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99th MDG seeks trauma accreditation

Group gathers and cuts ribbon.

Col. Brent Johnson, 99th Medical Group commander, commemorates the Mike O’Callaghan Medical Center (MOMMC) opening to critically ill civilian patients during a ribbon cutting ceremony at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, July 31, 2020. Starting Aug. 1, MOMMC is slated to begin providing medical care to civilian patients as the first step in obtaining its Level III Trauma Certification through the American College of Surgeons. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dwane R. Young)

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. --

The 99th Medical Group (MDG) is slated to begin accepting civilian critical care patients Aug. 1, at the Mike O’Callaghan Military Medical Center (MOMMC), here. 

The medical center will provide life-saving medical care to critically ill patients as they pursue a Level III Trauma Certification through the American College of Surgeons. 

“We are opening our doors to civilian critically ill patients, and this is going to help us build up to seeing trauma patients,” said Heidi Nolan, the 99th MDG Critical Care and Trauma project manager. 

Nellis was selected by the Defense Health Agency (DHA) as one of four pilot sites to evaluate and treat civilian patients at military treatment facilities. This DHA initiative aligns with its mission to increase readiness and provide better care at a lower cost. 

The Congressional directive authorizes military treatment facilities to treat civilian patients in an effort to increase access to critical care in military communities and provide training platforms to support ready medics. 

“This allows us to help the underserved in our community and contribute to the readiness of our medics,” said Nolan. “It’s a win-win for Las Vegas and the military health system.”

Nellis’ geographical location in North Las Vegas contributed to its selection to become a trauma center for the DoD’s mission of medical and surgical readiness.  

“We are geographically separated from the hospital system in Las Vegas, so there is a need in our community for something like this,” said Nolan. “Interstate-15, the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and several large annual festivals are held within 10 miles of the hospital, making it a strategic addition to the Southern Nevada Trauma System.”

Despite its growing population, Clark County only has three trauma centers; St. Rose Dominican Hospital in nearby Henderson City, and University Medical Center and Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas. 

In order to gain the Level III ACS Accreditation, MOMMC will have to pass an inspection to ensure they are meeting the performance standards of the American College of Surgeons. 

Once accredited, they will be equipped and staffed around-the-clock to provide care for patients who suffer from traumatic injuries such as gunshot wounds, falls or car accidents.

“The 99th Medical Group is honored to be part of this pivotal transition,” said Maj. Taveya T. Ware, 99th MDG Medical Logistics Flight Commander. “We are building relationships in our local community, securing combat medics and providing lifesaving, critical care services to an underserved population. It’s great to be a part of this mission.”