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Texas Health HEB Receives Level III Trauma Facility Designation

BEDFORD, Texas — Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Hurst-Euless-Bedford has been designated a Level III Trauma Facility by the Texas Department of State Health Services. The hospital is the first in Northeast Tarrant County to attain the designation, which demonstrates the hospital’s ability to meet a high level of 24-hour trauma emergency, operative and critical care services.

In emergency trauma situations, time matters. With a Level III-designated trauma center in close proximity, emergency responders do not have to fight their way through traffic and road construction to deliver Mid-Cities trauma victims to hospitals in Dallas or Fort Worth for high-quality care. Local ambulances can also resume responding to emergency calls more quickly, a time-saving benefit for the community.

“Achieving the Level III Trauma designation has been a dedicated team effort at Texas Health HEB for the past two years,” said Deborah Paganelli, FACHE, hospital president. “Our employees, volunteers and physicians on the medical staff have worked together to enhance our trauma care capabilities to better serve Mid-Cities patients.”

The Level III Trauma Facility designation builds on prior certifications attained by Texas Health HEB, including recent recognition as a Cycle IV Chest Pain Center and full Heart Failure accreditation by the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care and designation as a Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission.

“Our trauma center designation complements our other certifications in demonstrating that Texas Health HEB can deliver an advanced level of care to critically injured patients,” said Paganelli.

The Level III designation is awarded to hospitals that meet a high level of 24-hour trauma emergency, operative and critical care services. The designation assures the community that Texas Health HEB is equipped to provide comprehensive emergency medical services to patients suffering from life-threatening injuries or arrange for transfer to a higher-level trauma-designated facility if needed.

It also means the hospital has a dedicated multi-disciplinary trauma team including board-certified, fellowship-trained trauma and orthopedic trauma surgeons on the medical staff offering highly specialized care, according to James Poettcker, M.D., general surgeon and hospital trauma medical director.

“The Level III designation recognizes our longtime focus on providing care for the critically injured,” Poettcker said. “Our programs and services for trauma patients are a vital part of our service to the community.”

Poettcker noted that to achieve the designation, Texas Health HEB had to demonstrate the following capabilities:

  • Provide prompt assessment, resuscitation, emergency surgery and stabilization
  • Must have transfer agreements with a higher-level facility when necessary (Level I or II)
  • Maintain continuous general surgery coverage
  • Standardized treatment protocols to plan for care of injured trauma patients

In addition, the hospital demonstrated established injury prevention and control programs, outreach activities to the local community, and education programs for nurses, physicians, and allied health care workers involved with trauma care. Community programs include Matter of Balance, for fall prevention; Safe Sitter, for babysitter training; and car seat safety checks.

Leading up to the designation, Texas Health HEB had already implemented crucial trauma-related components to treat falls, motor vehicle accidents and assaults, including placing trauma and orthopedic surgeons on call 24/7; having specially trained emergency medicine physicians on the medical staff; and hiring a trauma coordinator.

Texas Health HEB’s trauma program is a critical component of the hospital’s emergency services. The hospital’s emergency department cares for more than 60,000 patients annually.

“Texas Health HEB’s designation as a trauma facility demonstrates our commitment to quality, enhanced patient satisfaction and continuous improvement of the level of care that we provide to patients at a time of great stress for them and their families,” said Melissa Johnson, M.D., medical director of emergency services.

About Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Hurst-Euless-Bedford
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Hurst-Euless-Bedford is a 284-bed, acute-care facility serving Northeast Tarrant County since 1973. The hospital’s services include outpatient surgery, women’s services, a Level III neonatal intensive care unit, a dedicated oncology care unit, cardiac rehabilitation and psychiatric and addiction treatment. Texas Health HEB is an affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit

Doctors on the medical staff practice independently and are not employees or agents of the hospital.

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