Ocean Beach Hospital and Medical Clinics renews contracts with DOH


Ocean Beach Hospital & Medical Clinics (OBHMC) has renewed contracts with the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) in support of the Washington State Emergency Medical Services and Trauma Care System. To volunteer to be part of the Washington State Emergency Cardiac and Stroke (ECS) System, OBHMC applied for, was evaluated, and was awarded Cardiac Center Level II and Stroke Center Level III designations for three years starting July of last year. To be part of the Trauma Care System, OBHMC went through a similar process and has been awarded a three-year, full-level IV Adult Trauma Designation starting July 1, 2022.

The designation process is one part of a DOH system built to coordinate Emergency Medical Service agencies throughout the state. By designating the levels of service of hospitals for cardiac, stroke, and trauma response and care, dispatchers of emergency medical services have the essential data they need to manage response and route patients to the best facility.

“Getting people who are experiencing a stroke, heart attack or acute trauma to the right treatment in time is critical,” said Larry Cohen, Chief Executive Officer, OBHMC. “These certifications assure emergency medical services dispatchers that OBHMC will provide the designated level of service to patients they route to the hospital according to the State of Washington’s prehospital cardiac and stroke triage destination procedures and trauma response.

“Emergency medical services know which hospitals are certified for cardiac, stroke and/or trauma and can get people to the right place more quickly, rather than being taken first to one hospital only to find the patient needs to be transferred to a different hospital.”

According to the letter sent from Matt Nelson, EMSC/ECS Program Manager, Health Systems Quality Assurance, Washington State DOH, awarding the cardiac and stroke designations, OBHMC “meets or exceeds the requirements for these levels of care.”

The trauma designation award letter from Tony Bledsoe, MHPA, Trauma Designation Program Administrator, Washington State DOH, commends OBHMC for its participation in the trauma system and cites the benefit residents of the state receive from its participation.

“OBHMC chooses to participate in the Emergency Medical Services and Trauma Care System because it helps strengthen the emergency medical services system locally and ensures people get the treatment they need,” said Cohen. “Since we know this system saves lives, reduces disability, and improves quality of life, how could we not be part of it?”

The state’s ECS system awards designations in the following categories: Level I and Level II for Cardiac Centers and levels one through three for Stroke Centers. Level I certification is reserved for large emergency departments with resident specialists, teaching facilities, and other advantages afforded to expansive urban center hospitals and medical centers. Washington is the only state in the country to have a statewide system for both cardiac and stroke care.

The state’s trauma system “provides timely and appropriate delivery of emergency medical treatment for people with acute illness and traumatic injury.” Five levels of acute care trauma services and three levels of trauma rehabilitation services are designated by the state. Harborview Medical Center is the only center in Washington state designated for Level I care.

Serving South Pacific County for 87 years, Ocean Beach Hospital and Medical Clinics provides access to both routine and critical health care services. OBHMC is community-owned and operated as a public hospital district and has received multiple recognitions for its excellence. CEO Larry Cohen, James Bruce, DO/Trauma Medical Director, Brenda Sharkey, MSN/Chief Nursing Officer, and Marianne Baker, CNM, Trauma Program Manager, serve on OBHMC’s Trauma Service Leadership Team. Find out more at http://www.oceanbeachhospital.com.


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