a continued commitment to grow with the community’s needs, providing convenient access to quality care:

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

Providing advanced care

When a trauma strikes, getting the right care at the right time is critical. As a Level III Trauma Center, SMCH’s expert team of emergency medicine physicians, surgeons, anesthesiologists, radiologists and other health care professionals are specially equipped to offer a full spectrum of medical and surgical care.

“Trauma is a leading cause of death in people ages one – 44,” said Fausto Meza, MD, MPA, Vice President Medical Affairs at SMCH. “Access to high-quality trauma care in our area can mean the difference between life and death.”

If a higher level of care is needed, Level I trauma care is available right here in Austin. Dell Ascension Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas is home to our region’s only anticipated 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.

Meeting stringent standards

The accreditation process involves an extensive on-site survey and a comprehensive program review. To gain the official Level III designation, SMCH had to meet a range of stringent standards including the ability to provide:

  • Prompt assessment, resuscitation, surgery, intensive care and stabilization of injured patients
  • 24-hour immediate coverage by emergency medicine physicians and the prompt availability of general surgeons and anesthesiologists
  • Back-up care for rural and community hospitals
  • Continued education of the nursing and allied health personnel or the trauma team