Section: News

Queen of the Valley Certified as a Top Trauma Center


(Napa, Calif. – January 31, 2017) St. Joseph Health, Queen of the Valley Medical Center was recently verified a Level III Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons (ACS), supporting the Level III Trauma Center title designated to the hospital by the county. The Napa County Board of Supervisors named the hospital the county’s “designated trauma center” in 1988 and that contract has been renewed several times, most recently, in 2016.

“The mission of the Trauma and Acute Care Surgery team is to provide high quality care in an urgent manner to save lives, prevent disability, alleviate suffering, and improve the health of our patients,” said Matthew Shepherd, MD, MBA, who has served as the Medical Director for Trauma and Acute Care Surgery since 2009. “Our surgeons, emergency room physicians, nurses, and highly trained support team are committed to achieving this goal.”

“We’ve been providing excellent trauma and emergency care to our neighbors for decades,” said Katie Potter, RN, Trauma Program Manager who has worked at the Queen for more than 13 years. “This verification from the ACS is only awarded to top trauma programs; it is considered the gold standard and recognizes us as one of the best in the country.”

Queen of the Valley voluntarily underwent the comprehensive verification review by the Committee on Trauma (CoT) of the ACS in July 2016. During the review, experienced trauma surgeons and independent ACS surveyors conducted an on-site visit, which confirmed the hospital provides the highest standards in patient care and safety.

The team assessed relevant features, such as commitment, readiness, resources, policies, patient care, and performance improvement. Among the hospital’s strengths, ACS recognized the hospital for its “excellent education and certification of ED nursing staff,” inpatient rehabilitation services, intensivist program, and “state of the art neurotrauma care.” The surveyors noted the availability of the cutting-edge Michael Hubbard Family Hybrid Surgical Suite, which benefits patients who require heart and vascular procedures, as “unique” for a Level III Trauma Center.

From June 30, 2015-July 1, 2016, Queen of the Valley received 26,173 visits to its Emergency Department, including approximately 500 patients who had serious or life-threatening traumatic injuries. Queen of the Valley is one of just seven hospitals in California to be verified a Level III Trauma Center by the ACS.

“This verifies what we have always known—that our hospital is one of the few that meet the highest standard for quality trauma care. We are a small, community hospital that provides a state-of-the-art trauma program to our neighbors when they need it,” said Dr. Shepherd.

Dr. Shepherd is one of five board-certified trauma surgeons who lead the County’s trauma service. Queen of the Valley’s trauma center serves a four-county area (Napa, Sonoma, Lake, and Solano Counties) and is the only trauma center in Napa County. Queen of the Valley’s trauma team works in close collaboration with other hospitals in the Bay Area—including its sister hospital, Santa Rosa Memorial, which serves as a Level II Trauma Center—to treat patients who require a higher level of care.

About Queen of the Valley Medical Center

Queen of the Valley Medical Center is a 208-bed, acute-care facility founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange. The Queen is the largest health care facility and one of the largest employers in Napa County. Services provided include a Regional Heart Center, a Regional Orthopedic Center, a Regional Cancer Center approved with commendations by the American College of Surgeons, the Peggy Herman Neuroscience Center, maternity and infant care, inpatient and outpatient minimally invasive surgery, and full-service emergency department, among many other specialty services. More information about Queen of the Valley Medical Center can be found at

About the American College of Surgeons
The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational association of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical education and practice and to improve the care of the surgical patient. The College has over 72,000 members and it is the largest association of surgeons in the world. Longstanding achievements have placed the ACS in the forefront of American surgery and have made it an important advocate for all surgical patients. Established by the American College of Surgeons in 1987, the COT's Consultation/Verification Program for Hospitals promotes the development of trauma centers in which participants provide not only the hospital resources necessary for trauma care, but also the entire spectrum of care to address the needs of all injured patients. This spectrum encompasses the prehospital phase through the rehabilitation process.

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