Northeast Georgia Medical Center becomes Level 1 trauma center

The American College of Surgeons evaluates Trauma Center Verification applications.

John Minchillo / John Minchillo

Georgia is now home to another Level 1 trauma hospital after Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville has secured the highest designation.

The almost 600-bed hospital applied to become a Level 1 facility a few months ago. It’s been operating as a Level II since 2013, offering a range of emergency services, a cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit, and a Neonatal ICU.

Now, as a Level 1 trauma center, Gainesville’s Northeast Georgia Medical Center is required to meet specific requirements.

They include participating in more ongoing academic research activities, providing comprehensive round-the-clock treatment for all aspects of complex injuries, and access to several specialty surgeries, pediatrics and rehabilitation services.

A Level 1 designation also allows a trauma center to participate in regional disaster planning.

The verification process to become a Level 1 remains in effect for three years, according to the American Trauma Society.

Last year, Georgia lost a Level 1 trauma center when Wellstar Health System shut down Atlanta Medical Center in the Old Fourth Ward.

Four others continue to operate around the state.