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Washington Hospital Healthcare System Approved as Provisional Trauma Center

Washington Hospital Healthcare System Approved as Provisional Trauma Center

July 1 will be a momentous day in Southern Alameda County as the area’s long-anticipated trauma center will officially begin receiving patients that have sustained traumatic, life-threatening injuries. On June 5, Alameda County Health Emergency Medical Services Agency (AC Health EMS) conducted an on-site designation survey, finding Washington Hospital Healthcare System’s (WHHS) Level II Trauma Center is ready to begin operations. Yesterday, community leaders joined Hospital staff for a historic ribbon cutting ceremony at the Morris Hyman Critical Care Pavilion, near the Emergency Department where the trauma center is located.

Until now, severely injured people in the Tri-City Area had to be transported, often in rush hour traffic, to the nearest trauma center in Castro Valley or to Santa Clara County. Starting Monday, people who have been in a serious vehicle accident, fallen and sustained complex bone breaks or other major injuries, can receive lifesaving medical attention at Washington Hospital in Fremont.

“We are thrilled that after years of preparation and planning, Washington Hospital Healthcare System is well positioned to fulfill the need for a comprehensive new trauma program in Southern Alameda County—meeting the request of our growing community members who made it possible through their steadfast support,” said WHHS Chief Executive Officer, Kimberly Hartz. “Achieving trauma designation is a significant milestone in our ongoing commitment to provide exceptional health care services to our patients and community, especially when minutes and seconds count.”

Trauma Timeline

The facilities at WHHS were developed to house a trauma center where patients will have immediate access to around-the-clock care including necessary testing, imaging, medications, blood, operating rooms, and post-injury rehabilitation programs provided in modern, seismically safe facilities. The Master Facility Plan, launched in the early 2000s, included two modern trauma bays where the center will begin operations.

In June 2022, following an extensive, yearlong evaluation of the county’s existing trauma system, the AC Health EMS selected WHHS as the next designated Level II Trauma Center. Since that time, WHHS has undergone a systemwide effort to build their trauma program including facility reconstruction, staff training and trauma team development, institution of trauma protocols and procedures, and participation in consultative on-site visits and verification reviews. Provisional designation through AC Health EMS and the trauma center opening represents a major milestone. Final designation will be verified through approval by the American College of Surgeons during a visit anticipated to occur in July 2027.

WHHS’ comprehensive trauma program includes an outreach component to train and educate community members on how to avoid traumatic injuries and help others in case of emergency. Choking first aid seminars are currently being held at local restaurants for food service workers and the public. Community members are encouraged to participate in free upcoming classes on fall prevention, hands only CPR, and Stop the Bleed programs among others. Dates and times will be posted on their website,

According to WHHS Trauma Medical Director Chet Morrison, MD, “We are here for critically injured people who need top-level care that is easily accessible at a well-equipped facility. The multidisciplinary team of skilled doctors and staff at Washington Hospital can treat their injuries and create a long-term plan for recovery. The Healthcare System appreciates the community’s support and is pleased to respond to their need and desire for a local trauma center of excellence.”

The Healthcare System’s webpage,, provides an overview of their services.