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Level 1 trauma centers in colorado springs

Patients and the community have access to the highest-quality and most advanced trauma care without needing to travel to Denver.

night shot of hospital

Colorado Springs, Colo.  (April 23, 2019) – UCHealth Memorial Hospital Central has been redesignated as a Level I Trauma Center after a two-day onsite visit by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, with reviewers noting multiple strengths, including the hospital’s neurosurgery capabilities and its comprehensive injury prevention program.

Memorial Hospital Central has the distinction of being the only Level I Trauma Center in southern Colorado and one of only five statewide. A Level I designation, which the hospital earned a year ago in April 2018, recognizes the hospital has the ability to treat severe and complex injuries, giving southern Colorado residents rapid access to top-level emergency and trauma care without having to go to Denver.

“Memorial’s expert trauma program has enabled seriously injured patients to stay here in Colorado Springs, close to home, which we know is best for the patients and their family members,” said Joel Yuhas, president and CEO of UCHealth Memorial Hospital. “And over the past year, we have recruited some of the nation’s best trauma surgeons and specialists to provide even more support to the program.”

Hospital trauma designations are determined according to varying criteria, including medical resources and patient volumes. Key elements required to be a Level I Trauma Center include around-the-clock coverage by trauma surgeons and prompt availability of specialists in orthopedics and neurosurgery, among others. Such facilities also must be leaders in trauma prevention and education, conduct research and meet volume requirements for treating severely injured patients.

“The designation of trauma programs in the state of Colorado is more rigorous than at a national level,” said Rochelle Flayter, UCHealth Memorial Hospital’s senior director for Trauma Services. “This reassessment underscores UCHealth Memorial Hospital Central’s commitment to improving the lives of injured patients. The state’s surveyors commented it was one of the strongest programs they have reviewed. Residents of southern Colorado should feel comfortable and proud to have this resource close to home.”

Memorial Central, which houses the state’s busiest emergency department, provided care in 2018 to nearly 110,000 people, with more than 2,500 of them patients who met trauma registry inclusion criteria. The majority of trauma cases involve blunt injuries that are often the result of incidents such as motor vehicle crashes, pedestrians or bicyclists hit by vehicles, or falls and penetrating trauma that includes gunshot or stab wounds.

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As part of its trauma program, the hospital recently launched the Memorial Injury Prevention and Research Institute, which seeks not only to research and identify the leading causes of preventable injuries, but also educate the community about them. The four areas of focus for the institute are suicide and violence prevention; pediatric and adolescent injury prevention to include auto and alcohol-related injuries; geriatric fall prevention; and sports/recreation injury prevention, including concussions.

“The redesignation of the Level I trauma program affirms the excellent care and comprehensive services we provide to critically injured patients every day,” said Dr. Thomas Schroeppel, trauma medical director at UCHealth Memorial Hospital. “Since our initial designation in April 2018, we have received patients in transfer emergently from all areas of the state and New Mexico. It is not only a commitment for Colorado Springs, but well beyond our region.”

The Level I designation is just one of the elite designations the hospital has received.

Last month, UCHealth Memorial Hospital became the first in Colorado – and only the 14th nationwide – to achieve the American College of Cardiology’s elite HeartCARE Center designation. The designation is the highest recognition given by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) to hospitals that meet criteria that demonstrate a commitment to providing exceptional cardiovascular care.

Memorial Central also is the only hospital in southern Colorado to be named a Comprehensive Stroke Center, a classification given to programs that offer the highest and most advanced level of stroke care. As the only hospital in the region with multiple teams of neurosurgeons and neuro-interventional physicians on-call 24/7, Memorial has the unique capabilities to quickly and expertly treat every kind of stroke or brain aneurysm. These advanced capabilities are saving lives and improving outcomes for patients because time is crucial in the treatment of stroke. Getting the best care rapidly can lead to a better recovery.

If you require emergency medical attention, call 911.

What is a Level I Trauma Center?

A Level I distinction recognizes the hospital has the ability to treat severe and complex injuries. This means southern Colorado residents have rapid access to the highest level emergency and trauma care without having to go to Denver.

