UAMS Again Designated as a Level 1 Trauma Center

By Linda Satter

“This means that UAMS has a multidisciplinary team of health care professionals committed and always prepared to treat the most complex trauma patients,” said Kyle J. Kalkwarf, M.D., trauma medical director for UAMS. “We want to care for Arkansas’ most seriously injured trauma patients because we know it will give them the best chance for a good outcome.”

UAMS first achieved Level 1 verification from the American College of Surgeons in 2017 and has retained the designation after every three-year reassessment. The most recent designation lasts through Jan. 10, 2027.

An executive summary of an on-site review of UAMS in mid-November said that overall, UAMS is a “high-functioning trauma center [that] serves as the flagship trauma center for the state of Arkansas.”

“Ongoing and extensive efforts to improve care using [risk-adjusted outcomes] measures [have] resulted in favorable results across a broad spectrum of issues,” the reviewers said.

“Administrative support for the program is very good as exemplified by a very large trauma group consisting of surgeons, APPs [advanced practice providers], a four-person core trauma research team with a Ph.D. scientist, and a group of three individuals that includes a Ph.D. scientist dedicated to evaluating and treating the psychological effects of trauma,” the reviewers said.

Evaluators singled out Kalkwarf and Terry Collins, RN, trauma program director, for praise.

“Dr. Kyle Kalkwarf aggressively manages trauma and is a valuable asset to the trauma program,” they said.

The reviewers called Collins “a long-standing trauma program manager [who] has been integral to the success of the trauma program and has greatly contributed to trauma quality efforts at the center and throughout the state.”

“This re-verification recognizes the ongoing commitment of our trauma team’s dedication,” said Michelle Krause, M.D., MPH, senior vice chancellor for UAMS Health and CEO for UAMS Medical Center. “We are honored to retain this highest level of recognition that a trauma center can receive.”

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

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. The program establishes national guidelines for trauma care.

UAMS is the only adult Level 1 Trauma Center in Arkansas, while Arkansas Children’s is a Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center.

To obtain the Level 1 designation, hospitals must meet government requirements and have the resources listed in the book Resources for Optimal Care of the Injured Patient, according to the American College of Surgeons.


UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and eight 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, Institute for Digital Health & Innovation and the Institute for Community Health Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS’ clinical enterprise. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,275 students, 890 medical residents and fellows, and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 12,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children’s, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube or Instagram.