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First IHS facility designated as a Level III Trauma Center

Gallup Indian Medical Center

Gallup Indian Medical Center

Gallup Indian Medical Center (GIMC) in Gallup, New Mexico, is the first Indian Health Service (IHS) facility to be designated as a Level III Trauma Center. The designation means GIMC has the staff, training, equipment, supplies, and policies to provide trauma care to injured patients and improve outcomes for survival.

The designation, which became official on June 19, 2013, also ensures GIMC is continuously working to evaluate and improve on the care that is provided through an established trauma performance improvement process. GIMC also has an active Injury Prevention Program through its district Office of Environmental Health, an additional priority for all trauma centers. The program operates an injury surveillance system that enables the development of community-based injury prevention programs.

To obtain the Level III Trauma Center designation, GIMC collaborated with regional organizations, emergency medical services, and the state of New Mexico to review each trauma case and examine the appropriateness and timeliness of care provided. GIMC has agreements with the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, N.M., and trauma centers in Phoenix, Arizona, to ensure patients can be quickly transferred when a higher level of care is needed.

On July 12, 2013, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and IHS Acting Director Dr. Yvette Roubideaux visited GIMC and toured the emergency department and the Traditional Medicine Program. This tour was part of a recent trip by the Secretary to the Navajo Nation to meet with tribes and discuss the Affordable Care Act. During her visit, Secretary Sebelius viewed first-hand the great work of the GIMC staff to advance the mission of the agency. The designation of GIMC as a Level III Trauma Center will continue to improve services for patients in the Navajo Nation and surrounding rural communities.

While IHS is the primary health care system that American Indians and Alaska Natives use in their communities, the new Health Insurance Marketplaces and expansion of Medicaid services mean more choices for health care coverage, additional resources, and more services for both individuals and communities. Now more than ever, IHS is focused on providing access to quality health care for American Indians and Alaska Natives. Designations like this demonstrate IHS’s commitment to meeting this goal.