sutures newsletter


Trauma Centers and Trauma Systems Save Lives

By Ali Salim, MD
Director of Trauma Services
Program Director of the General Surgery Residency Educational Program

As trauma continues to be the leading cause of death among children and adults under the age of 45, the Trauma Program at Cedars-Sinai provides the infrastructure necessary to resuscitate, stabilize, support, recover and rehabilitate the most critically injured patients in our community. As one of only four Level 1 trauma centers in the County of Los Angeles (covering a population of nearly 10 million), our program was recently reverified by the American College of Surgeons.

Besides caring for some of the sickest patients at Cedars-Sinai, the Trauma Program provides leadership in injury prevention programs, research, education, community outreach and trauma system planning. This past year we welcomed two young trauma surgeons — Nicolas Melo, MD, and Matthew Bloom, MD — to join our nationally recognized trauma faculty: Daniel R. Margulies, MD, Eric J. Ley, MD, Rex Chung, MD, and Marko Bukur, MD. Their addition has brought a welcome enthusiasm to our group.

Education and research continue to be priorities of our program. In the past three years, our trauma surgeons have produced more than 55 trauma-related peer-reviewed publications. This research is presented in many trauma professional forums nationally. Our trauma surgeons have more than 50 trauma-related research projects underway. Our research has focused on trauma outcomes, disease management, organ donation and traumatic brain injury. Besides this mostly clinical research, Eric J. Ley, MD, has a productive basic science lab focusing on the mechanism behind the beneficial effects of certain therapeutics such as beta blockers on severe traumatic brain injury.

Our trauma surgeons continue to represent Cedars-Sinai nationally and internationally as invited guest lecturers at many trauma conferences. We offer continuing medical education through forums such as trauma surgery grand rounds, Advanced Trauma Life Support®, Advanced Trauma Care for Nurses, weekly case conferences and Journal Clubs.

The success of our program depends on the outstanding administrative support led by our Trauma Program Manager Heidi Hotz, RN, and her exceptional team. Their tireless effort, commitment and hard work ensure we have the resources necessary to maintain our prestigious Level 1 trauma center status.

Aside from our trauma surgeons, our Trauma Program is guided by the following team:

  • Heidi A. Hotz, RN, Trauma Program manager
  • Mario Trizzino, Trauma registrar
  • Debbie Flores, RN, Trauma registrar
  • Amelia (Molly) Teas, RN, Trauma registrar
  • Terri-Anne Mauricio, RN, Trauma performance improvement coordinator
  • Donovan Stewart, RN, Trauma educator, injury prevention and outreach coordinator
  • Janice Polk, Trauma management assistant