NORTH COAST: Kaiser And Sutter Agree On Trauma Center Pact
Kaiser Permanente and Sutter Medical Center came to agreement on a collaborative trauma center plan for the North Coast Wednesday. For 13 years, the sticking point had been trauma helicopter flight patterns, but the two facilities designed a plan that appeases the residential citizens who did not want helicopters flying over their neighborhoods, the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat reports. The plan allows Kaiser and Sutter to share facilities and staff. However, the Press-Democrat notes the collaborative plan still needs approval from local officials and a team of medical experts. "Until we ... do the environmental and medical reviews, we can't assess what it means," said county Public Health Director Mark Kostielney.
Race For The Cures
The Press-Democrat reports that Santa Rosa Memorial hospital is also hoping to gain designation as a trauma center, but that Sutter's collaboration with Kaiser may give it an advantage. Both hospitals must submit proposals to the Sonoma/Mendocino County Emergency Medical Services agency by next month. Memorial President Bob Fish said, "I think the issues of the services available in each facility, the size of the facility, the complexity of the cases they deal with -- those will be the determining factors." The Press- Democrat reports that "[d]esignation as a trauma center ... might be the biggest health care prize in county history, with the winning hospital likely growing in size and prestige" (Lauer, 5/21).