Penn Medicine News Blog

January 30, 2015 // By Katie Delach // Comments

Transforming Trauma

PAC // Patient Care // Trauma

As we look toward the opening of our new Pavilion for Advanced Care (PAC) and the transition of our trauma center from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, throughout the month of January, the News Blog is highlighting some of the latest news and stories from across the areas of Penn Medicine that will find new homes in the PAC.

Infographic_FINALSince its inception in 1989, Penn Medicine’s Level 1 Trauma Center at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) has been among the best in the nation. In the years since, the program has undergone many changes, growing into what is today an internationally recognized center for the care of the most critically ill and injured patients. Now on the precipice of the next major chapter in Penn Medicine’s Trauma Program, we’re pausing to look back at the original creation of the program and the development of its new home in the Pavilion for Advanced Care at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center.

It all started in 1987, when C. William Schwab, MD, founding chief of the Trauma Center and academic division, director of the Firearm Injury Center at Penn, and professor of Surgery, arrived at Penn charged with the task of creating a trauma program and all the components necessary to care for patients in urgent need of specialized treatment. These developments included the establishment of a flight program and construction of a Penn’s first heliport. Schwab had taken on the task twice previously in his career and received training from those who served in medical units during the Vietnam War, from which the world’s first comprehensive trauma programs were developed. There was no doubt Penn had found the right man.

Officially up and running by 1989, Penn’s Trauma Center has grown exponentially over the years. Within only a few years, Penn had established an international fellowship training program, implemented a trauma-specific program for Advanced Practice Nurses, and created the Office of Life Support Education for Trauma, an interdisciplinary regional resource that offers simulation, clinical practice and nationally accredited courses in its year-round curriculum.

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