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Date Published: Monday, November 13, 2023
Date Updated: Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Saving Time, Saving Lives: HealthAlliance Hospital Now Serving Community as Level III Trauma Center

Vital Trauma Care Now Available to Local Residents Close to Home; Service Expected to Lessen Need for Patient Transfers and Provide Expedited Care During Trauma “Golden Hour”

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KINGSTON, N.Y. (November 13, 2023) – Residents of Ulster County and its surrounding communities now have access to a new and convenient option for trauma services, one that is expected to lessen patient transfers, expedite care during the crucial early moments after injury, and operate under the auspices of the Hudson Valley region’s premier trauma service network.

The New York State Department of Health’s (NYSDOH) recent designation of HealthAlliance Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth), as a provisional Level III Adult Trauma Center means local residents and visitors can now benefit from a nearby trauma service with direct ties to one of the most comprehensive trauma networks in New York State.

The trauma service now available at HealthAlliance Hospital is composed of experienced physicians, nurses and other clinical specialists with trauma expertise who will work, in tandem, with a wide range of trauma service specialists throughout WMCHealth. Via this designation, HealthAlliance Hospital will be able to fully leverage the academic, clinical, and telehealth capabilities of the Network to provide expert trauma care. Patients will also be able to receive comprehensive trauma care at HealthAlliance Hospital, minimizing the need to be transferred to affiliated hospitals within WMCHealth.

This higher-level trauma service capability in Kingston, N.Y., expands WMCHealth’s network of trauma centers across the Hudson Valley, which also includes MidHudson Regional Hospital, a Level II Trauma Center in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and Good Samaritan Hospital, a Level III Trauma Center in Suffern, N.Y. The care these trauma centers provide is integrated with the only Level I Trauma Centers for adults and children in the entire Hudson Valley at WMCHealth’s Westchester Medical Center and Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, respectively, in Valhalla, N.Y.

“HealthAlliance Hospital’s designation as a Level III Trauma Center creates the only trauma center on the west side of the Hudson River between Albany and Newburgh, and the first New York State-designated trauma center in Ulster County. This means residents of Kingston and the surrounding municipalities now have access to trauma care closer to home,” said Josh Ratner, Chief Executive Officer of HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley and Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer of WMCHealth. “Thank you to NYSDOH for your collaboration in making this designation possible and to all of the HealthAlliance Hospital and WMCHealth workforce members who worked tirelessly to make it happen.”

“The earliest moments of care after trauma are referred to in medicine as the “golden hour” as the delivery of the proper care in a timely manner increases the likelihood of a positive outcome for the injured individual,” said Kartik Prabhakaran, MD, Section Chief, Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, Westchester Medical Center. “Expanding trauma services to HealthAlliance Hospital is a huge development for our neighbors as residents of Ulster County, Delaware County, northern Dutchess County, as well as the many visitors to the region, will have nearby access to life-changing and lifesaving care.”

Adding Services, and Investing in the Health of Our Communities
In December of 2022, WMCHealth opened a reimagined HealthAlliance Hospital with a newly constructed 25,000-square-foot emergency care center as well as a new, modern, family birthing center, and a new intensive care unit with many of today’s latest medical technologies, provided through WMCHealth’s technology partnership with Philips. 

In 2021, HealthAlliance Hospital opened Ulster County’s only advanced service cardiac catheterization laboratory offering emergent and preventive solutions for blocked arteries, irregular heartbeats and coronary heart disease, services never before available in Ulster County. Hundreds of community members have benefited from this service since its opening.

Additional Comments
New York Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado:
"Access to quality and reliable healthcare should be at the forefront of every community. HealthAlliance's designation as a Level III Trauma Center is a tremendous development for the people of Ulster County and the Hudson Valley," Our administration is committed to working with our healthcare partners to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to exceptional care readily available."

United States Congressman Marc Molinaro: "In an emergency, every second counts. This expansion of trauma services at HealthAlliance Hospital will be a game-changer for Ulster County and Delaware County. It has the potential to save lives and is emblematic of WMCHealth’s commitment to addressing healthcare gaps and providing quality care.”

United States Congressman Pat Ryan: “This expansion of trauma services will quite literally save lives, and is a huge step toward ensuring every Hudson Valley resident has accessible and affordable expert care. “Rather than having to travel for hours and pay thousands of extra dollars, we now have this advanced trauma care right here in our community. I look forward to working alongside HealthAlliance Hospital as they continue to deliver lifesaving care for Hudson Valley families.”

New York State Senator Michelle Hinchey: “As the sole Level III Trauma Center west of the Hudson between Albany and Newburgh, Kingston HealthAlliance Hospital is introducing new, life-saving healthcare to Ulster County that will not only save more lives but also improve health outcomes for our neighbors in surrounding areas. I thank HealthAlliance and the WMCHealth workforce for recognizing this vital healthcare need and establishing our first NYS-designated trauma center in Ulster County, significantly bringing trauma care closer to home for our residents.

Ulster County Executive Jen Metzger: “This announcement is great news for Ulster County, and I congratulate HealthAlliance Hospital and WMCHealth for achieving Level III Trauma Center status. This means that fewer patients will be sent to hospitals out-of-county to be treated for critical trauma, so family members can be closer to their loved ones. I know Ulster County families will feel safer knowing these vital services are available close to home.”

