Ballad Health CEO Alan Levine answers questions about changes to trauma care

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JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL)- Ballad Health CEO Alan Levine joined Josh Smith in studio during our 5:30 p.m. newscast to answer questions regarding the recent trauma center changes at Ballad Health hospitals across the region.

Ballad Health leaders announced last Wednesday they will soon make sweeping changes to the way they handle trauma at each of the three major medical centers in the region, including the addition of the area’s first pediatric trauma service.

Hospital leaders announced plans to create what they called “a comprehensive regional trauma system and emergency care system.”

Johnson City Medical Center will remain a level 1 trauma center, while Bristol Regional Medical Center and Holston Valley Medical Center will become level 3 trauma centers. Holston Valley is currently a level 1 trauma center and Bristol Regional is level 2.

Bristol Regional and Holston Valley will continue to treat trauma. Ballad Health executives said that, in the vast majority of cases, a patient’s first stop will continue to be the Tri-Cities hospital closest to them.

Orthopedics, neurosurgery, and general surgery will continue available at all three trauma centers, according to Ballad.

Executives said only about 10 percent of annual cases are considered “major trauma.” Ballad said these are most serious of cases that will be treated at JCMC moving forward.

Ballad Health says the changes will be implemented over 10 months.

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