UAMS Level 1 Trauma Center Recognized by American College of Surgeons

By Kate Franks

UAMS first achieved this Level 1 verification in 2017 after a vigorous review process. The current verification lasts through Dec. 16, 2022.

In addition to its verification from the American College of Surgeons, UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state of Arkansas as recognized by the Arkansas Department of Health.

A Level 1 medical center must have the capability of providing leadership and total care for every aspect of injury, from prevention through rehabilitation. It also has a major responsibility for providing leadership in education, research and system planning.

The American College of Surgeons’ Verification Program was created in 1987 to promote the development of trauma centers that can provide the necessary care for trauma patients from the pre-hospital phase through the rehabilitation process. It remains a respected program that sets national guidelines for trauma care in the country through its publication, Resources for Optimal Care of the Injured Patient.

“This is the highest level a trauma center can receive,” said Steppe Mette, M.D., senior vice chancellor for UAMS Health and chief executive officer for UAMS Medical Center. “It recognizes the on-going commitment of our trauma team’s dedication to providing the utmost degree of trauma care in Arkansas.”

The verification process includes a two-day, on-site visit and the review of the care provided to trauma patients over the previous 12 months. UAMS Medical Center also completes a pre-review questionnaire to give site surveyors a better understanding of existing trauma care capabilities including care, resources and quality improvement.

“As the flagship for adult trauma care in Arkansas, we are leading the way in preventing injury and death through exemplary care, education, research and leadership,” said Ron Robertson, M.D., medical director of Trauma and chair of the Department of Surgery in the UAMS College of Medicine.

UAMS has a comprehensive Emergency Department prepared to treat a wide range of medical needs with immediate, around-the-clock access to orthopaedic and trauma surgeons, neurologists, cardiologists and other specialists. The trauma surgeons stay in the hospital 24 hours a day ready to care for the most significantly injured patients.

UAMS’ trauma services have grown tremendously with more than 2,800 trauma activations every year.


UAMS is the state's only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS' clinical enterprise including its hospital, regional clinics and clinics it operates or staffs in cooperation with other providers. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. U.S. News & World Report named UAMS Medical Center the state's Best Hospital; ranked its ear, nose and throat program among the top 50 nationwide; and named six areas as high performing — cancer, colon cancer surgery, heart failure, hip replacement, knee replacement and lung cancer surgery. UAMS has 2,727 students, 870 medical residents and five dental residents. It is the state's largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Childrens Hospital, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit www.uams.edu or www.uamshealth.com. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.

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