City of Kingston Mayor Steve Noble: “Congratulations to WMCHealth for this important recognition! Having a Level III Trauma Center in Kingston will increase patient care for our community, and will save critical time for patients with life-threatening issues. The residents of Kingston are fortunate to have this state-of-the-art facility, and be able to get life-saving care, so close to home.”

Ulster County Legislator and Chairman of the Health, Human Services, and Housing Committee Abe Uchitelle: “The Level III trauma designation is a major step forward for the health of regional residents. With this change, people who require lifesaving interventions in HealthAlliance Hospital, as I did in 2019, will have much greater odds of receiving the treatment they need to survive without requiring further medical transport. That is huge.”

Town of Rochester Supervisor and President of the Ulster County Association of Town Supervisors and Mayors Mike Baden: "The location of a Level III Trauma Center fills a missing piece the residents of Ulster County need for their health and well-being. In a county the size of Rhode Island, every minute removed from the time to urgently access critical life-saving services is a win for all. I applaud WMCHealth for their investment in the community's health needs and look forward to their partnership with all municipalities of Ulster County to aid residents when trauma strikes."

SUNY Ulster President Dr. Alison Buckley - "As an academic partner, SUNY Ulster applauds HealthAlliance Hospital's designation as a Level III Adult Trauma Center, as we know first-hand how this will serve so many in a critical time of care within our County. We are proud to have HealthAlliance Hospital as a resource and partner in serving and meeting the needs of our community as we work together to train our workforce in healthcare professions.

Athena Fliakos, CEO, YWCA of Ulster County - "Hats off to HealthAlliance Hospital for receiving the Level III trauma designation, a pivotal move ensuring better access to crucial services in the Upper Hudson Valley. I look forward to continuing our partnership and building on future successes!" 

Christine Hein, Executive Director of People’s Place - “As the Executive Director of People’s Place, whose goal is to serve our community members in need with compassion and dignity, I deeply appreciate having a world-class trauma center here in Kingston for everyone.  In moments of crisis, this will provide our neighbors with exactly what is needed at precisely the right time. This is truly an exciting moment in our area’s history.”

Heidi Kirschner, CEO & President, YMCA of Kingston and Ulster County: “It is comforting to know that HealthAlliance Hospital can provide a quick assessment, resuscitation, intensive care and emergency operations right here in Kingston. Having surgeons and anesthesiologists available to perform quickly will save lives and serve our community better. Loved ones can better support and be there for family needing Level III trauma care. This is a game changer for our community.”

Rev. Don Mapes, River of Life Church - "Congratulations to HealthAlliance Hospital for receiving the Level III trauma designation. This means that our residents in Ulster, Dutchess, and the surrounding communities can receive more convenient access to critical services during critical moments after an injury.”

David McNamara, Executive Director, Samadhi - "HealthAlliance Hospital's milestone recognition as Ulster County's inaugural New York State Level III trauma-designated center will provide unprecedented critical services for our communities. Thank you to the team at HealthAlliance, and we look forward to building partnerships for a healthier, safer future."

Kevin O'Connor, CEO, RUPCO - "HealthAlliance Hospital is a pillar of the region and is continuing to expand its services and opportunities where we need them the most. Congratulations on earning the Level III trauma designation and ensuring our communities can receive the vital care they need during some of their most critical times."

Ward Todd, President & CEO, Ulster County Regional Chamber of Commerce: "Congratulations to HealthAlliance Hospital on achieving Level III Designation, a remarkable milestone that promises increased accessibility to essential services for the residents of Ulster, Dutchess, and nearby communities, ensuring swift and crucial care during post-injury emergencies."

Dan Whalen, Executive Director, Boys and Girls Club of Ulster County – “A huge shout-out to HealthAlliance Hospital and its leadership for providing Ulster County and our surrounding communities with a Level III trauma-designated facility. This designation will ensure that our residents and neighbors will have quick, life-saving access to critical resources during their most trying moments."

SUNY New Paltz President Dr. Darrell Wheeler - "Being the sole Level III trauma center along the western Hudson River, spanning from Albany to Newburgh, HealthAlliance Hospital's recognition marks a groundbreaking milestone as Ulster County's inaugural New York State-designated trauma facility. With this designation, our community will now be able to receive accessible, life-changing care that's truly transformative. Thank you to HealthAlliance Hospital and the team for providing these services to our communities."

About Westchester Medical Center Health Network
The Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) is a 1,700-bed healthcare system headquartered in Valhalla, New York, with nine hospitals on seven campuses spanning 6,200 square miles of the Hudson Valley. WMCHealth employs more than 13,000 people and has nearly 3,000 attending physicians. The Network has Level I (adult and pediatric), Level II and Level III trauma centers, the region’s only acute care children’s hospital, an academic medical center, several community hospitals, dozens of specialized institutes and centers, Comprehensive and Primary Stroke Centers, skilled nursing, assisted living facilities, home-care services and one of the largest mental health systems in New York State. Today, WMCHealth is the pre-eminent provider of integrated health care in the Hudson Valley. For more information about WMCHealth, visit WMCHealth.org or follow WMCHealth on Facebook.com/WMCHealth or Instagram.com/WMCHealth.