‌24/7. 365.

Those are more than just numbers. They are proof of the 30-year commitment EVMS Surgery has made to provide the best critical care for the Hampton Roads community. 

This fall marks the 30th anniversary of the Level 1 Trauma Center at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital (SNGH). One of only five level 1 trauma centers in the state, the SNGH facility is the only one to serve the region. Nearly 62,000 critically injured patients from 125-mile radius have been treated at the center since it opened.

“Trauma can happen to anyone from any walk of life,” says Jay Collins, MD, Professor of EVMS Surgery and Medical Director for Trauma at SNGH. “People crash cars, trip and fall, fall off roofs and ladders, suffer burns and get injured at work, not to mention shooting and stabbing each other. We’re here around the clock with a multidisciplinary team to provide a continuum of care from the ER door through surgery and rehabilitation.”

L. D. Britt, MD, MPH, has been on-call with the Trauma Center since its infancy. He and his fellow EVMS surgeons were on-call every other night until the department built up a full-time faculty.

Today, they are part of a 134-member trauma team that handles the toughest cases, from shark bites to knife and gun wounds, from fires to devastating falls.

“You don’t have one person; you have a team of highly-skilled medical professionals determining what is the best management for your care, and that makes all the difference in the world,” says Dr. Britt, the Edward J. Brickhouse Chair in Surgery, the Henry Ford Professor of Surgery, and Chair and Professor of EVMS Surgery.

A level 1 designation indicates that the trauma center is capable of providing total care for every aspect of the most life threatening of injuries — from prevention through rehabilitation.

It also means that the center:

  • Has 24-hour in-house coverage by general surgeons and prompt availability of care in specialties such as orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology, internal medicine, plastic surgery, oral and maxillofacial, pediatric and critical care;
  • Operates an organized teaching and research effort to help direct new innovations in trauma care;
  • Serves as a referral resource for communities in nearby regions;
  • Provides leadership in prevention and public education to surrounding communities;
  • Provides continuing education for trauma team members;
  • Incorporates a comprehensive quality assessment program;
  • Maintains a program for substance abuse screening and patient intervention; and
  • Meets the minimum requirement for annual volume of severely injured patients.

The Level 1 Trauma Center at SNGH handles cases from Williamsburg to the Outer Banks, provides trauma care for the Navy and takes all pediatric trauma cases in the region.