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Memorial Hospital Central is a Level I Trauma Center staffed 24 hours a day by trauma surgeons, specially trained nurses and support staff.

Most trauma patients are seen first in the emergency department. Once patients are stabilized, the trauma team takes over. This team stays with you or your family member throughout the critical care stage providing valuable care, communication and comfort to both the patient and family members.

The trauma center at Memorial Hospital is one of the busiest in Colorado. It is easy to understand why – Memorial Hospital has a new emergency department, state-of-the art equipment, and adult, pediatric and neonatal intensive care units.

Memorial Hospital is the right choice when seconds count.

The Level 1 Regional Pediatric Trauma Center at Children’s Hospital Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus provides the highest level of complex care for injured children, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. At Children’s Colorado, Colorado Springs, you’ll find a Level 2 Trauma Center offering the best trauma care for children in southern Colorado 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

What is pediatric trauma care?

The broad scope of our pediatric trauma services begins with prevention and includes pre-hospital care, emergency, diagnostic, surgical, acute and rehabilitation, as well as research, education and advocacy. It’s all part of our mission to help injured children get back to the business of being a kid as quickly as possible.


We’re always here


Patients treated in 2016


Level I Pediatric Trauma Center in the region

Specialized pediatric trauma care close to home

There is no better place for the care of a critically ill or injured child than a pediatric trauma center. Children’s Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus and Children’s Colorado, Colorado Springs are two of the Rocky Mountain region’s pediatric trauma centers. That means our specially trained pediatric experts treat children with the knowledge, experience, judgment and skill needed to make the difference for an injured infant, child or teen.

Our multidisciplinary teams provide care to an injured child as efficiently and effectively as possible. Experts from many pediatric specialties all work together to provide the best possible child- and family-focused care. A broad team of specialists are available 24 hours a day at both our Aurora and Colorado Springs locations to treat a wide range of traumatic injuries.

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Trauma resources for healthcare professionals

Looking for outreach and continuing education opportunities in your area, including conferences, symposiums, lecture series, speakers bureau and other resources? Access our emergency, trauma, burn and EMS resources. You can also email us or call 720-777-6784.

Learn about our pediatric trauma research


UCHealth Memorial Hospital Central is now designated by the state as the first Level 1 trauma center in southern Colorado. There are only four hospitals in the entire state with that designation which shows the hospital has the ability to treat severe and complex injuries.

Now patients with with very critical injuries will no longer need to be transported to Denver for care. Those injuries could be the result of automobile crashes, industrial accidents, gunshot wounds, falls, and the like. Level 1 trauma centers are also called upon in times of emergencies like mass casualty events due to their expertise and facilities.

UCHealth Memorial Hospital Central is located at 1400 E. Boulder St. in downtown Colorado Springs.  

“Earning this Level I designation has taken years of planning and advancements,” said Joel Yuhas, Memorial’s president and CEO. “Memorial has recruited some of the nation’s best trauma surgeons, upgraded our facilities, led important research, and hired excellent subspecialty surgeons to support the trauma program. This preparation, and the Level I designation, will result in more lives being saved.”

The state considers designations for facilities based on criteria including resources and patient volume, focusing on coverage provided by trauma surgeons and other specialists, plus the capabilities of the facilities available.

On April 16th, UCHealth administrators learned of the decision by the state to grant the designation.

“Achieving a Level 1 designation is the fulfillment of a promise made to the community when Memorial became part of UCHealth in 2012,” said Dr. Thomas Schroeppel, the hospital’s trauma medical director. “Because of the investments made in the hospital – both in technology and medical expertise – and the expansion of physician training programs through a strong collaboration with the University of Colorado School of Medicine, we are able to ensure southern Coloradans have access to top trauma and surgical critical care services. This is not just an honor for the hospital, but a time of celebration for Colorado Springs and beyond.”

As mentioned previously, there are only three other Level 1 trauma centers in the state, which include Denver Health Medical Center, St. Anthony Hospital (Lakewood), and Swedish Medical Center (Englewood).


Full list of trauma centers in Colorado, listed by level

Map of all trauma centers in Colorado

UCHealth Memorial Hospital Central