Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota receives American College of Surgeons verification as Level I Pediatric Trauma Center

First pediatric-only hospital in Minnesota to be recognized by a national body for having highest level of expertise in treating critically injured children

Minneapolis, Minn. – (June 3, 2013) – Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota has received verification by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and designation from the State of Minnesota Department of Health as a Level I pediatric trauma center at its Minneapolis campus, the highest verification offered by the ACS Committee on Trauma. It is the first pediatric-only hospital in the state to receive this recognition for having the highest level of expertise in treating critically injured children.

As the region's primary destination for the treatment of life-threatening injuries in children, this Level I verification elevates the organization's already premier status in pediatric trauma care and caps a long list of important and recent changes at Children's, including a renovated emergency department at Children's – St. Paul (a Level III designated pediatric trauma center); a $50 million Mother Baby Center that opened in February in partnership with Abbott Northwestern Hospital; a new 12,000-square-foot shared pediatric and urgent care clinic that opened in May in partnership with HealthPartners in Hugo, Minn.; and a $10 million neuroscience center that will open at Children's – St. Paul in late 2013.

With one of the busiest pediatric emergency medicine programs in the nation and more than 90,000 visits annually, including the treatment of nearly 40 percent of the pediatric trauma cases in the Twin Cities, Children's has a long history of providing emergency trauma care. Receiving the ACS Level I verification means that the hospital has met the highest standards of expertise and level of preparation to care for critically injured children furthering Children's commitment to families across the region.

It took three years for Children's to transform from a Level III pediatric trauma center to a Level I – a process that was accelerated by a $17.5 million grant and ongoing philanthropic partnership from Minnetonka-based UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group company, in 2010. The grant helped fund a significant part of the "UnitedHealthcare Pediatric Emergency Department" located at Children's – Minneapolis.

"Trauma is the leading cause of death and disability in children. Given our emergency department volumes and knowing there are measurable benefits for pediatric trauma patients to be treated at a children's hospital, we knew Level I verification was vitally important to our community," said Alan L. Goldbloom, MD, CEO of Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. "We couldn't have reached this designation so quickly without the generous financial support and partnership of our friends at UnitedHealthcare."

Among the attributes of an ACS-verified Level I pediatric trauma center, Children's has:

• More than 150 emergency department staff – including board-eligible or board-certified pediatric emergency physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses and more.

• 24/7 in-house pediatric trauma surgeon.

• Two large trauma bays, resuscitation rooms, a helipad and dedicated orthopedic room for fractures featuring advanced X-ray capabilities.

• Research programs and performance improvement efforts to ensure that each patient experience leads to the best possible outcome.

• Injury prevention efforts such as Making Safe Simple, Children's public education program designed to arm the community with basic safety and injury prevention tips.

The Level I verification also permits Children's to now accept injured children directly from the site of the traumatic injury when every minute counts, either via ambulance or helicopter, versus having to be transferred from another hospital after being stabilized.

"Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota is uniquely positioned to measurably advance specialized pediatric trauma research, treatment and prevention efforts and will deliver enhanced care to thousands of children throughout the region," said Richard Migliori, M.D., executive vice president, Medical Affairs, and chief medical officer of UnitedHealth Group. "We are grateful for the opportunity to support Children's in its mission to save children's lives."

To aid its pediatric trauma research activities, Children's recently won more than $1.67 million in research funding from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).

About Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota:
Serving as Minnesota's children's hospital since 1924, Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota is one of the largest pediatric health care organizations in the United States, with 381 staffed beds at its two hospitals in St. Paul and Minneapolis. An independent, not-for-profit health care system, Children's of Minnesota provides care through more than 12,000 inpatient visits and more than 300,000 emergency room and other outpatient clinic visits every year. Children's is the only Minnesota hospital system to provide comprehensive care exclusively to children. Please visit

About UnitedHealthcare:
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with 780,000 physicians and other health care professionals and 5,900 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 40 million people in health benefits and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.