Carilion now providing highest level of care for pediatric trauma

‘We can provide expert care for basically anything that can happen for your child.’

ROANOKE, Va. – Carilion Children’s Hospital has just been designated a Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center, making it one of only three in Virginia and the only one in the state west of Richmond.

"I want to know that my child is receiving the best care you can get in the United States," said Shawn Safford, pediatric trauma medical director at Carilion.

Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital has been working towards the status for two and a half years, adding more pediatric specialists and surgeons.

"We can provide expert care for basically anything that can happen for your child," Safford said.

When every second counts, you won't have to send your child anywhere else.

Level 1 trauma centers have the staff and resources to treat children from the moment they arrive until the day they leave, healing them physically and mentally.

"Helping them process the experience, providing education about their injuries and the medical procedures and then providing that support," said Sarah Kress, lead child life specialist at Carilion.

Those services can now be enhanced even further, drawing in children beyond Southwest Virginia, well into other states.

"Most importantly, you can be here with your families and if you're from outside the area, we have resources here for you too," Safford said.

Those available resources include the Ronald McDonald House.

"It definitely has the potential to increase the number of families who need our services and other services like ours," said Alex Brendel, president of the Ronald McDonald House board of directors.

Brendel said they’re preparing for growth and need community support to be able to help more families. Click here to find out how you can help the Ronald McDonald House.

“If you're in Southwest Virginia, we know that we can get you the highest level care possible," Safford said.

With this new designation, Carilion is advancing education and prevention efforts. The program is also now serving as a national model, getting ready to train other community providers as part of only the fourth ever session of its kind in the country.

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