CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — The first trauma center aboard a United States Marine Corps installation celebrated its achievements with an official ribbon cutting on January 18, 2019. This follows a year of Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune (NMCCL) obtaining Level III verification from the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and state designation by the North Carolina Office of Emergency Medical Services (NC OEMS).
Rear Admiral Terry Moulton, Deputy Surgeon General of the Navy, was in attendance to speak at the event. Moulton thanked United States Senator Thom Tillis along with Onslow County and the state of North Carolina in advocating for NMCCL’s pursuance of becoming a trauma center. Tillis made the official announcement of that goal in June 2017.
“There’s always a lot of barriers to doing partnerships like this. All of them were willing to cut through the red tape,” said Moulton.
NMCCL’s Trauma Center is not only the first Level III Trauma Center in the United States Navy, but the first trauma center in the Navy to service local community trauma patients.The trauma center’s presence at NMCCL is vital to Onslow County and Eastern North Carolina where the closest trauma centers for decades have been more than an hour away in driving distance.
In 2018, NMCCL received Level III trauma center verification through 2020 from the ACS’s Committee on Trauma following an on-site evaluation of processes and systems. Later the same year, the NC OEMS designated NMCCL as a Level III trauma center until August 31, 2021, completing the medical center’s integration into North Carolina’s trauma system.
Recognition by the ACS and state of North Carolina is a testament to NMCCL’s commitment to building and maintain force readiness of medical personnel while proving the highest quality of trauma care to the residents of Eastern Carolina.
NMCCL will continue to work closely with local health care establishments and neighboring trauma centers (Vidant Medical Center, Greenville and New Hanover Regional Medical Center, Wilmington) to foster the high standard of care patients in the region require.
“As the first medical treatment facility in the Navy to provide trauma care for civilians, we know that this would not be possible without the steadfast support of our community,” said Navy Captain Jeffrey W. Timby, NMCCL Commanding Officer.
Trauma care provides military medical professionals the means to consistently hone their clinical and operational skills in life-saving care, similar to what they may encounter in theater. Providing this type of invaluable training supports a national mission of maintaining a sizeable, read-to-deploy medical force to support international operations and rapid disaster response.