HOUSTON (August 10, 2009)

The trauma centers at Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital and Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center have each been verified as a Level One Trauma Center by the Committee on Trauma (COT) of the American College of Surgeons. This achievement recognizes the trauma centers' dedication to providing optimal care for injured patients.

"Verification by the American College of Surgeons further demonstrates the commitment by Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital to provide the highest level of trauma care available," said Charles Cox, M.D., director of the pediatric trauma program at Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital and distinguished professor of pediatric surgery at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. "Children's Memorial Hermann was the first Level One pediatric trauma center in the Gulf Coast region and it is the only Level One pediatric trauma center in Houston."

This marks the first year that Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital has received this verification as a separate Level One pediatric center. Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center's trauma center has maintained its Level One verification since 1993.

"As one of only two Level One adult trauma centers in a city the size of Houston, it is important that we continually demonstrate to our patients, their families and the community at large that we are committed to the care of trauma patients. The maintenance of this verification for the past 16 years is a reflection of that commitment," said John Holcomb, MD, chief trauma surgeon at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center and director of the Center for Translational Injury Research at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.Established by the American College of Surgeons in 1987, the COT's Verification/Consultation Program for hospitals promotes the development of trauma centers in which participants provide not only the hospital resources necessary for trauma care, but also the entire spectrum of care to address the needs of all injured patients. This spectrum encompasses the pre-hospital phase through the rehabilitation process.

Verified trauma centers must meet the essential criteria that ensure trauma care capability and institutional performance as outlined by the American College of Surgeons' Committee on Trauma in its current Resources for Optimal Care of the Injured Patient manual.

The ACS Committee on Trauma's verification program does not designate trauma centers. Rather, the program provides a confirmation that a trauma center has demonstrated its commitment to providing the highest quality trauma care for injured patients. The actual establishment and the designation of trauma centers is the function of local, regional or state health care systems agencies, such as the local emergency medical services authority.

The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational association of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical education and practice and to improve the care of the surgical patient. The College, which has 59,000 members, is the largest association of surgeons in the world. Longstanding achievements have placed the College in the forefront of American surgery and have made it an important advocate for all surgical patients.