Natividad Medical Center Trauma Center Celebrates 2nd Anniversary

  • January 31, 2017

Salinas, Calif. – January 31, 2017 – Natividad Medical Center (NMC) celebrates the second anniversary of its Level II Trauma Center designation, as of January 2017. Since its designation, the NMC Trauma Center has increased its annual volume of patients from 1,375 in 2015 to 1,522 in 2016.

A Level II designation means that essential specialists, physicians and equipment are available 24 hours a day to care for trauma patients. Receiving treatment at a trauma center lowers risk of death by 25 percent.

“The importance of a local trauma center is tremendous; it saves lives,” said Dr. Gary Gray, CEO of NMC. “Since receiving the designation in 2015, we’ve identified that most traumas can be attributed to motor vehicle crashes, falls and assaults, and have been able to develop specialized services to better treat these patients and prevent injury.”

During the past year, NMC has grown the trauma department, established new programs and services, and enhanced existing processes. Some highlights include:

  • Increased volume of patients treated year-over-year
  • Became a member of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Trauma Quality Improvement Program (TQIP), allowing for patient outcome and performance measures to be benchmarked with other trauma centers
  • Established a new service called Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy (CRRT), a dialysis modality used to treat critically ill patients with acute kidney injury in the intensive care unit
  • Recruited surgical critical care trauma surgeon, Dr. Hugh Chung
  • Trained over 55 physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners from around the country in Advanced Trauma Life Support
  • In partnership with Sun Street Centers, brought the award-winning teen safe driving program, In-One-Instant, to local high schools in the community
  • Introduced BrainSmartTM, a trauma prevention program designed to educate youth, seniors and caregivers about head trauma, including concussions and falls
  • Started a bi-monthly support group within the CHOICE Program that serves family members of patients who have been victims of assault
  • Continued to collaborate with EMS and local hospitals to improve identification and rapid transport of patients to the trauma center

One of the 1,522 patients treated at the NMC Trauma Center this year is Sharon Thomson, 70, who fell from a horse in early December 2016. The fall resulted in a concussion, broken ribs and a broken back. She was airlifted by helicopter to NMC and spent a week in the trauma center.

“I attribute my quick recovery to the great care I received at Natividad,” said Sharon. “They treated me with great dignity and privacy. The whole team genuinely cares for their patients and for what they do. They weren’t disconnected, and they visited me frequently, even after I came home.”

With a committed staff of specialists including critical-care trauma surgeons, neurosurgeons, other physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, technicians and support staff, NMC’s Trauma Center continues to provide high quality trauma care services to residents of Monterey County.


About Natividad Medical Center (NMC)

Owned and operated by Monterey County, NMC is a 172-bed, acute-care hospital providing health care services to county residents for more than 132 years. Based in Salinas, California, NMC offers inpatient, outpatient, emergency, diagnostic and specialty medical care. NMC provides more than 38,000 patient days of care each year and has more than 52,000 emergency department visits per year. NMC is a Level II Trauma Center providing the immediate availability of specialized personnel, equipment and services to treat the most severe and critical injuries. NMC’s Trauma Center is a vital community service locally that saves lives and eliminates the need to fly critically injured patients to a distant trauma center. NMC is ranked No. 1 in newborn deliveries in Monterey County and is the only teaching hospital on the Central Coast through its affiliation with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). With a medical staff of more than 300 physicians, NMC’s mission is to continually monitor and improve the health of the people, including the vulnerable, in Monterey County through coordinated, affordable high-quality health care. For more information, please call 831-755-4111 or visit